Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich

Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich

The hot brown sandwich, named after the historic Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, has been a part of the American landscape since 1926 and is still popular today. Over time the story about its creation has evolved. Fred K. Schmidt, the hotel’s chef at the time, was looking to offer late-night dance patrons a midnight meal that went beyond the traditional ham and eggs.  It became one of “two signature sandwiches created by chefs at the Brown Hotel shortly after its founding in 1923,” according to John E. Kleber, author of The Kentucky Encyclopedia. 

It is similar to a Welsh rarebit and is a close cousin of the croque-monsieur, but is an open-face sandwich layered with sliced turkey, Mornay sauce (which is simply bechamel with the addition of cheese), bacon, and tomatoes on top of toast. It is smothered with grated cheddar and parmesan cheeses and broiled until hot and bubbling. Our Country and Rustic Loaves are a great choice for this sandwich.

Ingredients

  • 1 turkey breast, about 4 to 5 pounds
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted soft butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups grated sharp white Cheddar
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • Pinch freshly ground nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the egg bread:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Salt
  • 8 (1/2-inch) thick slices of day old  Abigail’s Oven Country Loaf or Cinnamon Swirl Loaf.
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil

For assembly:

  • Egg battered bread
  • Roasted turkey breast, sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 3 ripe beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices and griddled until slightly charred and just cooked through
  • 1 1/2 cups grated sharp white Cheddar
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 16 thick slices slab bacon, cooked until crisp
  • Finely chopped fresh chives
  • Finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F(220°C).
  2. Rub turkey with butter; season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 min. Reduce the heat to 350°F(180°C) and continue roasting until a  thermometer inserted into the center shows 155°F(68°C), about 1 to 1½ hours. Remove from the oven, cover and let rest for 10 min. before slicing.

For the sauce:

  1. Melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk, bring to a boil, whisking constantly, until thickened and the flour has cooked out, about 4–5 minutes. Whisk in cheese and heat until the cheese has melted. Season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper.

For the egg bread:

  1. Whisk together the eggs, milk and salt in a medium bowl. Dip each slice of bread in the mixture and let sit about 30 seconds, or until completely soaked through.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of oil in a large nonstick saute pan over medium-high heat. Cook 4 slices of the bread at a time until golden brown on both sides. Remove and place on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining bread.

For assembly:

  1. Preheat broiler. Place the egg bread on a baking sheet, place under the broiler and heat on both sides for 20 seconds just to warm through.
  2. Top each slice of bread with 2 to 3 slices of turkey and 2 slices of tomato, ladle sauce over the top and divide the cheddar cheese and Parmesan over the top of each slice. Place under the broiler and cook until bubbly and the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven, top each slice with 2 slices of bacon and sprinkle each slice with chives and parsley.
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