Today’s recipe is the Kentucky Hot Brown directly from the historic Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. The legendary Hot Brown is a Louisville tradition that was created in 1926 by Chef Fred K. Schmidt of the Historic Brown Hotel. In the 1920’s, the Brown Hotel would draw over 1,200 guests each evening to its illustrious dinner dances. After a long night of dancing people would get tired and hungry and head into the hotel’s restaurant for a late night bite. Ham & Eggs were the traditional late night snack food at the time. People quickly grew tired of the same old ham and eggs, and Chef Schmidt was feeling the pressure to come up with something new. The Chef answered back decisively with the Hot Brown! The Hot Brown is best described as an open faced sandwich of hand carved roasted turkey breast piled high on Texas Toast topped with a rich creamy Mornay sauce and parmesan cheese. The delicious creation is then melted in the oven until the sauce and cheese are golden brown, and is finished with crispy bacon. Mmmm, bacon. As you could imagine, this new dish was a hit in no time, and as such, another Kentucky tradition was born of necessity. Today the tradition still carries on at the Brown Hotel, and all over the world, including right here at our very own Caribbean Motel!!
That’s right, come to the Caribbean Motel’s Grand Re-Opening Weekend on May 2-4, 2014 for your chance to try a Hot Brown during the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 3rd at the Caribbean Motel’s Kentucky Derby Pool Deck Party. You’ll be sure to catch Carolyn wearing her fancy Derby hat in celebration and George whipping up Mint Juleps for all to enjoy! At lunch, I will be preparing our feature recipe, the legendary Hot Brown, in addition to other delicious Derby treats. The festivities will carry on into the evening with a special Derby-inspired themed dinner. I will be serving Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Blue Grass Slaw and a Sweet Onion Jam Stuffed Pork Loin topped with a Kentucky Bourbon Apple Glaze and Bread Pudding for dessert. Can you wait?!
That same weekend also happens to be George’s 75th Birthday, and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to continue the celebration on Sunday on the Pool Deck. Cinco de Mayo, the Spanish day of remembrance of the Battle of Puebla, is also on Monday and we will most definitely take the opportunity to start celebrating a day early. We have planned a Mexican Style Birthday Brunch menu in George’s honor featuring wonderful Huevos Rancheros (fried egg, corn tortilla, refried beans and fresh salsa and guacamole) and Home-fried Potatoes as well as my soon-to-be-famous Black Bean & Goat Cheese Tacos. Click on the link to view my first blog post that also contains the recipe for this delicious Mexican-themed snack. If you can wait, you will get a chance to do so on Sunday May 4th. Carolyn also tells me that she also plans on re-opening the Caribbean Cactus Cantina for Brunch and will be serving Mimosas and her special Bloody Marias (tequila provides the kick, in lieu of vodka in this Mexican twist on an original morning cocktail).
I hope to see you there to kick-off a wonderful summer full of good times, great memories, and gourmet food from the Caribbean Kitchen.
The Hot Brown
1 1/2 tablespoon salted butter
1 1/2 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Pecorino Romano Cheese
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt and Pepper to taste
14 oz sliced roasted turkey breast
4 slices bacon
4 slices texas toast crust removed
2 plum tomatoes cut into 1/4 wedges
paprika and parsley for garnish
In a two-quart sauce pan on medium-low heat, melt butter and slowly whisk in the flour until combined and form a thick paste or roux. Continue to cook the roux for two minutes over medium-low heat stirring frequently. Whisk heavy cream into roux and cook over medium heat until cream begins to simmer, about 2-3 mintues.
Remove the sauce from the heat and slowly whisk in 2/3rds of the Pecorino-Romano cheese until the sauce is smooth. Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.
For each Hot Brown, place two slices of toast in an oven safe dish and cover with 7 oz of turkey. Place the tomato wedges around the sides of the dish. Pour half the sauce over each plate of turkey, completely covering it. Sprinkle the remaining cheese and paprika over each. Place entire dish under broiler until cheese begins to brown and bubble. Remove from broiler and top with bacon slices and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.