Category Archives: Events and Fun Stuff

The Kentucky Not Brown (FJ Style – cooked on the grill)

Winston’s Restaurant in Louisville is a favorite stop when haunting the environs around that annual event called the Kentucky Derby. This recipe is a variation on the one served from under a broiler. I designed it to cook from the bottom up using a black bottomed skillet directly on the grill. Similar to the original recipe for the Hot Brown, note the seafood switch from turkey.

 
2 servings
 
INGREDIENTS:
2 cups whole milk
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 cup coarsely grated Gruyere cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 large shrimp with the tail on
2 thick cut fried green tomatoes
2 Tablespoons cooked and shredded crab
2 Tablespoons steamed spinach
4 slices of cooked bacon
2 large slices of Texas Toast or thick French bread. Toasted lightly.
 
DIRECTIONS:
For (2) servings of Not Browns on the Grill start by prepping a mornay sauce. In a 2-quart saucepan, Melt butter over low heat. Add flour. Cook over low heat whisking constantly for no longer than 3 minutes. Add milk continually while whisking. Bring to a boil stirring constantly. Reduce to low heat. Allow the mornay to gently simmer. Whisk occasionally for about 10 minutes.
 
Remove from heat. Fold in the Gruyere until it is melted. Stir in salt and pepper. Lastly add nutmeg.
 
For each Not Brown, place a slice of bread in a black bottomed skillet. Cover with shredded crab. Top this with spinach. Cross with two slices of cooked bacon. Add the slab of fried green tomato. Pour mornay sauce over each Not Brown. Crown with cooked shrimp. You can leave the shrimp off and add after bringing the sandwich up to a suitable heat for serving.
 
Set on top of a hot grill. Cover, and cook until sauce bubbles and the entire stack is hot. Watch the shrimp so it doesn’t over cook, or leave it off and add just before serving.
 
Attributed to: John Castro’s version at Winston’s Restaurant in Louisville Kentucky.

Hot Brown (traditional)

At Churchill Downs for the 142 running of the Kentucky Derby this year, I was entrusted with so many variations on the traditional Hot Brown that I initially found it hard to believe. Although it can be cooked on a grill with a quality skillet, it is best under a broiler. Highly suggested as a late night snack or better at breakfast in the early hours of the day when those who call themselves your guests are still around. Here then is what locals call “the Louisville alternative to late night ham and eggs”.

INGREDIENTS:
1 – 1/2 Tablespoons of all purpose flour
1 – 1/2 Tablespoons of salted butter
1 – 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
About 1 pound roasted turkey breast. Slice thick.
4 slices of Texas toast. No crusts and cut diagonally in half
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced in half (lengthwise)
Paprika to dust over the top
Parsley lightly chopped

DIRECTIONS:
Grab a 2 quart saucepan. Melt butter. Slowly whisk in flour until it becomes the consistency of a roux or like thick paste. Continue cooking for about 2 minutes on medium – low heat, stirring frequently.

Whisk in heavy cream and continue to cook over medium heat until simmering, about 2 or 3 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and slowly whisk in the Romano cheese. Whisk until very smooth. Add nutmeg and then salt and pepper to your taste.

For each Hot Brown; place two halves of one slice of toast into a skillet or oven proof dish cover with one half of the turkey slices. Take two halves of the tomato and two of the diagonal corners of toast and set them along side the first piece of toast. Cover by pouring half the sauce over everything. Sprinkle with more grated Romano.

Place both dishes (or one at a time) beneath a broiler just until the cheese begins to melt and bubble up. When the cheese gets brown a bit, remove and cross the top with two pieces of cooked crispy bacon. Dust with paprika and also top with fresh parsley.

Suitable for the late evening or early morning hours.

Attributed to: Nyquist, Number 13. Winner of the 142nd Kentucky Derby.

