Sunday, September 4, 2011

Welsh Rarebit

Breakfast: Banana cinnamon smoothie

Lunch: Pesto scrambled eggs with chickpea salad

Dinner: Welsh rarebit with spinach and red peppers followed by Bailey's chocolate cake

Happy National Welsh Rarebit day! Well, it was yesterday, but there you go, that's the nature of time: it passes.

Anyway, many of you poor folk won't be aware of what a Welsh rarebit is. Some naysayers may tell you that it's basically cheese on toast; but dear reader, if you're being cynical even vichyssoise is basically potato soup. No, rarebit is so much more than that; it's a culinary delight, combining some very different flavours and even, in some recipes, beer (never accuse the British of passing up an opportunity to include alcohol).

My version is a bit of a variation on the traditional, because that's always fun. It's also very subtle in some of the flavours, letting the cheese take centre stage while the rest of the ingredients play important bit parts.

You'll need
(Feeds 2)
2 thick slices of brown, crusty bread
2 cups grated mature cheddar cheese
1 egg
1 tsp mustard seeds
3 spring onions, chopped
sprinkle of oregano
sprinkle of paprika
small splash of balsamic vinegar
small splash of tabasco sauce / hot sauce
black pepper

Put a little oil in a pan, put it on a medium heat, then add in the mustard seeds and put the lid on
They'll pop and hit the lid; take them off the heat before they burn
Beat the egg in a bowl
Stir in the cheese, onions, mustard seeds, oregano, paprika, balsamic vinegar and tabasco sauce and combine well
Toast both sides of the bread
Cover one side with the cheese mixture, making sure it's spread right up to the crusts
Grill (broil) until the top of the cheese is browning and bubbling
Serve with a light salad

Interestingly, the name of this dish is a corruption of the phrase "Welsh rabbit" and the whole thing has many legends attached to it. My favourite story is a bit of a diss on the Welsh: it's called Welsh Rabbit because if the Welsh went rabbit-hunting, this is what they would have to eat that night. DISS!

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