First off, Barb ain’t nobody’s b*tch and she’s not a b*tch, she’s B*TCHIN’! If I have to explain how b*tchin’ means beyond awesome, you need to hang out with more Bad A$$ Shit-kicking friends.
But I digress. When Barb invited us all over to a Kentucky Derby party, she asked for traditional apps, drinks, and desserts for everyone to bring to the party. I chose a Kentucky Hot Brown and an Oaks Lily inspired cocktail (now known as the Cuss Kitchen Lusty Lilly). I had saved leftover smoked turkey (see the CK Rubbed & Smoked Fowl) and stashed it in the freezer, so it was ready to go for this delicious Casserole.
What is a Kentucky Hot Brown?
The Hot Brown is an open-faced Texas Toast sandwich originating from the Brown Hotel, in Louisville, Kentucky. Chef Fred Schmidt created the Hot Brown. It featured thick-sliced roast turkey, crispy bacon, and Roma tomato slices, and covered in a cheesy Mornay sauce. This beautiful turkey sandwich is then put under a broiler and then finished with pecorino Romano, parsley and paprika. It is served hot, golden brown and bubbly! A slice of heaven! The open-faced turkey sandwich has been part of the American Culinary scene since 1926.
What is Mornay sauce?
Mornay sauce is a French bechamel with the addition of cheese. The cheese sauce is smooth and usually features Gruyere cheese and sometimes Parmesan.
Why is the Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich recipe associated with the Kentucky Derby?
The Hot Brown is a sandwich that is synonymous with the Derby- as traditional as Bourbon and Bow ties. Heavy on the carbs, the Hot Brown gained a reputation as a great ‘Hang-over’ food, and became a staple at many Derby parties. While the original, is still served at the historic Brown Hotel, over 40 restaurants in the Louisville area serve interesting iterations on the famous Kentucky Hot Browns recipe
Kentucky Hot Brown Casserole?
This Kentucky Hot Brown Casserole is a tasty twist on the nostalgic favorite that features smoked turkey, bacon, and a cheesy mornay sauce that includes Swiss cheese. The roasted turkey, crispy bacon, tomato and creamy Mornay sauce over Texas Toast puts this casserole at the top of the ‘Favorite Comfort Food’ lists. It is super easy to prepare for a crowd, a delicious main dish, and a great way to use left-over turkey.
Kentucky Hot Brown Casserole
B*tchin' Barb's Hot Brown
- 1 11x13 casserole dish
- ½ c unsalted butter - 1 stick
- ¼ c flour - may not need full amount
- 1 c whole milk
- 1½ c heavy cream
- 2 c shredded Parmesan (divided) - can substitute swiss cheese
- 1½ c shredded extra sharp white cheddar
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 8 slices thick cut sandwich bread
- 2 lbs shredded turkey - smoked is the bomb
- 8 slices bacon - cooked and chopped
- 1 chopped tomato
- ¼ tsp paprika
- rough chopped parsley - for garnish
- Preheat oven 375°
- Toast bread, rough cut and place in bottom of butter casserole dish
- Top toast with shredded turkey
- In a large sauce pan, make a rue by melting butter and slowly adding in flour, just to thicken it.
- When rue is a light golden color, add in milk, cream, 1 cup of Parmesan, white cheddar, salt & pepper
- Once all the cheese is melted, pour over turkey and bread.
- Sprinkle bacon, other half of the Parmesan and chopped tomatoes over mixture.
- Sprinkle the paprika on the top.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until it is hot throughout.