Recipe begged, borrowed, compiled and adapted by The Klutz in the Kitchen on The Jazz Rendezvous Jazz, Blues, Latin, World Jazz and Cabaret, Music & Musicians, Entertainers, Artisanal Booze & Beer, Cocktails, Pinotage, Coffee, Grub & Stockvel Radio Show
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It’s a good day to celebrate with some melted gooey cheesy goodness today because it’s Welsh Rarebit (Rabbit) Day. We have to thank the Nibble website for a wee bit of the history and recipe for this crowd pleasing munch.
People have been gobbling up melted cheese for a very long time. Fondue, the best-known of Swiss dishes, is probably of peasant origin, but no one knows for how long traveling herders had been combining cheese with wine in their cooking pots and dipping bread into the mixture. Similarly, quesadillas, a Mexican tradition, have been eaten for longer than anyone can say.
Rabbit, Not Rarebit
The once-famous Welsh rabbit (please don’t call it “rarebit”) is a very old formulation. There isn’t much agreement on how Welsh rabbit might have gotten its name, but my favorite story is that sharp cheese melted into ale or beer, served over crisp toast, was a substitute for meat when the men had been unsuccessful in their hunting that day. It was left to the women to fix a meal, and I wouldn’t doubt, some clever woman came up with the name.
Welsh Rabbit Recipe
Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins
Stuff to throw it together
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
⅓ cup milk
½ cup beer or ale
1 teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon each cayenne pepper and paprika
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1½ cups sharp Cheddar, shredded
1 egg yolk
4 slices bread for toast
Optional: sliced tomato Optional garnishes: fresh snipped chives or thyme
How to cook it up
NB You can use any semi-hard cheese, or a blend. Like fondue, Welsh rabbit is a great way to use up scraps of cheese. Preparation
We like rye toast or whole grain toast because of the added flavor; but use whatever bread you have
Melt butter in a sauce pan over low heat; whisk in flour until smooth and simmer roux for two minutes
Whisk in milk, then beer. You can use leftover beer: The effervescence cooks out. The more flavorful the beer, the better the dish
AAdd cayenne, mustard and paprika one at a time, whisking until smooth. Add Worcestershire sauce and whisk to combine
Whisk in Cheddar, 20% at a time, and blend until smooth
Remove pan from flame; whisk in egg yolk for extra richness and body
Place two pieces of toast on each plate. Top with tomato slices. Pour cheese sauce over toast. Garnish with herbs. Who needs a real rabbit: This “poor man’s supper” is delicious!
The ancestor the pizza we know and love today, melted cheese on bread was probably being enjoyed by the Etruscans, Greeks or Phoenicians as early as the 700s – B.C.E. (Tomato sauce didn’t arrive until the 1800s.) Clearly, much of the world has had a love affair with melted cheese for many hundreds of years. Food history aside, a melted cheese dish on a blustery, cold day is as satisfying for the soul as it is for the appetite. With a little care, melting
Have a cooking day
Today is also Baby Back Ribs Day Here are five things to know about baby back ribs:
No one is really sure where the term barbecue originated. The conventional wisdom is that the Spanish, upon landing in the Caribbean, used the word barbacoa to refer to the natives’ method of slow-cooking meat over a wooden platform.
In America barbecue varies by region, with the four main styles named after their place of origin: Memphis, Tenn.; North Carolina; Kansas City; and Texas.
In order to be called “baby back ribs” the rack needs to be smaller than a pound and a half.
Pigs have 14 rib bones! They are divided into four popular cuts: spare ribs, St. Louis, rib tips and baby backs.
No one knows who invented the barbecue.
The Klutz in the Kitchen
Chief Grub Maker, Recipe Initiator, Adroit Glühwein Fixer and Imbiber, Devoted Coffee Slurpee, Artisanal Booze & Craft BeerQuaffing Enthusiast and Pinotage Aficionada
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