Saturday, November 30, 2013

Kentucky Hot Brown

Well, Thanksgiving is over and I have to admit that I'm a little sad about it.  It was such a wonderful day having a portion of my family into my home for the first time!  I have to admit I was a nervous wreck about my hosting duties.  I hear so many people complain about what a hassle it is.  I figured that with appropriate planning and spreading the preparation over a few days it would be easy as pie.  I was right.  I stayed completely relaxed and only had one minor freakout after slightly over cooking the turkey.  That's the last time I trust the internet.

Our spread was quite large--ridiculous, actually.  It always is though.  It's just part of being a member of the Pepper clan.  We had corn pudding, green beans, broccoli casserole, mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing (or stuffing depending where you're from), sweet potato stacks, cranberry salad, jellied cranberries, a warm brussel sprout salad (recipe coming soon), brownies, pumpkin bars, pecan pie and last but definitely not least, homemade yeast rolls made by my mother.  They were delicious!

I know I've been slacking with the blog over the last week but I promise to make it up to you.  I had originally planned on blogging about my schedule for my preparations but had no idea if anyone cared, so I didn't.  I'll save that for next November unless someone begs me to post it now in order to prepare for Christmas.  Anywho...

I think my favorite part of Thanksgiving are the leftovers.  I'm weird, I know.  I started thinking about everything I could make with them weeks ago.  Be prepared internet.  I'll be making at least two more posts today of how to use up those leftovers.  Some are traditional and some aren't so traditional--like this Kentucky Hot Brown.

I don't know how many of you have tasted this Kentucky delicacy or even heard of it for that matter, but if this recipe doesn't make you want to pack up the car and visit the Bluegrass state, I don't know what will!  We have lots of Bourbon and horses, too, if that helps!

Ok.  Enough rambling.  Here's the recipe!

Kentucky Hot Brown


2 slices of your favorite bread
Left over turkey, shredded (about 1 to 1 1/2 cups)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups of milk
1 1/2 cups shredded swiss cheese
4 slices of crispy bacon
1 roma tomato, sliced
salt and pepper


1.  Lay the slices of bacon on a sheet tray covered with foil.  Place in a cold oven and turn the temperature to 400 degrees.  Bake for 20 minutes or until bacon is crispy.  Remove bacon from oven and place on a paper towel lined plate.

2. In a 2 quart sauce pan melt butter and sprinkle in the flour.  Mix together and let it cook for about 4 to 5 minutes until it has formed a roux.  Whisk in the milk.  Slowly bring to a boil then reduce heat.  Let cook until thickened.  In total it will take 10 to 15 minutes.  Once the mornay sauce has thickened, remove from heat and stir in the cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.  This step can actually be done in the microwave as well.  That's how my mother always did it.

3.  Place the slices of bread in a baking dish.  Cover the bread with the shredded turkey.  I probably used about 1/2 cup on each slice.  Pour the mornay sauce over the open faced sandwiches.  Place under a low broiler, keeping a close eye on it.  If you trust yourself go ahead and jack that baby to high.  I don't trust myself, hence the low setting.  Let the mornay sauce become brown and bubbly.  Remove from oven.

4.  Top this delicious sandwich with slices of tomato and 2 slices of bacon.

Get at it anyway you see fit.  I like to crumble my bacon to ensure that every bite has a little bit of bacon in it.  The creamy cheese sauce with the slices of cold tomato and salty bacon is seriously a taste explosion.

I hope you enjoy this traditional Kentucky recipe!!


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