Two weekends ago (yes, it does take me rather long to post these, doesn’t it?), I went down to Federal Hill to meet some friends who had driven down to Baltimore for the Ravens vs. Steelers game. As you all know, my beloved Steelers got totally spanked by their opponent. Bully to you, Ravens (although then you went and totally flaked against the Titans. Oh, so is the NFL!).
Anyway, I met my friends for pre-game brunch and ordered a standard breakfast of 2 poached eggs, toast, home fries, and sausage. For whatever reason, perhaps I was just too excited for the start of the season, I didn’t eat much of my meal. So I took home with me a hefty styrofoam container full of breakfast-type foods.
When I got home (which was probably sometime in the 4th quarter) I decided to reheat my food. But instead of just plopping it on a plate and nuking it, I decided to jazz it up a bit with a retro-twist.
I had just had a conversation with my mum and brother about Stouffer’s frozen Welsh Rarebit sauce. Well since talking about it I had a hankering for it (specifically a Turkey Devonshire, the second most famous sandwich to come out of Pittsburgh).
The day before this day, the day that I’m writing about, I looked for it in my grocer’s freezer, but alas, no Rarebit. They did have some gross-looking chipped beef in cheese sauce, which I know there is an actual name for, but it escapes me at this moment.
Anyway, inspiration struck when I decided to reheat my brunch. I had some meat and toast in there already, so why not make a Welsh Rarebit?
I, like I always do, first consulted St. Irma. I didn’t have to go any further because right there on page 237 was a whole section on Rarebits. This is what St. Irma had to say:
Our correspondence is closed on the subject of rarebit vs. rabbit. We stick to rarebit because rabbit already means something else. But we can only answer the controversy with a story. A stranger mollifying a small crying boy: “I wouldn’t cry like that if I were you!” Small boy, “You cry your way and I’ll cry mine.” Good Welsh rarebit can now be bought canned, ready to be heated and served.
That was followed by two recipes, one with beer, one with milk. I went for the milk version. And lucky me I had all the ingredients already in my fridge.
- Melt in a pan over hot water:
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Stir in and melt:
- 1/1/2 cups diced aged cheese.
- 1/3/ teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
- a few grains cayenne
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Stir in slowly:
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup cream or top milk (WTF is ‘top milk’?)
- When the mixture is hot, remove the pan from the heat.
- Beat in:
- 1 egg yolk
- Serve the rarebit at once over hot toasted crackers or bread.
I made a little less than the recipe because that was for 4 servings, so I halved everything–well, or at least I eyeballed everything. I used 2 sliced smoked Gouda, skim milk, and chili powder instead of cayenne because I don’t have any (I really need to get some now that I think of it).
I then poured the sauce over my leftovers, topped it with a few slices of tomatoes (my nod to the Devonshire), and put it under the boiler to brown ever so slightly.
And ta-da! Leftovers are served!
OK, this was rad. My rarebit was super-good. I think that the Gouda/Worcestershire/dry mustard combo is a winner. Breakfast for dinner is just aces.
Yes, that’s President Obama (Cleve is a die-hard Dem and this was a gift from his grandma. He’s so hard-core that I’m surprised he doesn’t have a donkey tattooed on his ass). Anyway, I needed something to fill that space in the photo and that was the only suitably-sized tchotchke I could find.
Anyway, as Obama looks up in hope (or disdain, I don’t really know how to read that look), I hope that his little fake resin head is inspired by my super-duper Welsh Rarebit and somehow comes up with a plan that gets all those crazies down in Washington to stop fighting and do something that’s–well, just do something.
Now that I think of it, I believe that both Democrats and Republicans could get behind a good cheese sauce. Maybe that’s what’s missing from Washington, DC. Give cheese a chance.