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.

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