In addition to The Pie, Hot Browns are another must-have on Derby weekend. Many Hostesses serve them for brunch Derby Day. It’s essentially an open-faced turkey sandwich on toast with Mornay sauce topped with bacon and tomato slices. But everyone has their own touches!
Kentucky Hot Brown (four generous portions)
6 slices bread, toasted and sliced diagonally
12 oz. thick-sliced turkey breast (this is the best I’ve found so far)
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
8 strips half-cooked or pre-cooked bacon
1 stick butter
1/2 cup flour
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups scalded milk
salt and pepper to taste
1. Melt butter and whisk in flour (do not brown). Remove from heat and chill. (The longer you chill the better.)
2. Heat milk and broth (do not boil). Add hot mixture to chilled flour mixture, and whisk until thickened.
3. Add salt, pepper, and cheese until melted.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
5. Assemble Hot Browns in a 9×13 pan in the following order: toast, turkey, sauce, and bacon.
6. Bake for 15-20 minutes until bubbly.
This also freezes well. BTW, this is super-easy and would be a great surprise to make Mom for Mother’s Day Brunch!
Now, you’ll notice I didn’t put the traditional tomato slices on top of the bacon before I cooked it. All my guys would have removed it immediately, so I didn’t bother.
There are two options for this one:
If you truly want to stick to all finger-foods then use slices of baguette or wedges of pita or flatbread and a thick-sliced turkey like this one:
If you’re having a large party go ahead and cook a turkey breast a day or two before. Top it with your favorite cheese – I love Swiss, but anything that’s not too crumbly will work fine. I used smoked Gouda for the ones pictures below and they got rave reviews! Microwave that bacon (after cutting the slices into thirds), and while that is being patted dry by your sous chef (spouse, child, helpful friend) slice some grape or cherry tomatoes in half. This one needs a toothpick to hold it together.
Another yummy option is to make the Mornay sauce just like the original Hot Brown recipe. Then make turkey sandwiches on toast and cut them into quarters, placing 1/2 slice of cooked bacon on each quarter. Spoon the sauce into shot glasses and slide a sandwich quarter into each. Float half a cherry tomato in it if you like. Serve hot! Yes, a bit more bother, but SO clever. You can even get personalized shot glasses from bridal retailers if you want to make them even more memorable. I’d prefer plastic myself, especially if there’s alcohol involved and carpet on the floor. Have I mentioned how much I love my hardwoods and tile?