Royal Raspberry (cocktail)

While on a recent trip to New Orleans, I was reminded to visit an excellent little eatery and watering hole. The Bombay Club exists at 830 Rue Conti, the North West area of the Quarter. This recipe is for a cocktail accented with fresh raspberries and makes an aperitif quite suitable for any grilled dish. I added my own variation of course.

INGREDIENTS:

1 – 1/2 oz Bombay Gin
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
1/4 oz of Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
1 egg white
6 to 8 fresh raspberries
Large raspberry pierced (with a toothpick or olive spear) and balanced on the rim.
DIRECTIONS:

Add all ingredients into a bar mixer cup, cap and shake. Or make a larger quantity and tap blend in a mixer. Serve to the delight of your guests.

Attributed to:  The Bombay Club

Foster’s Favorite Tequila Shooter Chase Car

Tradition can give way to an interesting variation when it comes to lemon and salt after every Tequila shot. Here’s a recipe I created on a weekend in Baja California. And no. I wasn’t wasting away again in Margaritaville.

INGREDIENTS:
1 – 1/2 Cup of Orange Juice. Fresh squeezed is best.
1 Tablespoon Grenadine
1 Tablespoon of your favorite hot sauce. I prefer Cholula for this one.

DIRECTIONS:
Mix all ingredients using a spoon or a bartender’s mixing cup. Do not blend. The unique pairing of hot and sweet needs to be maintained. This helps to enrich the flavor as each replaces the more robust elements of the preceding shot of Tequila.

Shoot a shot of Tequila. Pause judiciously. Sip a shot of this smooth yet spicy chaser. Repeat.

Attributed to: A small saloon on the Northeast entrance to Old San Felipe.

Fondue of Butterscotch

Set the Fondue pot out with a huge platter of pear, plum and apple slices. Small biscuits and fudge brownies that can survive a fork skewering are great candidates for this sweet after dinner treat.

INGREDIENTS:
2 ounces of butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
4 Tablespoons of Lyle’s Golden Syrup
No Lyle’s? Try 3 Tabs light corn syrup to 1 Tabs molasses
14 oz can of evaporated milk
6 teaspoons of cornflour
4 tablespoons of lightly crushed unsalted peanuts
Sliced and cut into bite sizes – apples, pears, plums

DIRECTIONS:
Place the butter, the golden syrup and the sugar into a saucepan. Heat on low to medium until mixture begins to bubble. Keep an eye on it stirring a few times. Slowly bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute.

Add the evaporated milk and cook for 3 more minutes. Add the crushed peanuts.

In a mixing bowl place two Tablespoons of cold water. Add the cornflour and blend until smooth. Add this mixture to the sauce pan. Heat for a few minutes until mixture begins to thicken, stirring constantly.

When mixture is starts to thicken use a spatula to add it to the fondue pot. Serve with hard cubed or sliced fruit pieces. Sit back and enjoy your friends and family enjoying your fondue.

Fondue Vaudoise

Serves: Four

This four cheese combination might sound like it simply blends into a single flavor. However, the perfect balance of each maintains a wonderful combination that strikes each unique character in different areas of the tongue.

INGREDIENTS:
7 ounces Gruyere cheese
5 ounces Emmental cheese
5 ounces Raclette cheese
5 ounces “Vacherin de Fribourg” cheese
1 clove garlic
1 – 1/4 cup dry white wine
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 Tablespoons Kirsch
freshly ground pepper
nutmeg (dash)
Baguette or cubed french bread (about 2-3 days old)

DIRECTIONS:
Grate the cheese. Cut the bread into hefty cubes. Peel the garlic and cut in half. Rub the inside of a fondue pot or cast iron sauce pan with the garlic.

Pour in the wine. Heat the wine on a medium to hot burner. Add the cheese and stir constantly until the cheese melts. Blend the corn starch with the kirsch. Then stir the mixture into the cheese fondue. Bring to a light even boil, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper. Add a hint of nutmeg to your preference.

Transfer the cooking pot to a burner under a rack. Offer fondue sticks around and watch as friends and family stab the bread and fight over soaking it into gooey and wonderful aromatic cheese sauce.

