Welsh-ish Rarebit with Fried Eggs

Hi there! Well it’s a weird feeling being back from my travels, with
loads of work to get on with, and the annoying wait for my mole biopsy
results to come through. To divert myself, I refuse to work today (goddam it-
it’s Saturday!) and instead I am going to photograph a recipe that I absolutely love
– perfectly timed to coincide with tomorrow morning’s rugby game, All Blacks V
Wales. It will be playing at 6:30am here, so this recipe is ideal because it can be partly prepared in advance, and it’s
one of those any-time-of-day dishes, brilliant for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It is
basically my take on Welsh Rarebit (Wales/rugby – geddit?) and although not made
in the traditional manner with a béchamel sauce base, I am hoping the good folk
of Wales will forgive me seeing as I have also included leeks in the dish. As
anyone who knows me can attest I am a huge rugby fan, so I will be up, mug of
tea in hand, ready to watch the Haka bright and early with this recipe ready to
bung under the grill at half time. Good luck Richie McCaw, 100th
game as captain, and Beauden Barrett at number 10! (PS – yes I know it’s not very pretty, but does it have to be? It tastes do damned good…)

12 baby leeks
1/2 cup water
25g butter
3 sprigs thyme
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup creme fraiche
1heaped tsp hot English mustard
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper  
4 large slices country loaf, ciabatta or grainy bread

20g butter
4-8 free range eggs   


OK first off trim the green ends and bottom bits from your baby leeks. Cut in half lengthways and sideways. Pop the leeks, butter, water and thyme in a big frying pan. Season with salt and pepper and cook over a medium heat, giving the odd poke with a wooden spoon until the water is evaporated and the leeks are silky and cooked through – about 12-15 minutes, (you might need to use a little extra water if they dry out too quickly) leave in the pan to stay slightly warm, covering with tinfoil if you fancy. Heat the grill, and toast one side of the bread, turn it over and just give it a few seconds under the grill to very lightly toast the top. In a bowl mix the cheddar, crème fraiche, mustard,Worcestershire Sauce, salt and pepper. Slather this equally over the four slices of toast. Melt butter in a large frying pan and fry eggs until cooked to your liking. When the eggs are almost done pop cheesey toasts back under the grill and cook for a few minutes until golden and bubbling. Top with leeks and a fried egg. Ridiculously good, no matter what the rugby result! (Who am I kidding?!) Serves 4 for breakfast or lunch, 2 for dinner. (Bits that can be done in advance – cheese mix and braised leeks – 20 minutes at half time is plenty toast the bread and fry the eggs!).


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