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