Photo: A.E. Dwyer

Toasted white bread spread with microwaved cheese spread was a prized snack of my childhood. It was a total thrill to dig the rubbery cheese corners out of the plastic Stouffer’s container of Welsh Rarebit and try to mold them on the bread. Why and how did it fall out of favor?

The better cook I’d become, the more I forgot about simple, easy meals. I am an overachiever when it come to dinner, with meal prep and planning often starting days in advance. In an effort to remedy that I recently decided I’d welcome more sauce-on-bread meals back into my life.

This is my cheese sauce on toast 2.0, with added eggs and mustard and spiked with Worcestershire sauce. It’s akin to Welsh rarebit, minus the beer typically whisked into the cheese sauce. It’s like an open-faced grilled cheese but more sophisticated. Is it a croque monsieur? No, but sorta. Calling this “quiche toast” wouldn’t do it any favors. The best way to describe it is it’s like someone plucked the melty cheese and crouton out of a crock of French onion soup and just ate that. The best part.

The eggs add textural lift, saving the cheese from gumminess. You want a piquant mixture that will stand up to plain toast so my preferred cheese is gruyere, but a sharp white cheddar works well too. And pick a mustard with oomph—mustard powder will lend the biggest kick.

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Perhaps my favorite bit of this is that you butter one side of the bread and place it buttered-side down on the baking sheet. The result is not only a sturdy frame upon which to support your hefty egg-cheese blanket, but a deeply crunchy “fried” texture that helps to drive home the point that you are eating something unhealthy and wonderful.

One egg will suffice, though if you’d like a more souffle-like texture, add two eggs. Both options are good. Try not to let the mixture slide off the bread, as egg goo baked onto a pan is like cement mixed with burnt eggs, but less delicious.

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Welsh Rarebit Toasty

Serves 2

  • 2 slices white bread
  • Butter for spreading
  • 1 or 2 eggs (see head note)
  • 1 tsp mustard (Dijon, English, or powder)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cup shredded Gruyere or sharp white cheddar
  • Few dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Minced chives (optional)

Heat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. In a bowl combine egg(s), cheese, mustard and Worcestershire sauce and a pinch of salt. Mix well, so no loose egg whites remain. Butter one side of each piece of bread and place buttered-side down on a sheet pan. Spread egg-cheese mixture evenly between the two bread slices, taking care to not spill eggs on the pan. Grind pepper to taste over each slice.

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Bake for 10 minutes, until the top is puffed and golden. Take a peek at the underside of the bread—it’s should be uniformly crisp and light brown. If not, bake for an additional minute or two. Sprinkle with chives, and serve.