Teetotalers beware! I followed the recipe from Cooks.com for “Classic Rarebit” pretty closely and used an entire cup of booze (sherry, as it happens, probably the flat beer they recommend is less alcoholic) and this was the booziest recipe I have ever tasted. But good, as the old joke goes. And it turns out that the milk I have always used to make a dish I called rarebit (TheOldFoodie blog says that is just a senseless corruption of “rabbit” and I believe her) isn’t necessary at all. I picked this recipe because it includes eggs and one of many gripes with vegan cheese is the lack of protein in it. So if you are looking for a vegan rabbit recipe, try the one on Daiya’s own website (I used some of their cheese) or TheVeganMouse, who does it on her version of vegan French toast (a nice touch — she also has a recipe for a vegan Monte Cristo).
But why bother, when you can use booze as your liquid of choice instead of any kind of milk? (For the record, I would have used coconut milk in the can, instead of soy, if I were doing it vegan. The high fat content works best for me in cooking — see my post on vegan scalloped potatoes.)
Yes, I know, it’s (C)hanukkah. See the placemat? If you want latkes, check this out. Making them crisp is all about drying the potatoes before frying, as the Favorite would tell you, if he ever returned your calls and e-mails.
Rabbit (rarebit) is a cheese sauce over bread — so the bread is key. My favorite whole wheat bread is a tie between Acme Bakery and the Cheeseboard. You have to use whole wheat under a rabbit, or at least a nice heavy rye, because the bread has to stand up to the sauce and add a rustic heft.
By the way, I’m still not buying that rabbit is called Welsh (or Irish) Rabbit as a kind of slur because Welsh people were too poor to have rabbit. The British countryside is crawling with rabbits and everyone knows Welsh people are wily. They can catch plenty. Sure, that’s a reverse slur, but let’s be reasonable here. Have you met the Welsh?
Dairy-Free Boozy Welsh Rabbit (adapted from Cooks.com’s Classic Welsh Rarebit)
1/4 cup Earth Balance
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons dry mustard
A dash of paprika or cayenne pepper
A dash of garlic powder
A dash of Worcester sauce
1 cup of vegan “cheese” — grated (I used a combo of Veggie slices and Daiya jalapeno/garlic Havarti)
2 whole eggs, beaten
1 cup of cooking sherry or flat beer
1 cup of frozen broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower florets, slightly thawed (or use fresh veg and parboil it first)
Melt Earth Balance in a good-sized sauce pan. Add flour and whisk till smooth. Add booze slowly and combine by stirring. NOTE: You don’t need to use a double-boiler, as most recipes will have you do, if you cook on a low heat and pay close attention. Once sauce thickens, add your other spices and start to add the cheese, stirring to ensure it melts completely.
Meanwhile, crack and lightly beat your eggs in a separate, heat-proof bowl. This is the only tricky bit. Your goal is to combine the eggs into the hot cheese sauce without cooking them. Think sauce Béarnaise, not egg drop soup. Once your eggs are beaten, drizzle a tiny bit of the hot cheese into THEM, carefully beating so as not to allow the egg to cook. Once this is done, you can start slowly drizzling the egg mixture into the sauce in the pan, stirring constantly to combine. In fact, you should have been keeping an eye on the cheese sauce the entire time you were working that trick with the eggs, making sure it didn’t burn. So either get someone else to assist you or do use a double boiler! You can make one by placing a smaller pot in a bigger one with some water in it.