Welsh Rarebit

I’d like to propose a toast

Originally appeared in the February 24, 2011 edition of the Southside Times.

One morning over a couple slices of French toast, Jack—our inquisitive kindergartener—said, “How come you never write about breakfast food?”  I inhaled, ready to deliver an elegant response.  Instead I twitched a frown.  All I could muster was, “Well…I don’t know.”  This, it would suffice to say, was not a satisfying reply for our clever fellow.  I have fond memories of my mother adding a bit of cheese to the top of my toast for breakfast.  And this warm recollection guided me toward this week’s recipe.  Check out more after the jump:Welsh rarebit.  Rarebit? I’m as intrigued by the strange title as I am by the dish itself (which also goes by Welsh “rabbit”).  There are as many histories as there are variations of this mercurial concoction.  Yet, as with most apocryphal topics, somewhere in the unshakeable center remains these facts:  traditionally, Welsh rarebit is a combination of toasted bread, beer, sharp cheese, dry mustard and Worcestershire.

Today’s dish is riff on one of Jamie Oliver’s clever permutations, which omits bitter Ale in favor of sweet pepper jelly.

In short:  I’m channeling the morning comfort of my mother’s simple toast-and-cheese recipe.  So here’s your breakfast column, Jack.  Bon appetit, my boy.

Welsh rarebit

Serves 2

  • 4, one-inch thick slices sourdough bread
  • 5 ½ ounces (weight) crème fraiche or sour cream
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 heaping cup shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Pinch kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 4 teaspoons red pepper jelly

1.  Toast bread under a broiler until lightly browned.  Remove from oven and set aside.  In a bowl, stir together remaining ingredients except pepper jelly.

2.  Spread 1 teaspoon of jelly on each side of bread.  Divide cheese mixture evenly among slices and spread to edges.  Return to broiler until the tops are brown and bubbly (be vigilant, don’t let them burn).

3.  Using a knife, create crisscross patterns on top of each slice of bread, just enough to cut through the crispy cheese.  If desired, garnish with a few drops of Worcestershire sauce before serving.

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Published in: on February 24, 2011 at 4:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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