Saturday, 26 April 2008
Kentucky Derby Fare: Hot Browns
If you've never had a Hot Brown, you're in for a treat. This delectable sandwich was originally created as an alternative late-night ham and egg dishes at the Brown Hotel in Louisville in the 1920's. Although very rarely seen on menus outside of Kentucky, it is standard fare, particularly in the Louisville area, and a must-have on Derby weekend.
The Hot Brown is basically an open-faced turkey sandwich with slices of tomato topped with Mornay sauce and bacon and set under the broiler until bubbly hot. It quite frequently is also served with pimento and more modern times have seen quite a few people subsituting cheddar or american cheese in the sauce.
The Legendary Hot Brown Recipe
4 oz. Butter
Flour to make a Roux (about 6 tablespoons)
3 - 3 1/2 cups Milk
1 Beaten Egg
6 tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 oz. Whipped Cream (optional)
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Slices of Roast Turkey
8-12 Slices of Toast (may be trimmed)
Extra Parmesan for Topping
8-12 Strips of Fried Bacon
Melt butter and add enough flour to make a reasonably thick roux (enough to absorb all of the butter). Add milk and Parmesan cheese. Add egg to thicken sauce, but do not allow sauce to boil. Remove from heat. Fold in whipped cream. Add salt and pepper to taste.
For each Hot Brown, place two slices of toast on a metal (or flameproof) dish. Cover the toast with a liberal amount of turkey. Pour a generous amount of sauce over the turkey and toast. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese. Place entire dish under a broiler until the sauce is speckled brown and bubbly. Remove from broiler, cross two pieces of bacon on top, and serve immediately.
Recipe courtesy of the Brown Hotel
Alternate Serving Tips:
Cut the toast into 2" pieces and used sliced cherry tomatoes to make mini-Hot Browns. Serve the sauce for dipping. For appetizers, on a decorative toothpick, skewer some thickly sliced turkey, a cherry tomato and a cube of cooked pancetta with plenty of the Mornay sauce for dipping.