Along with spring showers and flowers comes the always anticipated Kentucky Derby. A classic event steeped in history combining tradition (beautiful hats, seersucker, mint juleps) and sportsmanship that is watched by millions. With all this pomp and circumstance you would definitely be correct in assuming that historic recipes play a major role in this race. I would like to introduce you to one of these classic recipes…..The Kentucky Brown.
The man behind this deliciousness was Fred K. Schmidt, Chef at the Camberley Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. Chef Schmidt created the Hot Brown Sandwich in 1926 as a late night alternative nosh to “Ham & Eggs”. In the 1920s, the Hotel attracted over 1,200 guests each evening for its dinner dance. The music would play until the early morning and when the band took their intermission around midnight, guests would retreat into the hotels restaurant for a bite to eat. The “Hot Brown” proved to be the perfect late night snack for these dancers and has been a traditional Kentucky recipe ever since. Give this recipe a go on Derby Day, Sunday Brunch or even perhaps for your own late night snack.
Hot Brown Sandwich Serves 4
ï 6 tablespoons butter
ï 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
ï 3 cups milk
ï 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
ï 1 egg, beaten
ï Salt and black pepper to taste
ï 1/2 cup whipping cream, whipped 2 minutes with whisk
ï 8 slices potato bread, toasted with the crust trimmed off.
ï 1 pound thinly sliced turkey breast
ï 2 tbsp Parmesan Cheese for topping
ï 1 (2-ounce) jar pimientos, diced and drained
ï 8 slices good quality bacon, cooked crisp
1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Gradually add flour, stirring constantly, until smooth and free from lumps. Gradually stir in the milk until sauce comes to a gentle boil, stirring constantly; remove from heat. Add cheese and stir until melted and well blended.
2. In a small bowl, beat the egg. Slowly add 1 cup of hot sauce, 1/3 cup at a time to the
egg, stirring constantly. Do not pour too quickly as sauce will curdle.
3. Gradually add egg mixture to remaining sauce, stirring constantly until well blended;
add salt and pepper to taste. Fold in “whipped cream”.
To Serve: For each Hot Brown sandwich, place two slices of toasted bread in a casserole dish. Cover the toast with a liberal amount of turkey slices. Pour a generous amount of sauce over the turkey. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese. Place entire dish under a broiler, 4 to 5 minutes or until the sauce is speckled brown and bubbly. Remove from broiler, sprinkle with diced pimientos, cross two pieces of bacon over the top, and serve immediately.