WELSH RABBIT (adapted from GREAT DINNERS FROM LIFE)
2 tablespoons butter
6 cups (1 ½ pounds) grated cheddar cheese
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup beer
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 teaspoon salt
3 drops Tabasco sauce
6 slices hot toast (or warmed rusks)
1) Melt the butter in the top of a double boiler or chafing dish over simmering water.
2) Stir in the cheese and cook over low heat until it is completely melted. Stir until smooth.
3) Stir the egg yolks into the beer with a fork. Add this mixture to the cheese very slowly — a spoonful or so at a time, stirring with a whisk as it cooks in.
4) Add mustard, Worcestershire, salt and Tabasco. Continue cooking and stirring until the mixture is thickened.
5) Taste, and add more seasoning if desired. Serve on hot toast or rusks warmed in the oven.
- Serving suggestion: Serve with Port, a sweet, heavy wine, a chance to use a special decanter. The richest is the ruby, the lightest is the tawny. Give everyone clean plates after the rabbit, then pass the fruit (apples, pears, etc.)
- From the English custom of winding up with a savory course.
- Suggestion: make a centerpiece of fresh fruit (apples, pears, and include unshelled nuts (walnuts, pecans, Brazil nuts).
- Sharp cheese is best for this dish. Rabbit should be slightly grainy — wheel-type cheeses are less smooth but have more bite than the processed cheddars.
- Grate the cheese early and cover it. Start melting the cheese when you sit down for the main course; give it a quick turn with a whisk if you are in the kitchen on another errand.
- Have the other ingredients ready and mix the beer and egg yolks together beforehand.
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