Monday, January 14, 2008

A Kentucky classic, thrown down

Last night, Food Network showed an unsung hero in Midwest-Border State cuisine, if there is such a thing: The Hot Brown. Trust me, this is the best turkey dish you will EVER put in your mouth.

On the show "Throwdown," Bobby Flay went to The Bluegrass State to Louisville (prounounced LOOL-vull) to watch the Castro brothers (Joe and John) cook up a classic Hot Brown. Flay says this open-faced turkey sandwich is the top seller on his lunch menu at Cafe Americain in New York City, so he wanted to pit it against the top Hot Brown in its native element.

The Hot Brown was started at The Brown Hotel in Louisville back in the 1920s, I believe. It's ungodly good, rich and the Castro brothers (chefs at The Brown) created it perfectly last night:

The Legendary Hot Brown

4 ounces butter
Flour to make a Roux (about 6 tablespoons)
3 - 3 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 beaten egg
6 tablespoons Grated Parmesan/Romano Cheese
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Slices of Roast Turkey
8-12 Slices of Toast (may be trimmed)
Extra Parmesan for Topping
8-12 Strips of Fried Bacon
Melt butter and add enough flour to make a reasonably thick roux (enough to absorb all of the butter). Add milk and Parmesan cheese. Add egg to thicken sauce, but do not allow sauce to boil. Remove from heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
For each Hot Brown, place two slices of toast on a metal (or flameproof) dish. Cover the toast with a liberal amount of turkey. Pour a generous amount of sauce over the turkey and toast. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese. Place entire dish under a broiler until the sauce is speckled brown and bubbly. Remove from broiler, cross two pieces of bacon on top, and serve immediately.


Anonymous said...

Okay, Ky is Southern not Midwestern as is her culinary contributions, such as the Hot Brown!