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”.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Randy Ferguson from California provides this recipe for a side that “is great with grilled steaks, chicken, or seafood.
6 large white onions
1/2 red bell pepper, trimmed
1/2 green bell pepper, trimmed
1 carrot, trimmed and peeled
1 stalk celery
1 small tomato
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil or substitute melted butter
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Cut off the tops of the onions. Leave the bottom (roots) intact. Peel outer onion skin from the top down; discard the outer skin. Rinse onions in cool water and drain. Hollow out the centers, leaving two or three outer layers. Reserve the centers and chop fine. Finely chop red and green pepper, carrot, celery and tomato.
Combine 1/2 cup chopped onion with red pepper, green pepper, carrot, celery and tomato. Place in large mixing bowl. Add oil, Worcestershire sauce, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Toss. Fill onions with equal amounts of the vegetable mixture.
Brush onions with additional olive oil. Place each onion upright in the center of a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bring up the edges and seal, leaving a small space for steam to expand.
Over indirect or medium heat place foil onion packets upright in the center of the cooking grate. Cook for 45 minutes to an hour. Check for tenderness and serve when done.
You don’t have to be from the South to love cornbread. This recipe witch includes broccoli and onion results in a delicious surprise.
1 stick butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 package of frozen broccoli
Substitute fresh broccoli of about 1 – 1/2 cup, cooked
1 cup cottage cheese
1 box Jiffy Cornbread Mix
1/8 to about 1/4 teaspoon of Your favorite extra hot hot sauce
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and in it melt butter in a 9 by 13 inch oven proofed baking pan.
Beat the eggs and add the remaining ingredients. Blend the Jiffy Cornbread Mix until smooth.
Pour on top of melted butter in baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until golden brown.
This sweet custom butter recipe creates a fine balance of country style nuttiness and spreadable goodness. It’s like Nutella without the look and consistency of auto yard mud.
4 ounces of fresh hazelnuts
1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon of lemon zest
Bring the butter just to the softening point.
Roast the hazelnuts in a preheated 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. Remove the skin after they cool down a bit. Chop them into small pieces or blend half chopped with half crushed.
In a storage crock or bowl that can be covered tightly, mix the hazelnuts with the butter. Add the lemon zest and store in the fridge.
Goes well with any bread or breakfast style rolls or muffins. Excellent for waiting around a noon time grill.
Carrot soup might not get you all excited as far as side dishes go. This recipe however, delivers a creamy and slightly silky blend that goes well with any meat dish typically served with mashed potatoes.
4 and 1/2 cups of sliced carrots
1 cup of chopped onion
1/4 cup of butter, cut into pats
1 large white potato, peeled and cut into cubes
Two 14-1/2 ounce cans of chicken broth
1 teaspoon freshly ground ginger
1 teaspoon dried rosemary crushed fine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 cups of whipping cream
Grab your Dutch oven and saute the onion and the butter until glassy and just tender. Add the sliced carrots, the potato cubes, the broth and the ginger. Cover and cook on medium heat for about 30 minutes. Set off of the heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
Carefully pour the soup in small amounts to a food processor or a blender. Process or blend until silky smooth. Pour the blended mixture back into the Dutch oven. Return the heat to low. Stir in cream. Add rosemary, salt and pepper. Cook for about 10 – 20 minutes until well heated.
Serve bowls of this tasty soup on those winter and fall grilling nights instead of mashed potatoes. You will be well rewarded by the happiness of friends and family.
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.
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
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.
I cannot believe how much I love food cooked in a smoker bag. Chop and toss a medley of veggies in your smoker bag and have one unique flavor for veggies separate from the meat on the grill.
1 cup of mushrooms
1/2 to 1 cup cup minced onions or leave in chop into ring edges
1 cup sliced zucchini. Slice diagonally for greater surface exposure
1 cup of sliced red or bell peppers. Chopped into 1/2 or 2 inch pieces
1 cup of small potato pieces. Grill for 20 minutes or boil until halfway cooked through
2 Tablespoons garlic salt
Toss all of the chopped vegetables in a bowl with to evenly coat each piece with a bit of garlic salt.
Place the medley in a smoker bag and seal. Cook on a hot grill for about 15 minutes until all vegetables are tender. If potatoes are added without pre-cooking add about 5 more minutes.
Jennifer Honeycutt sells smoker bags direct in the U.S. from her company found at Hot Diggity Cajun. Google it!
One cannot complain about the addition of a tasty corn on the cob when added to a plate heaping with grilled chops. Especially if that corn on the cob wafts up with a distinct flavorful aroma of smoked wood.
4 ears of corn
1 Tablespoon butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Prep ears of corn by dehusking and washing. Soak the ears for 20 minutes in cold water. Remove from water and pat dry.
Rub the butter or margarine over the corn. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place the corn in a Smoker Bag, seal it and cook on a hot grill for about 40 minutes.
You might not think that potatoes and other veggies benefit from a smooth smoke flavor. You might be wrong.
4 medium potatoes
2 Tablespoons garlic salt
Slice each potato into 1 inch cubes, I leave the skin on. Toss the potatoes in a bowl with the garlic salt. Place the potatoes in a Smoker Bag. The best Smoker Bags for grill or oven are imported from Finland. Jennifer Honeycutt tells me that that you can buy these bags direct in the U.S. from her company found at Hot Diggity Cajun. See her comment below.
Cook on a hot grill or in a covered grill over medium hot coals for 20 to 40 minutes.