Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Welsh Rarebit (vegan)

This recipe is from Vegan Sandwiches Save The Day by Tamasin Noyes and Celine Steen.

Recipe: see page 48 of Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day.
This week I am participating in the Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day Blog Tour, the new cookbook from Tamasin Noyes (American Vegan Kitchen) and Celine Steen (Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites).

I have set up a Pinterest board for the book Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day so you can see some of the recipe images that are floating around the interwebs. It has the photos that I am shooting for this blog, as well as some of the photos made available on Pinterest by other bloggers on this book tour, and a number of photos from the book that were shot by Celine Steen.

Yesterday I made the really outstanding Chickpea Shawarma. and today is Welsh Rarebit.  This was the first recipe I saw when I cracked the book open for the first time, and looking at the ingredients list, I suspected the authors might be nuts. Beer... nutritional yeast... oatmeal... stale bread... What the hell is this 'rarebit'?

Well, it turns out the traditional version of Welsh Rarebit is a gooey cheese, mixed with mustard and Worcestershire and sometimes thinned out with beer, baked on top of old bread. A fast, cheap, open-faced sandwich from Wales.

For some reason, I've always equated 'rarebit' with 'rabbit'. I think that's because there is an old Bugs Bunny cartoon called 'French Rarebit'. Have you seen this one? Bug Bunny is in France, and there are two chefs fighting over which one is going to cook him. Bugs turns the table on them, dresses them up as rabbits, then cooks them in the oven with a stick of dynamite instead.

It's alarming how much of my education has come from cartoons and comic books.

Anyway, cheese toast. I can get on board with that.

The recipe specifies a vegan lager beer. I consulted this Guide to Vegan Beer from VegNews magazine. Dos Equis is the one I went with because it seemed to be the only one I could find locally.  I was able to track down vegan Worcestershire sauce at Viva La Vegan grocery store in nearby Rancho Cucamonga, California.

Once I had the ingredients, this was very quick to prepare. All of the sauce ingredients are combined in a blender then cooked on the stove a few minutes so the cornstarch can thicken it up and make it gooey. This gets poured on the stale crusty bread rolls, then baked in an oven until the cheesy topping browns a bit.

It's cheesy but has a very intense, deep hearty flavor that comes from the lager beer, Dijon mustard and Worcestershire. It's savory and salty. The recipe suggests serving it with pickles, brown vegan steak sauce (according to PETA, A1 Steak Sauce is vegan), caramelized onions or figs. I have another photo below that shows the Welsh Rarebit with pickles and A1 (I really liked that).

Nutritional yeast is one of those foods with a polarizing flavor. I like it because it has a cheese-like taste, and since I don't eat dairy, that's close enough. Really, nutritional yeast doesn't fool anyone into thinking they are eating dairy cheese. So if you make this, don't go into it thinking it is going to taste just like gooey cheddar cheese. It cheesy, but in that uniquely interesting nutritional yeast kind of way.

I am going to continue doing a recipe a day from Vegan Sandwiches Save The Day until Saturday. Tomorrow I am going to try out the Tempeh Bacon recipe. So, check back in.

(for sauce) unsweetened plain soymilk (Trader Joe's used here), vegan lager beer (Dos Equis Lager used here), nondairy butter (Earth Balance used here), paprika, garlic, sea salt, onion powder, Dijon mustard, tahini, nutritional yeast, vegan Worcestershire sauce (The Wizard's Organic Vegan Worcestershire Sauce used here), quick-cooking oats, cornstarch.

(for sandwiches) stale crusty bread rolls.

Welsh Rarebit (vegan) with pickles and A1 Steak Sauce from the cookbook Vegan Sandwiches Save The Day by Tamasin Noyes and Celine Steen.