Sunday, May 18, 2014

Turkey Talk

Recently, while looking at Kentucky Derby foods, I came across a recipe for a sandwich called a Hot Brown.  It is a sandwich that was created by a chef at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky.  It's an open-faced turkey sandwich with tomatoes, bacon, and a Mornay sauce, which is a fancy word for cheesy gravy.  Sounds good to me.

Last night, we made these sandwiches.  I followed the hotel's recipe to the T except for the cheese.  The recipe calls for Pecorino Romano, but I couldn't find any.  I used Parmesan cheese in its place.  Now, here's the thing about this sandwich.  The sauce is amazing.  The combination of the ingredients was tasty.  But the minor issue I had with it was the turkey I used.  The recipe calls for 14 ounces of thick sliced roasted turkey.  I'm sure the hotel roasts a lot of whole turkeys for this.  Well, I didn't want to buy a whole turkey and roast it, so I just bought the tenderloins.  I was worried about it being dry, so I cooked them in a lot of butter and kept the dish covered in the oven.  And what did I end up with? Turkey that was a little dry.  But, once we assembled the sandwich and put the sauce on, it turned out okay.  

After discussing the sandwich later with my husband, we both kind of had a wow moment that would make this sandwich better without having to roast a whole turkey.  We decided that some really good thin sliced turkey from the deli would have made this sandwich a lot better.  And faster.  So I have adapted the recipe and changed that, and I also doubled it.

I hope you'll give the deli meat a shot, and I'd love to hear how it turns out for you!

Adapted from the Brown Hotel
1/4 C butter
1/4 C flour
3 C heavy cream
5 ounces shredded Parmesan (or Pecorino Romano)
A pinch of nutmeg
1 teaspoon dried parsley
Salt & pepper, to taste
1 lb thin sliced deli turkey
4 slices Texas toast
8 slices bacon
8 slices Roma tomatoes

Cook the bacon until crisp and drain.  Toast the Texas toast in a toaster.  

For the sauce, melt the butter in a sauce pot.  Whisk in the flour and cook about two minutes.  Add in the cream, nutmeg, a dash of paprika, and the parsley and whisk.  When the sauce starts to get thick and bubbly, remove the pot from the heat and whisk in 1/2 C of the Parmesan.  Continue whisking until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.  Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper, if desired.

Preheat the broiler.  Put the toast on a sheet pan.  Divide the turkey into four portions and place on the toast.  Add two slices of tomatoes to each toast.  Pour the cream sauce over each piece of toast and sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over each toast.  Put the sheet pan under the broiler and broil a couple of minutes to brown the cheese.  Remove from the oven and place 2 slices of bacon over each sandwich.

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