Welsh Rarebit; when is a rabbit not a rabbit?

As a teenager I took to using some of my own folding money to purchase two particular food items at the store.  I used my own money so that I could enjoy the food jealously, with no fear of intruding family members nicking into my goodies.  The first indulgence was a frozen cake, a Black Forest Cake made by the Sarah Lee company.  To this day I’m very happy that I did so.  It was delicious, preservatives be damned!  All I had to do was wait for it to thaw, then eat as much as I could without becoming ill; a precarious balancing act I assure you.

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The second indulgence was another frozen (and to my mind, exotic) treat – Welsh Rarebit.  Packaged by Stouffers, this came in a pouch that you placed in boiling water.  Cut open the pouch and pour over toast… easy!  I haven’t looked for it recently, but their website claims it is still readily available.  Alas, I’m all grown up now, and much more interested in making it my own way – sans preservatives.

At this early stage I was told by my mother that the correct pronunciation for the dish is Welsh “Rabbit”.  It turns out she was right, and I did tend to lord this knowledge over my less intelligent friends; but really, let’s face it – it’s melted cheese on toast, right?

Yes, that’s pretty much true, but the cheese is doctored up nicely.  Use a good quality, extra sharp cheddar for the recipe and you can’t go wrong.  I found a very simple and tasty version in “The Breakfast Book” by Marion Cunningham.  Another simple and tasty recipe is provided online by the ever engaging cook Alton Brown.  Give this a try on a cold morning or a rain-chilled evening.  ~TH~

Welsh Rarebit from "The Breakfast Book"

Welsh Rarebit from “The Breakfast Book”

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