Monday, August 18, 2014

Welsh Rabbit with Cauliflower Soup (Gordon Ramsay)

Welsh rabbit?

I promise that NO fluffy little rabbits from anywhere is going to get harmed for making this dish...

Yes that it is a comfort food... but with NO meat in it.

Is Welsh rabbit a vegetarian dish? Yes, it is!!!

It is actually a fanciful version of cheese on toast. Fanciful? Yes with beer or stout, mustard and Worcestershire sauce! In fact, I reckon it tastes extra great with all kind of soups, making the entire meal extra comforting and warm...

By the name of this toast, you know that it is the British-originated kind of food. Why rabbit? I guess that the shape of the toasts do look like rabbit ears!??? Seriously, I don't know.

As usual, there are many variations of Welsh rabbit recipes everywhere with the addition of many different variations of cheese, beer (or ale), spices like paprika and pepper, chilies. Some do or don't contain eggs, cream, crème fraîche, Worcestershire sauce and béchamel sauces. Tough choices? No really for me. I have my eyes set on this recipe from the book, Gordon Ramsay's Great British Pub Food. 
Although it is Gordon Ramsay's recipe, it is also different from another Gordon Ramsay's recipe at Mail Online. This one from the book seems a little more fancier with Stout and egg yolks and not tasting more like just cheesy toast with heaps of cheese!

And, here we have three Aussie-living Singaporeans enjoying this British and blokish style pub food... Strange combination? We were eating these melt-y robust-flavoured cheesy toast with Gordon Ramsay-inspired cream of cauliflower soup on one cold Melbourne wintery night... Strange combination? Nay! With no complication of nationality, this meal is obviously a great enjoyment.

Welsh Rabbit with cauliflower soup  - A beautiful comfort food.
Cauliflower is one of my favourite winter food to eat.
Cooking the cauliflower with onion and potato.

I did this ahead and set it aside until dinner is ready to serve.
Just before serving, I sauté the mushrooms in high heat until the edges are nicely browned.
Re-heat the soup and serve it with chives and mushrooms.
I can eat the soup with this plain sourdough bread or with something more fanciful...
Cooking the roux to transform the bread to Welsh rabbit.
These are the stout and cheese that I used.
Remove the roux from heat and stir in these ingredients
Allow mixture to cool slightly and stir in egg yolks
Toasting the sliced breads
This is so yum! We love eating Welsh rabbit!
My son gave me a cauliflower sticker after our meal to thank me for serving him a delicious dinner. He is so sweet!

For those who are experiencing hot summer weather and heat waves now, I'm sorry that this bowl of soup and Welsh rabbit aren't the most appropriate food for you but I'm sure that it will be your kind of food when your winter arrives...

Here are the recipes that I have used to cook this warm and comforting meal.

Welsh rabbit from the book, Gordon Ramsay's Great British Pub Food
(with my notes and modification in blue)

Serve 4-6 (or 3 very hungry and cold people)

30g butter
30g plain flour
150ml hot milk
55g mature cheddar, grated
50ml Guinness
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 mustard or English mustard
sea salt and black pepper
2 large egg yolks
4-6 thick slices of white bread, preferably rabbit's ear looking kind???

Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring, for 2-3 mins. Gradually stir in the milk, keeping the mixture smooth, then add the cheese and stir until melted. Take off the heat. Stir in the Guinness, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and seasoning to taste. Transfer to a bowl and let cool, then mix in the egg yolks.

Heat the grill to its highest setting (I used 200°C fan forced with grill). Toast the bread on both sides, then spread a layer of cheese mixture on top and grill for a few mins until the topping is bubbling and golden brown. Serve at once.

Cream of Cauliflower Soup with sauté mushroom mostly adapted from BBC Good Food (Gordon Ramsay) - I have modified the original recipe by adding less cream and yet my less-guilty soup is still smooth and creamy enough to eat.

