Like Mint Juleps, garlands of roses, and ladies hats, the Kentucky Hot Brown is a derby day tradition. Created in 1926 by Fred K. Schmidt at the Louisville Brown Hotel as a late night alternative to ham and eggs, this open face sandwich is piled with turkey and tomatoes, smothered in a Mornay sauce, broiled to a golden crisp, and topped with bacon. The sandwich became widely popular, and to this day remains a signature dish of the Historic Brown Hotel, and has also become a part of the legendary Kentucky Derby.
- 2 oz. whole butter
- 2 oz. all-purpose flour
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano plus 1 tablespoon for garnish
- Salt & pepper
- 14 oz. sliced roasted turkey breast
- 2 slices Texas toast or any thick-sliced toast, crust trimmed
- 4 slices of bacon cooked until crisp
- 2 tomatoes sliced or halved
- Paprika and chopped parsley for garnish
Cook bacon until crisp and set aside.
In a two-quart saucepan, melt butter and slowly whisk in flour until combined and forms a thick paste or roux.
Continue to cook roux for two minutes over medium-low heat, stirring frequently.
Whisk whipping cream into the roux and cook over medium heat until the cream begins to simmer, about 2-3 minutes.
Remove sauce from heat and slowly whisk in Pecorino Romano cheese until the sauce is smooth.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
For each hot brown, place one slice of toast in an oven safe dish and cover with 7 ounces of turkey.
Take the two halves of Roma tomato and set them alongside the base of turkey and toast.
Next, pour one half of the Mornay sauce to completely cover the dish.
Sprinkle with additional Pecorino Romano cheese.
Place entire dish under a broiler until cheese begins to brown and bubble.
Remove from broiler, cross two pieces of crispy bacon on top, sprinkle with paprika and parsley, and serve immediately.
Recipe courtesy of the Brown Hotel
For something a little different, I used the same ingredients and topped a pizza. Delicious!