Kentucky Hot Brown

Decadent doesn’t even begin to describe this open-faced sandwich of turkey, bacon and creamy Mornay sauce, an invention of the The Brown Hotel in Louisville in the 1920s. The story goes that guests of the hotel’s nightly dinner dance began to grow weary of the usual menu, so chef Fred Schmidt created this dish to keep the dancers happy. The Hot Brown is now Kentucky’s signature sandwich, and has been featured in many magazines, fine cookbooks and TV shows, including Top Chef season 16, which filmed in Kentucky.
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons salted butter
1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, plus extra for garnish
14 oz. sliced roasted turkey breast (sliced thick)
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced in half
4 slices of bacon
4 slices of Texas toast (crusts trimmed)
Paprika
Parsley
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper
Preparation
In a two-quart saucepan, melt butter and slowly whisk in flour until combined to form a thick paste or roux. Continue to cook roux for 2 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Whisk heavy 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 nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.
For each Hot Brown, place one slice of toast in an oven-safe dish and cover with 7 oz. turkey. Take the two halves of Roma tomato and two toast points and set them alongside the base of turkey and toast. Pour half of the sauce over the dish, completely covering it. Sprinkle with additional cheese. Place entire dish under a broiler until cheese begins to brown and bubble. Remove and cross two pieces of crispy bacon on top. Sprinkle with paprika and parsley and serve immediately.
Recipe provided by:
The Brown Hotel