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Welsh Rarebit

Whenever a dish that can be made in a chafing dish is desired, Welsh rarebit is immediately thought of. This is possibly due to the fact that this tasty cheese dish is very often served at evening parties, when a crowd may gather around a table and enjoy the preparation of this food in the chafing dish. This kind of cooking utensil, together with its outfit, which consists of a long-handled spoon and fork. As will be observed, a chafing dish consists of a frame to which is attached a lamp that provides the heat, a pan in which water is placed, another pan with a handle in which the food is cooked, and a cover. The heat for cooking is furnished by alcohol, although it is possible to get chafing dishes that are heated by electricity. Chafing dishes are used by many housewives, for in addition to the use mentioned, they serve very well for the making of practically any kind of creamed dish, including those in which sea foods and vegetables are used, as well as for the sautéing of foods. It should not be understood, however, that Welsh rarebit must be made in a chafing dish, for this food can be prepared as well in a heavy frying pan or a double boiler; nor should it be taken for granted that it is served only at parties, for it may be served as the main dish for luncheon or supper. Rarebit is often flavored with ale or beer, but this is not required to make an appetizing dish, as the following recipe shows.

Sufficient to serve six.


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 pound cheese cut into small pieces
  • 6 slices of toast or 6 wafers


Melt the butter, add to it the flour, and stir until smooth. Gradually add the milk, and cook for a few minutes; then add the salt, paprika, and cheese, stirring until the cheese is melted. The finished rarebit should not be stringy. Pour over the toast or wafers and serve.


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Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Volume 2.

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