Cheese on toast is known as rarebit here in Wales. Joking aside it is a little bit more involved than simply cheese on toast, and this recipe utilising two of my favourite foods will elevate your opinion of this British classic. Each of the home countries had a slightly different take on the dish as Hannah Glasse pointed out in her book The Art of Cooking (1747). Here are some variations on the theme from her book –
I am going to utilise some alcohol with this recipe purely in the spirit of tradition you understand. It would be remiss of me to suggest you start drinking at lunchtime on a Monday, however it would be remiss of me to not point out this is great weekend lunch fayre, if you catch my thinking.
Tinkety tonk old fruit and down with the Nazis,
This is a slight variation of a recipe by Danny Kingston.
Mushroom and Stilton topping
40g of butter
100g of chestnut mushrooms, sliced
200g of Stilton, crumbled
1 tsp English mustard
20g of plain flour
3 tbsp of ale, or beer – I use Butty Bach (Wye Valley Brewery).
freshly ground black pepper
4 slices of white bread, thick cut
50g of Parmesan, grated
2 handfuls of rocket or spinach
Sweet Chilli Sauce – I use Parva Spices obvs
Start by pre-heating your grill to high.
Over a medium heat melt half of the butter in a frying pan. When it begins to foam add the mushrooms and cook for a couple of minutes until they are softened and browned.
In a separate pan add the remaining butter, Stilton, mustard, flour and pepper and stir it all together over a gentle heat. This mixture will be quite dry so add the beer and stir it together to make a paste. Be careful not to overcook here as the cheese may start to separate.
Add the mushrooms to the stilton mixture and stir it all together before taking off the heat.
Toast the bread slices fully on one side and just lightly brown on the other side.
On the lesser toasted side spread the mushroom and stilton topping over, sprinkle with parmesan and put back under the grill to melt the cheese. When it begins to brown and bubble take it out.
Serve with a handful of rocket and / or spinach and a generous drizzle of sweet chilli sauce across the top.