Eggs and Rarebits are listed on many old restaurant and nightclub menus, particularly those from the 30s and 40s. These dishes were offered as light supper suggestions or as palate cleansers towards the end of a meal before moving on to dessert. They’re still delicious today.
The Hurricane Nightclub, that occupied a whole floor of the Brill Building at 1619 Broadway, New York, had four different versions of rarebit on offer to their clientele.
Basic Welsh rarebit is a savory, cheesy toast. Here’s one of our favorite recipes from that era:
In a small saucepan make a roux by melting 2oz (1/4 cup) of butter and whisking in 2oz (1/4 cup) of flour. Cook for a minute or two and then slowly drizzle in 9oz (1 1/8 cup) of room-temperature beer. Add 9oz (1 1/8 cup) of strong cheddar cheese and stir until it has melted and become a thick paste. Add two tablespoons of Worcester sauce and two tablespoons of English or strong mustard.
Toast four slices of bread and both sides and then spread the cheesy mixture on top of each slice. Cook under a hot grill for a minute or two until browned and bubbling.
Long Island Rarebit
Follow the basic rarebit recipe and add 4 lightly beaten eggs yolks to the cooked mixture.
Follow the basic rarebit recipe but put a poached egg on top.
Yorkshire Buck Rarebit
Follow the basic rarebit recipe but add a poached egg and crumbled bacon.
Scotch Woodcock is scrambled eggs on toast with anchovy. Here’s one of our favorite recipes from the 1940s.
Melt 2oz (1/4 cup) butter in a small pan and add ten chopped anchovy fillets and 1/3 cup of cream. Remove from heat and let stand for ten minutes. Return pan to heat and add eight lightly beaten eggs and cook to taste. Season with salt and black pepper and serve on slices of toasted bread.