Welsh Rabbit

Every few years I do a recipe purge. I go through my files and discard duplicates or recipes I don’t need a recipe for, like “applesauce” or recipes with ingredients I know I don’t like and thus will never cook (calves brains) and, increasingly over the years, recipes that are really really long and too much bother to read, let alone cook.

I also throw away recipes that I’ve cooked but weren’t great, which is why I no longer have the one for Aunt Alice’s Black Forest Cake recipe that I mentioned yesterday.

But I do keep some family treasured recipes such as my mother’s favorite Lime Jello Mold or such old fashioned favorites as quiche because even though they might not be popular right now, there’s always the hope that if they don’t get a chance for a re-run then at least I could write nostalgically about them. And of course there’s always the possibility that someone might call or email me to see if I have a recipe for, say, Tuna Casserole or Green Goddess Dressing.

So I was delighted when I looked in my cheese file and found I had kept an old recipe for Welsh Rabbit. You don’t hear much about Welsh Rabbit anymore. But when you think about it, the dish is more or less grilled cheese, just a little fancier and sometimes more adult (if you use ale or stout).

Here’s the recipe. Welsh Rabbit is a real treat on a lazy weekend afternoon. Good for lunch or even a vegetarian dinner (with a salad).

Welsh Rabbit

4 slices homestyle white bread

3 tablespoons butter

1 pound shredded cheddar cheese

1-1/2 teaspoon powdered mustard

pinch or two of cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, optional

1/2 cup flat ale, stout, beer or milk

2 large eggs, beaten

Preheat the oven broiler. Toast the bread until lightly browned and place in a baking dish. In the top part of a double boiler over simmering water, melt the butter, then add the cheese and cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the cheese has melted. Stir in the mustard, cayenne pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Gradually pour in the ale and stir until blended. Add the eggs and cook, stirring until the mixture has thickened slightly, about 2-3 minutes. Pour the melted cheese mixture over the bread slices. Place the baking dish under the broiler and cook briefly until the top has browned. Makes 4 pieces.