Derby Classic: Kentucky Hot Browns Recipe

The History of Kentucky Hot Browns
In the 1920s, dinner dances at Louisville's Brown Hotel drew more than 1,000 guests. During band breaks, hungry revelers refueled on chef Fred Schmidt's late-night eats. His signature? The Kentucky Hot Brown, a pillowy cushion of toasted bread topped with sliced turkey and an avalanche of Mornay sauce-all broiled until golden brown. Crisp bacon strips and tomato added the final flourish.

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Kentucky Hot Browns
4 thick white bread slices
3/4 pound sliced roasted turkey
Mornay Sauce
1 cup (4-oz.) shredded Parmesan cheese
3 plum tomatoes, sliced
8 bacon slices, cooked

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1. Preheat broiler with oven rack 6 inches from heat. Place bread slices on a baking sheet and broil 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until toasted.

2. Arrange bread slices in 4 lightly greased broiler-safe individual baking dishes. Top bread with turkey slices. Pour hot Mornay Sauce over turkey. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

3. Broil 6 inches from heat 3 to 4 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned; remove from oven. Top sandwiches with tomatoes and bacon. Serve immediately.

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Mornay Sauce
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup (2-oz.) shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

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Melt butter in a 3-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour; cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, and cook, whisking constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened. Whisk in Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.

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