When we visited Brent last Thanksgiving, we stopped at The Brown Hotel in Louisville and had one of their famous Hot Browns.
In the 1920s, The Brown Hotel drew more than 1,200 guests each evening for its dinner dance. In the wee hours of the morning, the guests would grow tired of dancing and go the restaurant for a bite to eat. Bored with the traditional ham and eggs, Chef Fred Schmidt created the Hot Brown, an open-face turkey sandwich with bacon, tomatoes and Mornay sauce.
At the time, I didn't know that Brent was moving from Kentucky back to Kansas, so I'm glad I tried a true Hot Brown when I had the chance. Still, when I saw the Kentucky Hot Brown Bake on my Facebook feed, I knew I wanted to try it.
They don't meet Funeral Sandwiches in our rating system, but I'm sure I'll make them again. Here's the recipe for the casserole bake. If you want the fancier-schmancier version, The Brown Hotel's recipe is at the bottom of this post.
Kentucky Hot Brown Bake
From Facebook8 oz. pkg. refrigerated crescent rolls
1 lb. pkg. smoked turkey lunch meat
8 slices cooked bacon
8 slices of Swiss cheese (or grate about 8 ounces of block cheese)
3 Roma tomatoes, sliced thin
4 eggs, beaten
Unroll the crescent dough and separate into 2 squares. Place one square in bottom of an 8-inch-square pan that is greased or lined with parchment paper. Press dough to fit pan. Layer with half the turkey and cheese and all the bacon and tomatoes. Pour half the eggs over the top. Layer the remaining turkey and cheese on top.
Top with remaining dough square. Cover with remaining beaten eggs.
Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 20 to 25 minutes. Let set at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before cutting and serving.
- The recipe says it serves 9. It doesn't feed 9 of my husband. I would say it would feed 4 to 5 people.
- The original recipe said to use half the bacon and half the tomatoes in the first layer. However, the 8 slices of bacon covered the whole 8-inch square nicely. Had I just used 4 strips, I think there could have been "pockets" without bacon in the cooked sandwich. The same was true for the tomatoes. You could increase the amounts of the bacon and tomato if you truly want to have a double layer of filling.
|Photo from The Brown Hotel|
The Hot Brown
From The Brown Hotel, Louisville, KY
Makes 2 Hot Browns2 oz. whole butter
2 oz. flour
8 oz. heavy cream
8 oz. whole milk
1/2 cup Pecorino Romano Cheese plus 1 tbsp. for garnish
Salt & pepper to taste
14 oz. sliced roasted turkey breast
2 slices Texas toast, crust trimmed
4 slices of crispy bacon
2 Roma tomatoes, cut in half
In a 2-quart saucepan, melt butter and slowly whisk in flour until combined and forms a thick paste (roux). Continue to cook roux for 2 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Whisk heavy cream and whole milk into the roux and cook over medium heat until the cream begins to simmer, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and slowly whisk in Romano cheese until the Mornay sauce is smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
For each Hot Brown, place one slice toast in an oven-safe dish and cover with 7 ounces of turkey. Take the two halves of the Roma tomatoes and set them alongside the base of turkey and toast. Next, pour half of the Mornay sauce to completely cover the dish. Sprinkle with additional Romano cheese. Place entire dish under broiler until cheese starts to brown and bubble. Remove from broiler; cross two pieces of bacon on top, and sprinkle with paprika and parsley. Serve immediately.
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