For a long, long time, I've wanted to try Welsh rabbit. I've only had rabbit once or twice when I was young, and to be honest, it tasted like chicken. Chicken in a lot of butter. So it really tasted like butter. But I figured that if common ol' hippity-hoppin' bunnies are good pan-fried in some tasty hot butter, Welsh rabbit must be better. And I was right!
Welsh rabbit is warm and smooth and creamy and . . . . wait, what? You mean it's not "rabbit"? For real?? Oh.........it's rarebit. That makes so much more sense now. Whew.
So lets do a quick run through of what Welsh rarebit is and what it isn't. Sometimes yes, it's called Welsh rabbit [and that's ok!], but it has nothing to do with rabbits [or meat of any kind for that matter], so I'm going to stick with rarebit. It's basically a localized variation of fondue, with the main difference being that classic fondue generally depends on Swiss cheese as it's base and Welsh rarebit focuses on cheddar. Cheddar cheese sauce served over toast or crackers = Welsh rarebit. You can go to Wikipedia to check out what they have to say about the matter. Anyway, guess what? I don't wanna play in their sandbox. I wanna play in my own.
My sandbox consisted of taking a standard Welsh rarebit recipe and tweaking it. I didn't use a double boiler to prepare mine since I didn't have one, and instead I used my almost-brand-new electric fondue pot on warm. I also halved the recipe, which was almost a total success. Execpt that I accidentally added the full amount of salt. And a whole egg, because really, who can halve a whole egg once beaten? Yeah, I thought so. I also used a mixture of double cheddar cheeses and an Italian mixture, because that's what I happened to have on hand. And while my original intention was to serve it over toast topped with asparagus [my grandmother made something similar a lot when I was a child and it was divine!], I ended up omitting the toast [change of meal plan] and simply served it as a cheese sauce over the asparagus. Guess what? Even with all my changes, it was still good! A little salty, but hey.
The recipe listed below is how it appears in my The Joy of Cooking tear-off calendar, not with my changes because I'm not sure who'll want to halve the recipe and who'll have an electric fondue pot vs. a double boiler. Just know that it's flexible, so play around with it until it suites your needs. While I'm sure this would be great on toast or crackers, I'm sure it'd be good on most veggies [think broccoli, cauliflower, etc.] as well as steak oscar. Mmmmmm, steak oscar. That's a whole 'nother post right there folks. But --- back to the recipe:
The Joy of Cooking Tear-Off Calendar 2010
1 Tbsp. butter
1 c. beer, ale, milk or cream
4 c. shredded sharp cheddar or Colby cheese [1 lb.]
1 egg, well beaten
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. sweet paprika
¼ tsp. dry mustard
Pinch of ground red pepper
12 slices white, rye or other bread of choice, toasted, or 18 crackers
Melt the butter in a double boiler over simmering water. Once melted, stir in whatever liquid you choose to use [beer, ale, milk or cream] until warm. Gradually stir in the cheese. Cook, stirring constantly with a fork, until the cheese is melted. Stir in the remaining ingredients [except bread/crackers] and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Serve at once on top of bread or crackers. Yield: 6 servings.
This was good. I'll be making this again, for sure, to top veggies and whatever else comes to mind. Enjoy!
Note: I'm linking this up to Life as Mom’s Ultimate Recipe Swap for today, 1/20/11, which is all about meatless meals. For more ideas, feel free to pop on over to her site.