Friday, August 11, 2006

Welsh Rabbit

This somewhat unique recipe for Welsh Rabbit comes from:

The Household Cyclopedia. (New York : Thomas Kelly, 1881)

Even though the author of the recipe fails to give quantities, I will fix that under the original. Prepare your salad and dressing then make the Welsh Rabbit.

Original Recipe as given:

"Cut your cheese into small slips, if soft; if hard, grate it down. Have ready a spirit-of-wine lamp, etc., and deep block-tin dish; put in the cheese with a lump of butter, and set it over the lamp. Have ready the yolk of an egg whipped, with half a glass of Madeira, and as much ale or beer; stir your cheese when melted, till it is thoroughly mixed with the butter, then add gradually the egg and wine; keep stirring till it forms a smooth mass. Season with Cayenne and grated nutmeg. To be eaten with a thin hot toast."

16 ounces of sharp cheddar
2 ounces of butter
1 egg yolk whipped
2 fl. ozs. of Madeira
2 fl. ozs of old ale or beer
8 slices of toast

Pinch of Cayenne
Pinch of greshly grated nutmeg

My directions:

Heat a bain-Marie, shred the cheese into the top of the bain-Marie with the butter. While this is melting, in a separate bowl; whip the egg yolk until a bare froth comes, whence add the wine and ale to the egg, a little at a time to thoroughly incorporate it. Next, add the flavored egg into the cheese and melted butter. Season the whole with the Cayenne and nutmeg. Cover, make the toast. Plate the toast, pour the Welsh Rabbit over and serve with a salad and more ale or beer.

Do not keep this dish on the heat after it is all blended together. A skin will form which cannot be beaten back into the dish. You have a few minutes, maximum.

What was different about this was no mustard is called for, and the egg not so typical. In it's place is the Madeira. The Cayenne and nutmeg are typical.

This is one of those dishes which commands an immediacey of making/eating. It will not keep well. Not that it spoils easily, but the cheese texture will change too much on being kept beyond the few minutes of it's making.

A few more from the same cookbook, which has 813 pages and 3 to 4 recipes or receipts per page:

Catsup for Sea-Stores.

Take a gallon of strong stale beer, a pound of anchovies washed from the pickle, with white sugar to taste, the same of shallots peeled, 1/2 an ounce of mace, 1/2 an ounce of cloves, 1/4 of an ounce of whole pepper 3 or 4 large races of ginger, and 2 quarts of large mushroom flaps, rubbed to pieces. Cover these close, and let it simmer till half wasted. Then strain it through a flannel bag; let it stand till quite cold, and and a laurel-leaf; boil them a quarter of an hour. then bottle it. This may be carried to any part of the world; and a spoonful of it to a pound of fresh butter melted, will make a fine fish sauce, or will supply the place of gravy sauce. The stronger and staler the beer the better will be the catsup.

128 fl. ozs of India Pale Ale or highly hopped beer
granulated sugar to taste
16 ozs. anchovies
16 ozs. shallots
1/2 oz. mace
1/2 oz. cloves
1/4 oz. whole peppercorns
3 or 4 races of ginger [3 to 4 ozs. fresh, peeled ginger -- mp]
2 quarts of mushroom parts (ground to a detritis consistency)
10 to 12 bay leaves

16 ozs. butter melted -- to mix with 1 oz. of sauce

A large Mr. Coffee filter will due for the straining. It may take a day, or overnight, but the sauce will keep due to the alcohol in the beer. After that, bottle it close; i.e., fill soy sauce or ketchup bottles to within 1/2" of the top.

N.B. Stale beer means beer without bubbles.

Chop 24 anchovies, having first boned them; put to them 10 shallots cut small, and a handful of scraped horse-radish, 1/4 of an ounce of mace, a quart of white wine, a pint of water, and the same quantity of red wine, a lemon cut into slices, 1/2 a pint of anchovy liquor, 12 cloves, and the same number of peppercorns. Boil them together till it comes to a quart, then strain it off cover it close, and keep it in a cold dry place. Two spoonfuls [4 Tbls. --mp] of it will be sufficient for a pound of butter. It is a good sauce for boiled fowls, or, in the room [sic] of gravy lowering it with hot water, and thickening it with a piece of butter rolled in flour.

Fish Sauce.
Take 1 pound of anchovies, a quart of claret, of a pint of white wine vinegar, 1/2 an ounce of cloves and mace, 2 rages* [sic] of ginger sliced, a little black pepper, the peel of a lemon, a piece of horseradish, a large onion, a bunch of thyme and savory; set all these over a slow fire to simmer an hour, then strain it through a sieve; when cold put it in a bottle with the spice, but not the herbs. To a large coffeecupful** cold, put a pound of butter; stir it over the fire till it is as thick as cream; shake the bottle when used, and put no water to the butter.

** 6 fl. ozs.

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