Thursday, February 21, 2008

Throwback Thursday: Welsh Rabbit

I've been wanting to do a monthly posting on my blog that takes its inspiration from my excessive obsession with old cookbooks. So, after a few months of planning I was set to roll out my inaugural post tonight with one of those dishes like Captain Chicken or Swiss Steak when I came down with the flu. There is nothing like being sick to make you not even want to stand up to pour the orange juice let alone stand over a saute pan breaking down tomatoes to make a the sauce for Swiss Steak.

But, I didn't want to completely give up on my plan to post a dish from one of my old cookbooks. So, this afternoon while I was sitting on my couch in a sun spot with LB, I flipped through my 1956 edition of the Good Housekeeping Cook Book

and found the perfect dish for someone sick who didn't want to cook a huge meal and wanted some comfort food, Welsh Rabbit.

Welsh Rabbit is an old fashioned dish of cheese sauce on top of toast. It is sometimes called Welsh Rarebit. It was served in my family quite often on Fridays during Lent and my grandmother served it to us grandkids for lunch on rainy days when we couldn't go out and play. My mother would also serve it to my brother and I when we were sick.

The recipe I chose from the Good Housekeeping Cook Book was the recipe for Welsh Rabbit with Beer. Um, beer when your sick? I had a grandmother who was Irish and believed that nothing cured what ailed you than a little whiskey or a beer. This recipe was also a great excuse to use up all the little quarter bags of shredded cheese I've been hoarding.

The recipe for Welsh Rabbit is simple. Pour 1/2 the beer into a skillet and add some dry mustard, paprika, Worcestershire sauce and bring it to a simmer. Then you stir in your cheese until it is melted. Then once it all melted, you remove it from the heat and pour it over some toasted English muffins. When you are all said and done, you spend about 10 minutes cooking and what you have on your plate is a tasty and filling dinner.

The perfect meal for an invalid like me...

Welsh Rabbit with Beer

Makes six servings

1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dry mustard
2/3 cup beer or heavy cream
1 1/2 to 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 lb sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (I use a mix of cheeses. You can use any cheese you like for this dish)
6 slices Toasted bread or split toasted English muffins

In a wide skillet (a non stick skillet is perfect for this dish), mix paprika, mustard, and stir in the beer or cream and Worcestershire sauce. Place over very low heat and bring to a simmer. Stir in cheese and keep stirring until melted. Spoon over bread or English muffins and sprinkle with paprika. Serve warm.