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Recipe: Kentucky Hot Brown Open-Faced Sandwich

There's a hotel in Louisville, Kentucky where it is said this open-faced sandwich was created on the spur-of-the-moment. Here's the tale:

Chef Fred K. Schmidt at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, created The Hot Brown sandwich in 1926. In the 1920s, the Brown Hotel drew over 1,200 guests each evening for its dinner dance. The band would play until late, and when the band took bread, around midnight; people would retire to the restaurant for a bite to eat. Bored with the traditional ham and eggs, Chef Schmidt, delighted his guests by creating the Hot Brown.

I've only been in the Brown Hotel once, and tasted their original, and no duplication comes exact, but this is pretty close! This is a great way to use Thanksgiving leftovers, but is almost a requirement at a Kentucky Derby party!

8 slices of bacon
4 slices of turkey breast
4 slices of toast
4 slices of ripe red beefsteak or slicer tomato
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Cook the bacon until crisp but not burnt at all. Make the sauce in a medium saucepan: melt the butter and add flour to make a paste, and cook until the raw flour taste is gone. Add milk and stir constantly over medium high heat until sauce thickens. Add cheese and stir until well blended.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place the top rack at it's highest setting. Place the 4 pieces of toast on a sprayed cookie baking sheet. Add the turkey to each piece of toast. Pour the cheese sauce over turkey and place a tomato slice in the center of each. Place under the broiler until the cheese starts to bubble and turns slightly brown. Add two pieces of bacon on each, making an "X". Serve hot. Makes 4.

Note: I've seen recipes with parmesan, parsley, pepper, onion, and other things thrown in. Personally, I prefer this plain and delicious delight!

Copyright (c) 2009 V P Lawrence-Williams


Warren Branson said...

Although not the healthiest option I think I'll try it after a night of dancing. Or maybe tomorrow in honor of the derby.

VeeGettingHealthy said...

Absolutely delicious! I use turkey bacon and whole-grain toast to make it a bit more healthy. Vee at