Goes well with (optional): A dry white wine or a cordial of gheist or kirsch

Inspired or Credited to: This recipe comes from a search for fondue, way back in the earlier days of the Internet, when the only browser was Mosaic!

Turkey in a Bag

How can you guarantee moist and tender turkey, that slices into firm cuts and pulls easily from the bone? Use my favorite roasting method. Cook that bird in a roasting bag. This recipe is inspired by Reynolds.

INGREDIENTS:
1 Reynolds Oven Bag, large turkey size (19″ x 23 – 1/2″)
1 Tablespoon flour
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
12 to 24 pound turkey, thawed
1/2 cup vegetable oil

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat your oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Shake the tablespoon of flour into the roasting bag. Settle the roasting bag into the floor or a large roasting pan that is at least 2 inches deep.

Add vegetables to the oven bag. Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey. Rinse the turkey inside and out. Pat all surfaces dry. Lightly stuff with your favorite stuffing, if you like. Brush the turkey with vegetable oil. Place the turkey into the oven bag on top of the vegetables.

Close the oven bag with the included (oven proof) nylon tie. Cut six 1/2 inch slits in top. Insert a meat thermometer through one of the slits and into the thickest part of the bird. Do not allow the point to touch any bones.

Bake that bird until the meat thermometer reads 180° Fahrenheit, about 2 to 2 – 1.2 hours for a 12 to 16 pound turkey, 2 – 1/2 to 3 hours for a 16 to 20 pound bird, and 3 to 3 – 1/2 hours for a 20 to 24 pound turkey. Add 1/2 hour for a stuffed turkey. Test the stuffing with the thermometer as well. Let stand in the bag for 15 minutes before opening.

Reynolds says that oven bags cook faster for two reasons. Oven bags keep moist heat close to the surface of the bird. That same moist heat keeps the turkey from drying out. Something we all want to avoid like cholesterol!

Goes well with all the normal Turkey Day stuff.

Fondue Savoyarde

All the way from the Savoy region of France, comes a variation on a fine eating tradition.

INGREDIENTS:
12 ounces Tomme cheese or Beaufort, grated
12 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
12 ounces Emmental cheese, grated
6 glasses of dry white wine
2 shots kirsch liqueur
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
White pepper
1 or two baguettes or one large loaf of French bread
1 egg

DIRECTIONS:
One day ahead of making the fondue, cube the bread and allow it to dry at room temperature. Rub the bottom and sides of the fondue pot with garlic. Add the wine. On a stove-top or grill burner slowly bring to a soft boil. Add cheese stirring slowly with a wooden spoon.

Before the cheese is completely smooth, remove from burner and place on your lit fondue burner. Season with white pepper and add the kirsch liqueur stirring carefully. When cheese has melted and the mixture is smooth and creamy. Serve cubes on bread on fondue forks.

When cheese is almost gone, break the raw egg into the and stir quickly into the cheese. Allow to cook for about a minute add as many bread cubes as you may have left over and turn into the cheese and egg mixture. Extinguish the burner or remove from heat and serve the mixture with forks or on knife ends.

Cheese Fondue

Here is a basic fondue recipe that emphasizes the flavor of the two selections. It’s the combination that makes it work.

INGREDIENTS:
8 ounces Swiss Cheese
4 ounces Gruyere cheese
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 clove garlic
3/4 to 1 cup white wine
1 Tablespoon kirsch
French bread or baguettes sliced into cubes

DIRECTIONS:
Grate both cheeses and mix with cornstarch. Cut garlic clove in half. Rub one half of the garlic over the inside of the fondue pot. Chop or mince the other half and add to the pot.

Add the wine and heat slowly until wine starts to bubble. Slowly add the blended cheese and cornstarch. Stir constantly until it melts. When the mixture is smooth, add the splash of kirsch. Pass out the fondue forks and skewer bread and dip in the cheese.

Attributed to: More recipes for the little pal of that ol’ Raclette of mine.