A couple of family recipes
I was just talking to my sister and she made Rotel earlier today, which got me totally homesick for it (and all my favorite southern cooking). So I thought I’d share two simple recipes – Rotel, which is really popular in the area I grew up, and one for Chocolate Eclairs which I got from my Aunt Kim. Both recipes lend themselves well to substitution and are pretty quick and easy to make.
This is a sort of dip which is named after a brand of canned tomatoes (Ro*tel). There are a lot of ways of making it, but this is how we do it: You brown a pound of ground beef or sausage in one pan (you can add taco seasoning to the ground beef if you prefer it to be spicier). In another pan, you combine various types of cheese; it’s usually made by melting a brick of Velveeta cheese, but it’s also really good with half a brick of Velveeta and a package (~80z.) of cream cheese. Cook the cheese on medium heat until melted, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Drain the ground beef and combine with the cheese, then mix in 2 cans of Ro*tel tomatoes or a jar of salsa. Serve with tortilla chips, over rice, or as a taco filling with lettuce, tomatoes, and sour cream.
This recipe makes one 8×9 inch pan, with a few graham crackers left over. It’s a really simple recipe but it’s absolutely one of the best things I’ve ever tasted (and it’s very addicting!).
5.9 oz. package vanilla pudding mix
4 cups milk
8 oz. tub Cool Whip (refrigerated but not frozen)
1 box honey graham crackers
16 oz. container chocolate frosting/icing (or you can use other kinds of chocolate topping, ganache, etc.)
In a medium bowl, blend pudding mix and milk according to package instructions, then put in refrigerator to set. Once it cools to pudding consistency, fold in Cool Whip until fully blended. Layer graham crackers in the bottom of a rectangular pan (8×9 inch works best), and pour Cool Whip and pudding mixture over the graham crackers, being sure to spread evenly. Put another single layer of graham crackers on top. Heat icing in microwave for 30-45 seconds, then spread melted icing evenly over the top layer of crackers and refrigerate until the icing hardens. Keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.