Monday, August 4, 2014

Welsh Rarebit

It's summer ... at least where I live it is!! And summer means home-grown veggies ... at least where I live it does! And right now it is peak tomato season. If sunshine has a flavor, I think it's that of homegrown, sun-ripened, tomatoes! Store-bought tomatoes do not even begin to compare.

After a couple of disappointing years of growing tomatoes (for us), this year we are experiencing a lovely crop. Not an over abundance, but just enough that we are now eating tomatoes 4-5 times a week. I think all our tomatoes this year are heirloom varieties, many of which I grew from seeds I collected last summer from tomatoes bought from local growers and farm stands. Our garden includes little yellow pear-shaped tomatoes, Red Brandywine, Roma, Mortgage Lifter (if only!), German Johnston, and Cherokee Purple to name a few ...

So, when there are ripe tomatoes at hand my husband always requests a meal he enjoyed many summers as a kid ... Welsh Rarebit. What? In a nutshell it's a cheese sauce traditionally served on toast. But my husband grew up eating it drizzled over toast, fresh sliced tomatoes & crispy bacon! Doesn't that sound divine?! Thanks to a wonderful thing called the Internet (pre-Google!!) I searched and found a variety of recipes for Welsh Rarebit or "Welsh Rabbit." After a few experiments, I think I have found the one I like best, and it gets a solid thumbs up from my dear hubby, and kids, too!

Doesn't that look totally scrumptious??!! I think I filled this plate four or five times! I only stopped because the bacon, and the tomatoes, and the bread, and the Rabbit ran out :(

So here's the recipe:

Welsh Rarebit

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup beer (stout, ale, or your fave brew)
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon yellow or dijon mustard (dry or liquid)
A dash of Worcestershire sauce
Pepper
Paprika
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
1 egg yolk

Any bread that slices, toasts and holds together well - we like French baguettes/bread sticks, Portuguese Salaio bread, Ciabatta ... slightly dense breads.
Olive oil

Optional extras:
Tomatoes, sliced.
Bacon, cooked to your liking.

Melt butter in a saucepan, add flour and whisk to mix with butter. Add beer & whisk until a smooth roux forms. Add milk and keep whisking until smooth. Add mustard and a dash or two of Worcestershire sauce and stir. Add cheese and stir until it is melted and smooth. Season with pepper and paprika to taste. Remove from heat and whisk in egg yolk. Serve immediately or store in refrigerator for up to 5 days (reheat to serve.)

Slice the bread stick to your liking and place on cookie sheet. Brush tops with olive oil and lightly toast under broiler. Flip over slices and lightly toast the other side.

Top toasted slices of bread with tomato slices & cooked bacon, then drizzle with cheese sauce. 

Now savor and enjoy every bite, quickly, so you can get some more before it's all gone!!