Monday, October 5, 2009

Where did you hide the rabbit?

Ree, at Pioneer Woman made a beautiful blog about Welsh Rarebit, which we have always called Welsh Rabbit.  Growing up on Bunny Bee Farms in Ferndale, Washington, there was a little irony in that title.

"Where's the rabbit?  I can't find any rabbit. Moooooooom, I didn't get any rabbit in mine. "

Ahem. Ok, it was a family of 14 children, 15 and under, I kid you not. Since I'll get letters... yes, there were 7 adopted children.

This is a riff on my mom's version, in case you're hungry today.  Mom stirred in scrambled eggs to stretch the Welsh Rabbit.  You can do that, or like I do with my family of 7, try scrambling three whisked whole eggs into a 12.3 oz. box of extra firm or firm tofu that you've cubed. When the eggs are cooked, the tofu is hot, and then blend with the yummy cheese sauce that is Welsh Rarebit.

Mrs. Kolz Welsh Rabbit

6 Tablespoons butter or margarine
6 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt 
2 tsp. worcestershire sauce
 a few drops of hot pepper sauce or a hearty pinch of  ground cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon of dijon mustard, right from the jar
1 cup of either apple juice or white grape juice
or 1 cup of chicken broth with 1teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice added into the broth - just trust me.
2 cups of milk of your choice (we use goat)
3 cups shredded sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese

Melt your butter in a large sauce pan on medium heat, just until no solids remain. Sprinkle the flour over the butter and stir with a wooden spoon, letting it bubble for a couple of minutes, nice and light golden. This removes any starchy flavor in the final sauce. Pour in either the juice or the acidified broth, and whisk until the sauce is completely combined and no lumps remain. Toss in the sauces and spice if you use it. Gradually add 2 cups of milk and stir over medium heat until the sauce thickens. 

Meanwhile, have one of your children or other cooking assistant toast up hearty slices of bread.  Get them nice and crunchy! This is a great place to use up hearty, grainy bread, or rustic artisan breads, homemade bread, whatever you have.

If you have a slicing tomato sitting on a sunny windowsill, now's the time to go slice it.  I love a crunchy slice of toast, a ladle full of Welsh Rabbit, and then a beautiful slice of ripe red tomato right on top.  Use a fork and knife and dig right in while it's hot.  Bliss!

But you know what's even better?  A Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich. Try this variation, and you can thank me later. 

For each Hot Brown sandwich, place two slices of toasted bread on a metal (or flameproof) dish. Cover the toast with a liberal amount of sliced, possibly leftover or deli sliced turkey. Pour a generous amount of sauce over the turkey. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan  or cheddar cheese. Place entire dish under a broiler until the sauce is speckled brown and bubbly. Remove from broiler, top with a thin slice of tomato, cross two crispy pieces of bacon over the top into an X, and serve immediately. You eat these with a fork too.

Makes 4 servings of two open-faced Kentucky Hot Brown sandwiches each.  They're special. You are too, so try one soon!

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