Posts Tagged mornay

Kentucky Hot Brown

This is a rich, decadent meal that warms my soul and reminds me of home. Being a Kentucky girl, I love to share tidbits from my homestate with friends, coworkers, and well, just anyone who will listen. The Bluegrass has so much to offer, but I think one of its true gems is this Kentucky Hot Brown. And yes, it’s enough to serve as the entire meal–the richness of full fat butter, heavy cream and cheese is very filling and you won’t even be looking for side dishes, maybe just a pair of stretchy pants. But that’s ok, it’s totally worth it.

I learned to make this dish once I left home and have been cooking it ever since. It doesn’t take much time to prepare  and is easy to whip up. Below, you’ll find the recipe from The Brown Hotel in Louisville, Ky. That’s where this open-faced sandwich originated in the 1920s. Apparently the guests wanted something other than ham and eggs to nosh on after a night of dancing and the chef served the Hot Brown. Late night, early morning, mid-day…it’s a winner any time. Enjoy!

The Legendary Hot Brown Recipe

Ingredients (Makes Two Hot Browns):

  • 2 oz. Whole Butter
  • 2 oz. All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Qt. Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 Cup Pecorino Romano Cheese, Plus 1 Tablespoon for Garnish
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • 14 oz. Sliced Roasted Turkey Breast
  • 2 Slices of Texas Toast (Crust Trimmed)
  • 4 slices of Crispy Bacon
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes, Sliced in Half
  • Paprika, Parsley

In a two-quart saucepan, melt butter and slowly whisk in flour until combined and forms a thick paste (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 Mornay 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.

A few tips from Melissa:

 I always put my bacon in the oven. All pieces are evenly cooked and stay flat. Who needs that curled up stuff with pockets of uncooked fat, yuck! So, this is a winner every time. Also, I save the bacon grease and put it in a small container in the refrigerator. Pork fat is like liquid gold. Save that stuff!

I know the recipe above calls for tomatoes on the side, but I always slice them thinly and lay them atop the turkey. It seems to add great flavor and makes it a little juicier.

As you can tell, I put my sandwiches in a baking dish. My serving plates are not broil or oven proof, so this works just as well. I use a spatula to lift them out onto the plate.

 You’ll want to watch them closely so they are lightly brown and bubbly before pulling them out of the oven.


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