Hot Brown Bites for the Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Hot Brown Bites If you ask any Kentuckian—especially those from Louisville—
what the quintessential local dish is, the Hot Brown is inevitably the first one to be mentioned.
Traditionally, the Hot Brown is an open-faced sandwich with a base of crustless Texas Toast,
thick-cut turkey, Mornay Sauce and a roma tomato slice, topped off with a couple of slices of bacon.
For our Kentucky Derby party purposes, an open-faced sandwich with two pieces of Texas Toast
might be a bit much, not only to eat, but also a bit much for a walk-around party. This hand-held
version of the ultimate Louisville dish is a great way to bring a test of Kentucky to your party.

Ingredients for the Mornay Sauce:
2 tablespoons Butter
2 tablespoons Flour
Salt & Pepper to taste
4 ounces Milk
4 ounces Heavy Cream
1/3 cup Pecornio/Romano Cheese, grated
1/2 cup Gruyere Cheese, grated
Pinch of Nutmeg
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper or dash of Hot Sauce

Ingredients for the Bites:
1 Bag thick-cut Brioche or Texas Toast, crusts removed and cut into equal 2 inch squares
1 pound thick-cut Turkey Breast cold cuts, cut into 2-inch pieces
3 Roma Tomatoes, sliced
1 pound cooked Bacon, cut into 2 inch strips

Procedure For the Mornay Sauce:
In a medium-sized sauce pan, melt butter slowly over medium heat
Add flour and stir constantly until a consistent roux forms (about 2 minutes)
Pour in Milk and Heavy Cream, stirring constantly to incorporate with Roux (about 4 minutes)
Add Pecorino/Romano, stirring constantly until incorporated/melted
Add shredded Gruyere, again stirring constantly until cheese is melted
Add Nutmeg and stir
Add Cayenne or Hot Sauce and stir

For the Bites:
Toast bread pieces until tops are golden brown
Place a couple of cut up slices thick-cut deli turkey on each bread slice
Place slice of Roma tomato on top of each bread slice
Pour a tablespoon of Mornay Sauce over each crostini
Place under broiler until Mornay Sauce starts to brown and bubble
Remove from oven and place two bacon strips on top of each Hot Brown Bite
Serve hot

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