This recipe will largely be helpful for using up any leftover firm or semi-firm cheese like cheddar, Gruyère or Swiss from all those cheese platters you have accumulated over the holidays. You can create all sorts of variations such as topping with Worcestershire or
Tabasco sauce, herbs, bread crumbs or a poached egg. Rarebit is a time-sensitive dish, as the cheese will seize up after a few minutes off the stove, so be organized and move quickly.
4 to 6 slices of good crusty bread
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 lb (about 2 cups) grated firm or semi-firm cheese
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Pinch smoked paprika or cayenne
1/4 cup dark ale or any more-flavourful beer
Worcestershire or Tabasco sauce, herbs, bread crumbs or
poached eggs (optional)
Brown bread slices in the toaster, timing it so that the toast is ready when the cheese is bubbly.
Melt butter in a pan over medium.
Once butter is bubbly, add cheese and stir to combine until melted.
Stir in Dijon, paprika and beer.
When mixture comes together and is lightly bubbly, immediately pour over toast and garnish with sauce, herbs, bread crumbs or poached eggs, if desired.
TIP Before garnishing, set the cheese toast in an ovenproof pan and broil on high until browned all over. Garnish and serve immediately.
Joanna Notkin is a designer at heart, and food is her passion. With an eye for detail and a love of all things seasonal and local, Joanna approaches food in a way that is delicate and thoughtful. Our food editor’s style brings together the flavours of each ingredient while honouring the fact that we truly eat with our eyes. Joanna began as a textile designer before opening Zoe Ford Catering. She now also freelances as a recipe tester, restaurant consultant and menu planner and is an all-around food lover.