Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Cookbook Project - 8/52

This recipe is basically just cheese. Not cheese you make or anything. Cheese sauce. It's taking already-made cheese and turning it into something you can spoon over bread.

In short, it's the perfect winter dinner item.

So it seemed like one of the best times to really showcase Mother Earth Produce.

I've talked about them off and on quite a bit - we get a weekly fruit and vegetable delivery from them. They're based in Western NC but deliver all the way down into Greenville. Just about every Saturday morning, we'll hear our dog start to whine at the window and know that it means Graham is here with the delivery.

He drops off a big blue box, and we bring it in to see what magic awaits us.

They don't just do produce, either - there are lots of local farms and bakeries that you can order different items from.

Cheese is one of those items.

Bread is another.

You see why this seemed like a natural fit.

We picked Happy Cow's 3-year-aged cheddar and Flat Rock Bakery's wonderful sourdough bread to add to this delivery. We volunteered out at the outdoor site that used to be one of my workplaces. It was probably the coldest day we'd had in a long time. We both came home ready to have a really hot dinner. Welsh rarebit was the recipe on hand for the cookbook. It's basically cheese on toast.

I just needed something to pair with it.

Doesn't it seem like tomato soup was definitely the logical choice?

Welsh Rarebit doesn't have an example photo in The Farmers Cookbook, but I suppose it doesn't particularly need one. It's an easy-enough idea, it's just the amounts that have to really be checked. And I figure if literally cheese and bread are going to be two of the three cornerstones of your meal, you should really go all out and get the good stuff.

Hence, adding them to our Mother Earth Produce delivery.

Ingredients - Amounts Omitted
dry mustard
Worcestershire Sauce
sharp cheddar, grated
egg, beaten

So... we had recently gotten rid of our toaster. Basically, the little tray on the bottom that you can pull out to shake crumbs off stopped coming out, and then in a fit of panic one day I decided that meant it was unsanitary and it's gone now. So we don't have a toaster.

So I heated the oven up to a pretty low temperature in order to just toast the bread.

I went ahead and made the tomato soup first - easy enough. Saute onions in olive oil until soft, add in two large cans diced tomatoes with liquid, garlic, chopped basil, a bay leaf, and salt and pepper. Add broth, cover and bring to a boil. Once it had boiled, I put it on to simmer, put four slices on bread on the pizza stone in the oven to toast, and made the rarebit itself.

In a small saucepan, I melted the butter over medium heat. Once it was completely melted, I poured in the beer, shook the Tabasco probably a good four or five times, and added the mustard, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire. I stirred that until it was all really well mixed, brought just to a simmer, and stirred some more.

I opened the oven and turned over the bread, checking to see that it hadn't toasted too much. I also stirred the soup, but it's not like you can oversimmer tomato soup or anything. Mostly it was an excuse to sneak a few spoonfuls when no one was looking. Mmmmmmm soup.

I tossed together the grated cheese and the flour until the cheese seemed well coated. I may or may not have eaten several small pieces of cheese I decided we didn't really need anyway.

I tossed handfuls of the cheese into the simmering liquid, stirring constantly, until the whole amount of cheese was added, and had melted and become very smooth.

I added the beaten egg, stirring very quickly so that it mixed in well. At that point, I immediately removed from heat. Taking the toasted bread out, I put it on a plate next to a bowl of the tomato soup and spooned the cheese sauce over the bread.

It. Was. Delicious.

It was just the slightest bit too salty and I would leave the salt out next time - the really sharp cheddar had enough salt to it already. But we ate our bread and soup and then we ate some more bread to use up the cheese and everything was wonderful and beautiful forever.

It was an awesome meal for a cold winter day after a long day's work. I would make it again in a second, over and over and over again, until I was hugely fat and known worldwide as The Woman Who Only Eats Cheese Sauce...

except I love other food, too.

So I will have to save it.

But it's good to know I can basically get the whole meal, start to finish, in our veggie delivery without leaving my house. If you like the idea of Mother Earth Produce and you're local to Upstate South Carolina or Western North Carolina, you should look at their site and maybe consider signing up. This is in no way sponsored - I just really love Mother Earth that much. Seriously. Although if you drop my name I think I get 10$ off an order, so... I mean... that would be cool.

Also we ate that sourdough loaf in a shamefully short amount of time. I won't even tell you how fast we went through it because I actually am ashamed. A little.

P.S. Links to the Farmers Cookbook in these project posts will be affiliate links. This means that if you click through and purchase, I may receive a small commission for helping you realize how awesome this cookbook is. Please rest assured that any and all commission monies will be spent buying me more books.


  1. Ok this sounds incredibly delicious. I'm all about some Worcestershire (and, duh, cheese).

    1. You can never, ever, ever go wrong with cheese.


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