I was browsing through YouTube looking for some interesting recipes, when I came across some of Jamie Oliver’s old TV shows. He was always one of my favorite celebrity chefs. His passion for school lunches and the whole Food Revolution always spoke to me. I feel much the same passion for food and the need to heal our bodies by changing our diets.
I was surprised by the flavors in this dish. Not at all what I expected, but oh so much more than I imagined! I try a lot of recipes I find on the internet, but none of them have matched up to this one. Not yet anyway! It’s rich and savory with a twist of sweet. I can hardly eat two slices because it is so filling. It’s one of those dishes that “sticks to your ribs” and you think about for days.
I changed up the recipe, but only a little, with what I had on hand or could find at the grocer.
This is his video, if you are interested.
Perfect Welsh Rarebit & Chilli Jam
2 small onions or 1 large (Jamie uses 2 red onions, I used a large sweet onion)
Roasted red peppers and chillis (I couldn’t find chillis so I used jalapenos) We’ll discuss roasting too
150ml Balsamic Vinegar (5/8 of a cup or just over a half cup. Jamie just dumps it in!)
100g brown sugar (100g is equal to 7/8 cup – 1 cup is 110g), rapadura sugar, or honey mixed with molasses would work too
Small cinnamon stick, powdered cinnamon should work as well
Himalayan salt & pepper
150g Creme Fraiche, or sour cream (1 1/3 cups)
2 egg yolks
Large handful of cheddar (Jamie doesn’t seem to measure much! I also added cream cheese, colby and parmesan since I had it on hand)
Salt & Pepper
Just before serving, you will need Worcestershire Sauce.
I haven’t roasted peppers in years! But I knew it wasn’t as simple as Jamie made it look. For some reason I opted to purchase two containers of very small sweet peppers because they were cheaper, organic and local. Bad idea when you are roasting! There is almost no skin left to peel after roasting. It made a huge mess and took forever. So I recommend, if you are going to roast your own peppers, to use large regular sized red peppers. There will be less peeling and time involved.
I couldn’t find chillis either, so I grabbed some jalepenos. With the seeds and skin removed, you only get the flavor, none of the heat. So if you are looking for some spiciness, put some of the seeds in the jam like Jamie did.
There are several ways to roast or blacken your peppers. I put mine in a casserole pan under the broiler in the oven, skin side up. Broil them until the skin turns black. Use some parchment paper or something. My dish is still soaking and it’s been 3 days. That black stuff ain’t comin’ off any time soon and not without some elbow grease!
UPDATE: After this post, a friend advised me to roast the peppers in a dry skillet. This was amazing! I put the peppers in the dry skillet uncut on medium heat. Most of them puffed up, making the blackening process even easier. They snapped and crackled too. The hotter peppers seem to have less flesh and should be roasted for a shorter period of time. Once cooled, the skins slid right off.
Roasting the peppers was the hardest part. Once that was done, the rest was a breeze. Chop up the onion(s) and fry them in a pan. I used duck fat and butter. Cook them at a low temperature until they are soft. About 20 minutes. Then chop the roasted peppers and onions up, toss them back in the pan on medium low. Add in the rest of the jam ingredients, bring to a boil. Lower the temp and allow it to simmer for 20-30 minutes.
In the meantime, mix all the cheese topping ingredients together. If you have other flavors you are looking for, add those in too! I topped mine with some paprika for a splash of spice.
Slice up your sourdough and, as Jamie says, “whack it under the grill” for a few minutes. Toast it up until it’s a golden brown. I used a toaster oven so I didn’t heat the whole house during this heat wave. Layer your toast with the chilli jam, top with the cheese mixture and back under the grill until the cheese is browned.
Once the cheese is browned on top, remove from the oven. Slice through the cheese layer and top with some Worcestershire Sauce. I must say, this is the most important step! Don’t forget the Worcestershire Sauce.
My mouth is watering while I finish up the editing process of this. I have some leftover cheese and jam in the fridge…midnight snack coming up!