Friday, August 30, 2013


Wales! It was the best choice (we thought) of the "W" countries. I know, technically Wales is part of the UK and therefore does not appear as a country unto it's own...but those grumpy, old Welshman I know would take issue with me not separating it from it's "ugly" sisters.

Our other choices were Western Sahara (we've already been on the continent of Africa. See our Nigeria post), Wallis and Futuna and Western Samoa. So, Wales it was.

Didn't get any photos of the Welsh Rarebit (pronounced "rabbit") but it sure tasted good! The recipe used is found at

Caws-Wedi-Pobi or Welsh Rarebit

·  half a pound of cheese, grated
·  1 tsp. dry mustard
·  4 tbsp. milk
·  4 slices of fairly thickly sliced bread
·  1 tsp. butter
·  2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
·  salt and pepper to taste
·  2 tsp. flour
·  2 tbsp beer (optional)
·  tomato wedges and parsley, to garnish (optional)
Cooking Instructions:
1.     After toasting the bread, heat the grated cheese gently in a saucepan until it melts
2.    Stir in the other ingredients
3.    A little beer can be added to the sauce if desired
4.    Pour the cheese sauce over the toast and place under a grill until a golden brown

5.    Garnish with tomato wedges and parsley.
Leek with mustard and chevre on garlic toast

Leek with Mustard and Mascarpone on Garlic Toast

Serves 4
2 Medium Leeks, trimmed, washed, cut in half lengthways and cut into 1/4inch half moons and washed again
30g Unsalted Butter
100ml Whipping Cream
150g Mascarpone Cheese (or Goats Cheese - this is what we used)
2 Tablespoons of English Parsley Finely Chopped
1 Teaspoon of Tewkesbury Mustard (optional)
Twist of Milled Pepper
4 slices of crusty bread
1 Peeled Clove Garlic

Melt the butter in a saucepan on a gentle heat and then add the leeks. Simmer gently for 5 minutes until the leeks are tender then turn the heat up slightly to reduce any moisture in the pan. Turn the heat down again and add the cream. Boil for about 1 minute – or until the mixture looks nice and thick. Add the Mascarpone or Goats Cheese and beat it well into the mixture until melted and bound together. Season with pepper, parsley and the mustard.
Toast the bread. Then rub the slices with the garlic, place the leeks on top and serve. You can glaze this mixture under the grill until golden and to gain a better glaze beat a fresh egg yolk into the mix before glazing. Garnish with Watercress leaves.

Creamy Leek Soup

·       8 medium leeks (3 pound), trimmed, leaving white and pale green parts only, and chopped
·       1 medium onion, chopped
·       1 large carrot, chopped
·       2 celery ribs, chopped
·       1 teaspoon salt
·       1/2 teaspoon black pepper
·       1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
·       1 small boiling potato (6 ounces)
·       1/2 cup dry white wine
·       3 cups chicken stock or reduced-sodium chicken broth (24 fluid ounces)
·       3 cups water
·       1 Turkish bay leaf or 1/2 California
·       1 1/2 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
·       1/4 cup all-purpose flour
·       1/2 cup chilled heavy cream (only if you really want it!)

1. Wash sliced leeks in a large bowl of cold water, agitating them, then lift out and drain well in a colander.
2. Cook leeks, onion, carrot, celery, salt, and pepper in 4 tablespoons butter in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Peel potato and cut into 1/2-inch cubes, then add to onion mixture along with wine, stock, water, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
3. Stir in parsley and simmer soup, uncovered, 5 minutes. Discard bay leaf and keep soup at a bare simmer.
4. Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a 1-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, then add flour and cook roux, whisking, until golden, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add 2 cups simmering stock (from soup), whisking vigorously (mixture will be thick), then whisk mixture into remaining soup and return to a simmer, whisking.
5. Blend soup in 4 batches in a blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids), about 1 minute per batch, transferring to a 3- to 4-quart saucepan. Reheat if necessary, then season with salt and pepper.
6. Beat cream in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until it almost forms soft peaks. 7. Serve soup topped with cream. There is really no need to add this as the soup is creamy enough without!
Creamy leek soup
Roast lamb, yams, squash and potato

Molasses cake