Welsh Rabbit and Beer Bread Rolls

rabbit-plate

I first made this recipe in 1993, adapted from one in Susan Branch’s Heart of the Home, 1988.  It became a favorite lunch for my two daughters and me, served on a split homemade yeast roll.

In 2008, I had made this dish for my youngest daughter’s birthday and since I had some beer leftover, made a good beer bread from an internet recipe (source forgotten).  I thought this bread would be ideal to serve with the Welsh Rabbit – sturdy enough to stand up under a generous helping of this delicious cheese concoction.  It turned out to be the perfect combination.  The recipe for Welsh Rabbit makes 4 helpings (could easily be doubled) and the bread recipe makes 8 large rolls (leftover rolls are good for dishes like Mom’s Tuna Melt and Balsamic Chicken Melt – or simply toasted for breakfast.

EASY BEER BREAD ROLLS

  • 3-3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 3 Tblsp granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 package dry fast-acting yeast (1 Tblsp)*
  • 8 oz. beer, room temperature
  • 1 Tblsp butter
  • 1 egg, room temperature

*The “Instant“ or “Quick Rise” yeast is especially formulated to be used mixed with the dry ingredients and can withstand the hot water.  Rising time is cut in half

In a mixer bowl, place 1 cup all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, salt and yeast.  Blend.

Heat beer and butter in microwave to 130 degrees F.

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Insert paddle beater and add beer/butter mixture to flour mixture.  Mix on medium speed for 3 minutes.  Add egg and beat for 30 seconds more.

Insert dough hook and add 1 cup of flour and beat at medium speed.  Continue beating for 6-1/2 minutes longer,  adding additional flour as needed until dough is elastic and no longer sticky.

Place dough in a large greased bowl, turn once, cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

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Punch with your knuckles to deflate dough and divide into 8 pieces …
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and form each piece in your hand to make a rustic roll about 3 inches diameter.

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Place on a greased baking sheet, cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Bake @ 375 degrees F for 12-14 minutes until bread is browned over the top surface.   Cool on a wire rack. 

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WELSH RABBIT

  • 1 lb. sharp cheddar cheese, diced
  • 2 Tblsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • dash cayenne
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 8 oz. beer, room temperature
  • 4 Easy Beer Bread Rolls, split and toasted

My first step is to get out my vintage Kreamer copper-bottom double boiler which I bought at an antique store about 30 years ago.
Kreamer

Melt cheese & butter in top of double boiler over simmering water.

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Stirring constantly, add mustard, Worcestershire, and cayenne.  Beat in egg; stir in beer, and stir until hot.  Do not boil.  Serve over split, toasted Beer Bread Rolls.  Serve piping hot.

4 servings 

Note:  Leftover Welsh Rabbit can be used to supplement cheese in any dish such as macaroni and cheese or added to a cream soup.

Greek Potato Salad

I fell in love with Susan Branch with the first cookbook I bought, published in 1990, Christmas from the Heart of the Home.  Her artwork is so charming and her recipes are excellent.  Susan offered this potato salad recipe on her F.O.S.B (Friends of Susan Branch) Facebook page and it is also in her 1995 cookbook, The Summer Book.  I made a few minor adjustments (used new potatoes, less sweet pepper and feta cheese, and added a bit of honey to the dressing) and served it  for our Fourth of July lunch along with the usual hamburgers, hot dogs and baked beans.  It was great.

GREEK POTATO SALAD

  • 2 lbs. red new potatoes
  • ½ cup red sweet pepper, seeded and chopped
  • ½ cup green onions, chopped
  • ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • ½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved

Dressing:

  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ tsp. dried rosemary
  • Salt/pepper to taste

Cover the potatoes, unpeeled, with cold water and cook over medium heat until tender.  Drain thoroughly.

Place the dressing ingredients in a pint jar with a cover and shake vigorously to blend.

When cool enough to handle, cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces and place in a large salad bowl.  Add chopped vegetables, cheese and olives.

Pour dressing over salad and toss lightly.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cover and let stand at room temperature for at least ½ hour.  Serve at room temperature.  Makes 8 servings. 

Susan has a wonderful blog, www.susanbranch.com.

Summer Lunch for the Ladies

My two daughters were here for lunch before going swimming in my neighborhood pool.  I wanted to have something summery and light and decided to have corn-on-the-cob, Pecan Spinach Toss Salad, and Pineapple Cups.

PECAN SPINACH TOSS SALAD

  • Servings: 6 generous servings
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  • 2 cups orzo pasta
  • 3 cups boiling, lightly salted water
  • 5 cups fresh baby spinach (about 5 oz.)
  • 5 oz. crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 cup toasted pecans
  • 3 Tblsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tblsp. lemon zest
  • 3 Tblsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Grinding of black pepper

Add orzo to the boiling water, bring to a boil again and cook for 6 minutes.  Rinse in cold water and drain.

Put spinach, cheese and pecans in a very large bowl or pot and add orzo.

In a small jar, mix together the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper – put a lid on the jar and shake well.  Pour this dressing over the salad and toss well.  I let the salad set for about 30 minutes and served at room temperature, although cold leftovers were also good.

WARNING:  This makes a lot of salad – it would be good to take to a potluck or family gathering.  We three each had a big serving for lunch and each one had another large serving to save for supper.

This recipe is adapted from one in Susan Branch’s AUTUMN cookbook.

I’ve been organizing my huge collection of cookbooks and this dessert recipe jumped out at me from a 1939 Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook.  There are a lot of recipes in the cookbook, but my favorites are always the Round Table Recipes from readers which were clipped from the magazine and inserted in the cookbook binder.  This one is from someone in Connecticut in November, 1940.  Her comment, “Double surprise!  Comes cake, then custard hiding pineapple!”, which describes the dish exactly. This is a nice, tasty, light dessert – just right for lunch or supper.

PINEAPPLE CUPS

  • 8 oz can pineapple tidbits, drained (reserve juice)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tblsp. all-purpose flour
  • Dash of salt
  • 1/3 cup juice drained from an 8 oz. can of pineapple tidbits
  • 1-1/2 Tblsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tblsp. grated lemon peel
  • 1 Tblsp. butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tblsp. milk
  • 2 egg whites, beaten stiff

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Have 3 small ungreased individual baking dishes at hand.  Boil water to pour into a flat pan with a lip that will hold the 3 dishes.

Drain juice from pineapple can into a cup – should measure approximately 1/3 cup.  Set aside

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, flour and salt.  Add the lemon juice, lemon peel, cooled melted butter and milk, whisking until smooth.

Fold in the beaten egg whites.

Place tidbits in the bottom of three individual casseroles.  Divide batter among the three dishes and pour over the pineapple.  Place the dishes in a pan with a lip containing an inch of hot water.

Bake @ 325 degrees F for 45 minutes.

Pineapple cups are best served warm or at room temperature.

The buttered corn-on-the cob, the Pecan Spinach Toss Salad and this Pineapple Cup dessert made the perfect ladies’ summertime meal.