Is That How the Welsh Say Rabbit?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The origins of Welsh Rarebit may be a bit elusive, but the taste is definitive.  It is shockingly simple: a piece of toasted bread with with cheese, egg, and cream broiled on top.  It is the perfect accompaniment to sausages or, in our case, River Cottage oyster stew


This rarebit was based on Jamie Oliver’s “Wicked Welsh Rarebit” with two modifications.  First, I eschewed the marmalade or chili jam, as I wanted a simpler version to accompany the stew. Second, since I have yet to find locally made creme fraiche, I used plain yogurt.  Goat’s milk yogurt, though, would have been even better. 

There are a few other things I should, perhaps, mention as well.  Make sure your oven rack is as close to the broiler as you can get it since the browned crust of cheese makes all the difference.  Next, Mustard powder is not likely to be a mainstay in your pantry; I had some on hand only because it was leftover from the piccalilli I put up this summer.  Finally, this worked very well with a sourdough version of of Jim Lahey’s No Knead Bread.  I’d managed to cultivate a sourdough starter based on a technique from Lynn Rossetto Kasper’s The Splendid Table: take one-half cup of the risen dough, combine with one-quarter cup of water, and leave in the fridge until you make your next loaf.  Then, rather than using the quarter-teaspoon of yeast Lahey calls for, just use one-quarter cup of the starter.  If you go more than two weeks without making a loaf, simply throw away half of the starter and replace with one-quarter cup of fresh flour and some water.  I can’t claim this is exact - or even acceptable - breadmaking technique or science, but it has worked for me.


Posted by Kevin on 11/25 at 05:56 PM

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