Hot Brown is the perfect use for leftovers (recipe) |

Hot Brown is the perfect use for leftovers (recipe)

By Michelle Palmer

Turkey leftovers served a different way with the historical 1926 Hot Brown. It was originally concocted by Executive Chef Frederick Schmidt of the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky.  History says the late night ballroom dancers who would dance until the sun began to peek over the horizon were famished wanting something to eat other than scrambled eggs and ham which was not very interesting.

Sounds so elegant huh? In reality it is slices of hot turkey on toast with a heavy cream sauce called Mornay. This is one of the 5-Mother Sauces a culinary professional must know. Simply said it is a “white” sauce (béchamel) including cheese. At the Brown Hotel back in the day this dish was prepared tableside in the infamous Bluegrass room. The Hot Brown became a huge success. All executive chefs since then have the recipe passed down from the executive chef to executive saying “Number one rule: Do not mess with the Mornay recipe”

During the Kentucky Derby the Brown Hotel will produce 30 gallons every day of Mornay Sauce which will serve 1,000 guests.

Hot Brown Sandwich for 2
(Recipe curtesy of the Brown Hotel)
2 ounces sweet butter
2 ounces all-purpose flour
8 ounces heavy cream
8 ounces whole milk                                                                                   
½ Cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese (1 Tablespoon for garnish)             
Pinch fresh ground nutmeg
Salt & Pepper                                                                                                
14 ounces heated thick sliced turkey
4 slices crust trimmed Texas toast                                                                 
4 slices of cooked crispy bacon
2 slices of tomato                                                                                          
Paprika and chopped parsley

Melt butter in 2-quart sauce pan, whisk in flour until combined to make roux. Cook 2 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring continually. Whisk heavy cream and milk together then add into the roux. Cook over medium heat until cream begins to simmer, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat. Slowly whisk in Pecorino Romano cheese until melted. Add nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste. For each Hot Brown, place one whole slice of the toast in the center of the place. Cut other piece in half corner to corner to make triangles, put one triangle on each side of whole slice toast. Then cover each heat safe plates of toast with 7 ounces of sliced heated turkey. Pour half the Mornay sauce on top of the turkey. Place a slice of tomato on top of the Mornay sauce and sprinkle 1/2 Tablespoon Pecorino Romano cheese on top of the tomato. Place under the broiler long enough to melt the cheese on the tomato. Remove from the broiler and place on top two slices crispy bacon on each plate and sprinkle with paprika and parsley, serve immediately. Enjoy!

Michelle Palmer is the Director of Creative Culinary yUMmy at The Urban Market and Gift Basket Company, she has been cooking in the area for over three decades, Owner of Absolutely Michelle’s Chef-for-Hire, Nevada licensed Culinary educator, ACF High Sierra Chef of the Year 2000 & Pastry Chef of the Year 2018, and Corporate chef for BSH; Thermador, Bosch & Gaggenau, former Chef of Governor Kenny Guinn, former dessert maker of Adele’s, 775/849-2333