Serve 3-4
1/2 large cauliflower, about 500g, stalks discarded and florets chopped
1 small potato, peeled and chopped into large chunks
1 small onion, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
500ml chicken stock
1/4 cup or 60ml milk
1/3 cup or 80ml reduced fat pouring cream (with 18% fat)
100g fresh button mushrooms, washed and sliced
1 tbsp finely snipped chives

Place cauliflower, potato and onion in a large saucepan with 1 tbsp oil. Gently heat the contents until they start to sizzle, then cover with a lid and sweat over a low heat for about 15-20 mins, stirring occasionally. The vegetables should be softened but not coloured.

Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Then, simmer with no cover, for 10-15 mins until the vegetables are soft.

Blend everything in a food processor or blender, in batches. For an extra creamy texture, push the purée through a sieve with the back of a ladle but I didn't have to do that. Stir in milk and cream. Season with salt and pepper. This can be prepared ahead; cool, cover and chill for up to a day.

Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan until very hot. Stir fry mushrooms quickly until nicely browned, seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper while cooking them.

Heat the soup until piping hot and ladle into warmed bowls. Spoon the mushrooms into the centre and sprinkle lightly with the chives.

Enjoy the nice and warmth of this meal

Happy Cooking
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  1. For a moment I went...Hah, rabbit meat?! Hahaha!
    The soup looks yummy and flavorful with the cheese! A bowl of this please? :)

  2. Funny name with a "rabbit" but no (rabbit) meat.. But well, keeps me suspense, and other readers too I guess, haha.. Ooohhh, cauliflower soup.. I read about cauliflower mashed potatoes and cauliflower fried rice (where they used cauliflower to replace the carbs), but never heard of cauliflower soup.. The soup looks creamy and rich.. I can gulp it down, like vanilla ice cream smootie.. Yummzzzz..

  3. just done my morning swim and i'm starving... your soup warms the soul, my mind and me stomach

  4. Haha, the title of this post did scare him initially. I almost thought I was going to see real rabbit dish. Strangely I've never heard of this dish before even though I spent three years in Britain.

  5. Your son is so cute...he is like "praising" mummy for her excellent cooking!

  6. Hi Zoe! My mum told me about this Welsh Rabbit that she had when she was in Scotland. Though mum does not like cheese, she said it seems delicious in the Welsh Rabbit! Your son is really cute to give you that cauliflower sticker :)

  7. Oooooooo I love how creamy and smooth the soup is and what an added bonus it is that it's pretty simple to make too! Yummy!!!

  8. Looks so creamy and just irresistibly good!

  9. yumm.. soup and welsh rarebit looks very comforting

  10. Your boy is so sweet ... ha ha rabbit but no rabbit meat. Great combination ... love the soup & Welsh rabbit ... making me so hungry!

  11. Hee....when I read the title of your dish, I thought you really use bunny meat! Indeed it looks a great warm and comforting meal to have on a cold rainy day since we got no winter here.

  12. Perfect dish for a cold winter evening. We call it Welsh Rarebit around these parts, so there's not as much of a confusion with serving bunnies!

  13. Hi Zoe , what a delightful and tasty dish and so easy , got to try it .
    Give your son a big hud and many kisses ... that was so sweet of him . YUMMY ;-D

  14. Hi Zoe,
    Delicious meal! I have always come across the recipe which is known as Welsh Rarebit.
    Your son is very cute! This is a delicious meal, that I would welcome even in our super hot weather! Looks really delicious!

  15. Zoe this is 100% comfort food!!!! I love how thick your roux was!

  16. Your son is actually the sweetest :D
    And your dish looks so classy, warming and delicious!

    Choc Chip Uru

  17. What? No rabbit? Hehehe So where did the rabbit went to? This is definitely awesome comfort food, best for a chilly day :)

  18. Wow your welsh rabbit spread looks decadent and rich! Surely makes a great side to that lovely soup.

  19. It's usually called Welsh rarebit in Wales.... maybe GR purporsely spelt it wrong as rabbit?