There is no dip in Texas that is synonymous more with New Year’s Eve or the Super Bowl than “RO*TEL Dip”.
This gooey, spicy dip is best served with tortilla chips or Fritos – the big dipping kind – and napkins! Although delicious, it is messy but so worth it.
There are many variations on the recipe but generally they call for Velveeta Cheese cut into cubes and melted with a can of RO*TEL Tomatoes and Green Chilies.
The key to this recipe is the can of RO*TEL. In 1943 Carl Roettele in the little town of Elsa – 20 miles north of the Mexican border sandwiched between the towns of Harlingen and McAllen – became known for his zesty combination of tomatoes and green chilies.
Worried that no one could spell his name, they rebranded their product and called it “RO*TEL”. Today it is a staple in Southern pantries and finds its way into beans, casseroles, salsas, and – queso.
The one big problem with this dip – and probably the only problem – is that it is messy and clean up can be difficult. Typically it is cooked in a crock pot and until the invention of the plastic liner (or crockpot condom) some unlucky person would be left with the task of scrubbing bits of dried cheese off of the pot.
Also, since people tend to munch on this dip all evening, the cheese can get thick and develop a crust on top requiring you to constantly stir it or top it off with more milk and cheese.
Cooking the recipe sous vide solves all of these problems.
Literally you can put all of the ingredients in a bag, seal it up, and put it in a water bath to melt and hold until you are ready to use. For a long party you can make multiple smaller bags and just pull them out when they are needed.
Fresh RO*TEL Dip every time and no clean up.
This recipe calls for meat and is spiced with a taco seasoning. I’ve included a recipe here that I make up at home, but a supermarket brand such as Lawry’s Taco Seasoning Mix works just fine.
1 lb ground beef
2 TBS taco seasoning (Lawry’s Taco Seasoning Mix works well, or see note)
1 10 oz. can RO*TEL Tomatoes and Green Chilies (I use Original, but it also comes as Spicy)
16 oz. Velveeta Cheese, cut into large cubes
1/2 cup tomatoes, seeded and diced
Additions: pickled jalapeños, cilantro, minced onion – if desired. You can also substitute seasoned sausage or chorizo for the ground beef but omit the taco seasoning.
Set an immersion circulator to 150 degrees and heat a water bath. Lightly brown the ground beef and drain. Add the beef and the remaining ingredients to a bag and vacuum seal with a chamber vacuum sealer, or in alternative, dip the open bag into the water bath and seal the bag with minimal air. Place the bag in the water bath until melted and then reduce the heat to 140 degrees to hold for service. Mix the bag well before opening.
Note: For taco seasoning, combine 2 TBS chili powder; 2 tsp each ground cumin and Diamond Kosher salt, 1 tsp smoked Spanish paprika; 1/2 tsp each black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder; and 1/4 tsp Mexican oregano and cayenne pepper. Use 1 to 2 TBS in this recipe depending on taste.
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