Ro-Tel and Velveeta

It’s Football Time in Tennessee and that can mean only one thing — there is a shortage of Ro-Tel canned tomatoes and Velveeta cheese logs from Memphis to Johnson City.

Ro-Tel and Velveeta combine to produce the quintessential perfectly balanced football food. Last Saturday when the season began my assistant, The Millennial, grabbed the last block of Velveeta available at the local market near where he was vacationing.  My beloved Publix was out of regular Velveeta and I had to resort to a log with Mexican seasonings (it worked out just fine).

I imagine there was a virtual river of melted cheese running through the state.

The recipe for Ro-Tel Dip as it’s known is simple:

1 can Ro-Tel diced tomatoes, any flavor (I like the green chile one)

1 16-0unce package of Velveeta, cut into one-inch cubes

1/3 pound of some fatty sausage product (a lot of people use bulk sausage; I like Mexican chorizo)

You fry up the sausage first and drain it. You wouldn’t want your dip to take on too much additional grease (what!). Then in a saucepan you combine the undrained tomatoes and the Velveeta over low heat and stir until the cheese is completely melted. Stir in the sausage and dip away.

Your vehicle for delivering the dip to your mouth varies according to a person’s tastes. Some use Fritos scoops which create a tiny vessel for capturing as much cheese as possible. I like very thin tortilla chips. A friend of mine prefers cauliflower florets to make the dip “healthier.”

If you are like King Daddy and I you just remove the pan of dip from the stove, rip open the tortilla bag and turn the game on in the kitchen to minimize dip dribble accidents.

Traditions are especially important in the South. It’s just not Easter without ham, July 4th without watermelon and Thanksgiving without cornbread dressing. And it’s not Football Time in Tennessee without Ro-Tel Dip.

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