Kentucky Hot Brown: Black Friday Super Food

When Fred K. Schmidt created the Hot Brown, sliced roast turkey was a rarity, as turkey was usually reserved for holiday feasts. The original Hot Brown included the sliced turkey on an open-faced white toast sandwich, with Mornay sauce covering it, with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese, completed by being oven-broiled until bubbly. Pimento and bacon strips were then added to it. After its debut, it quickly became the choice of ninety-five percent of the customers to the Brown Hotel’s restaurant.

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons  all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, plus 1 tablespoon for garnish
  • Diamond kosher salt, to taste
  • Cracked black peppercorns, to taste
  • 14 oz. sliced roasted turkey breast
  • 2 slices of Texas toast (crusts trimmed)
  • 4 slices of crisp bacon
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced in half
  • Ground Hungarian paprika, for garnish
  • Fresh parsley, for garnish

In a two-quart saucepan, melt butter and slowly whisk in flour until combined and a thick paste (roux) forms.

Continue to cook roux for two minutes over medium-low heat, stirring frequently.

Whisk heavy cream into the roux and cook over medium heat until the cream begins to simmer, about 2 – 3 minutes.

Remove sauce from heat and slowly whisk in Parmesan cheese until the Mornay sauce is smooth.

Add Diamond kosher salt and cracked black peppercorns to taste.


Place one slice of toast in an oven-safe dish and cover with  turkey.

Take the two halves of Roma tomato and set them alongside the base of turkey and toast.

Next, pour one half of the Mornay sauce to completely cover the dish. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese.

Place entire dish under a broiler until cheese begins to brown and bubble.

Remove from broiler, cross two pieces of crisp bacon on top, sprinkle with paprika and parsley, and serve immediately.

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