Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Cheese & Football Feast day 11: Wales

The Euro2016 football tournament has almost reached the end of the first stage and there have been some big surprises along the way. Not least of these surprises has been Cristiano Ronaldo's rather 'bad day at the office' against Austria. Gareth Bale, however, has kept the Welsh supporters very happy, and has managed to look pretty chuffed himself, but in a very un-superstar way. I suspect he had something more fancy than cheese on toast to celebrate Wales being top of their group, but this is pretty good 'cheese on toast' none the less. The Double Dragon ale is rather special too.
Welsh rarebit  is rather more than just cheese on toast. The grated cheese can be mixed with eggs as in this recipe or sometimes ale. Mustard is usually added to the cheese mix and some add Worcestershire sauce. The cheese 'sauce' is then spread over the partly toasted bread and put under a hot grill. The recipe I like comes from a book I have written about before called The Bakers Daughter. The cheese mix is best made ahead as it thickens while resting, but if you need it straight away you may need to add extra cheese to get a spreadable consistency.

For this occasion I used a mix of Gorwydd Caerphilly and Quicks Cheddar cheese. Much to my disappointment the Caerphilly does not come from Wales, though the makers were based there for a short time. It seems most Caerphilly is now made in Somerset or Wiltshire.

Welsh rarebit - for each person you will need:
1tbs milk
1 medium egg
65-70g grated cheese such as a young cheddar, lancashire, cheshire.
1/4 tsp mustard
1 thick slice of white bread, crusts removed.

In a bowl mix the egg and the milk with a fork and then add the cheese and the mustard.
Stir well and leave to sit in the fridge for a few hours or preferable overnight.
Toast one side of the bread under a hot grill. (you can toast both sides if you prefer)
Spread the cheese mixture evenly over the un-toasted side and place under the hot grill until nicely browned and bubbling.

Enjoy with your favourite beer or a cup of tea.

Next up is Czech 'Fried Cheese', I had never seen this dish until a trip to Prague last autumn,  there is nothing frivolous about Czech cooking!

As I write this the UK are just over a day away from voting in the referendum that will decide if we stay in the EU. Voting is very much an act of faith and all too often an act of hope; hope for better things. There has been a huge discussion re how the current system is not working, is not 'good enough' for us, and that we can look after our futures better on our own. The EU is talked about like a bad marriage, something far removed from what we thought we had signed up for.

I am not pretending the EU is perfect; that the UK and many of its member states are not going through a rough patch, but I hold its values dear.

Values it is impossible to put a price on.

So whether or not the UK pay over more than they get back , whether or not the average UK person's standard of living would be better in or out, I shall be voting to remain.

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