Split Pea Rarebit

Source: Recipes for a Small Planet
Date tried: April 13, 2014
Yield: 5 servings
Time needed: 45 minutes

Time saver
Use leftover rice and peas and take only 15-20 minutes to prepare sauce and serve.

I am not a beer drinker. My father was, as were his friends, and I remember many a Saturday morning they spent around the kitchen table with a case of beer as they played endless hands of cribbage. So I had plenty of opportunity to acquire a taste for beer as I grew up, but I never did. (I can still play a mean hand of cribbage, though.) Wine is my choice of alcoholic beverage. I only buy beer when I need it for cooking.

According to this recipe, the beer is optional. But don’t omit it. I found the sauce quite unpalatable without it. An even better choice is to make a more traditional rarebit. I did follow the tradition of using toast rather than rice as the base for the sauce.

Did you know that “rarebit”is a made-up culinary term to replace “rabbit”? The original name, “Welsh rabbit”, was an English slur against the Welsh, implying such poor hunting skills that a Welsh hunter had only bread and cheese to eat after a day hunting rabbits, while an English hunter, of course, had rabbit stew. As the dish made its way into cookbooks, “rabbit” became the more genteel “rarebit”.

Split pea rarebit

Split-Pea Rarebit
1/2 cup split peas or other small bean
1 small onion
11/2 cups brown rice
1 recipe cheese sauce

Cheese Sauce Ingredients
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
11/2 cups water
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
dash nutmeg
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
pinch dried chili peppers
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup beer (optional)

Cook the rice (45 minutes)
Cook the peas until tender (20-30 minutes)
Sauté the onion

Make the cheese sauce:
Heat oil
Stir in flour and cook until bubbly (about 2 minutes)
Add water and simmer until thick (about 15 minutes)
As the sauce is thickening, add the salt, tomato paste,nutmeg, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and dried chili peppers.
When the sauce is thick, stir in the shredded cheese until it is melted and the sauce is smooth.

Add the cooked peas and onions to the sauce, and the beer if you wish.
Pour over servings of the cooked rice.

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