Sunday, November 25, 2012

Kentucky Hot Browns - Yet Again

How was your Thanksgiving?

We traveled to Florida so I didn't get to smoke a turkey this year.  Nor did I have leftover turkey when we got back home.

That's a problem.  If I don't have leftover turkey, how can I have one of my favorite sandwiches ever - the Kentucky Hot Brown?

The Hot Brown is an open-faced sandwich with crisp bacon, thin sliced smoked turkey, tomato, and topped with Mornay sauce.  It's all put under the broiler for just a few minutes to make the cheese sauce bubbly and a little charred.

Since I didn't have leftover turkey, I ran to Food City Friday morning and bought their last turkey breast.  I didn't have time to brine so I used an injection instead.

Turkey Injection
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup white wine
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp MSG
1/4 tsp creole seasoning
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Heat all ingredients in a small sauce pan over medium heat and blend well.  Allow to cool slightly before using.

After injecting the turkey breast, I seasoned the outside heavily with thyme and Lotta Bull's UnBULLevable All Purpose Seasoning.  I smoked it with some cherry wood on the Big Green Egg at 300f for about 2 1/2 hours until it reached an internal temp of 155f.  

Great!  Now I had me some leftover turkey.   Time for Hot Browns.

Alexis works retail in the mall so this weekend (Black Friday) was slammed busy for her and her co-workers.  I surprised them with a batch of these yesterday.

Kentucky Hot Brown

Prep Time: 25
Cook Time: 45

Ingredients (serves 12)
    You'll Need
    • 1 loaf Italian bread, sliced on a bias into 12 pieces
    • 12 pieces cooked bacon
    • 1 1/2 lbs smoked turkey
    • 2 tomatoes, sliced
    For the Mornay sauce
    • 1 Tbsp butter
    • 1 Tbsp shallot, finely diced
    • 1 clove garlic, whole slightly crushed
    • 1 Tbsp all purpose flour
    • 1 1/4 cup half and half
    • 1/2 cup mozzarella shredded
    • 1/4 cup pecorino romano
    • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper
    1. Melt butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic and saute until the shallot is tender, about 4 minutes. Whisk in the flour, stirring constantly to form a blond roux.
    2. Whisk in about a quarter cup of the half/half and whisk until well blended. Add some more, repeat. Then add the remaining half/half. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened, about 10 minutes.  Remove the garlic clove and discard.
    3. Whisk in the cheeses in small batches and stir until well blended. Season with salt and pepper. Sauce should be thick.
    4. Assemble the sandwiches on a cookie sheet. From the bottom up, you'll use bread, bacon, sliced turkey, tomato slices and then spoon the sauce over it.
    5. Stick under a broiler until the Mornay sauce is bubbly and starts to brown.
    Powered by Recipage

    You can use a blend of different cheeses but I always like to include some of a salty, nutty cheese like Pecorino Romano or Parmesan.

    The sauce needs to be thick enough to cling to a spoon.

    Slice the turkey thinly.

    Ready to broiler-ize.  Broiler-ate?

    One is enough for me, two really fill you up.
    These Hot Browns are my favorite Thanksgiving weekend tradition.  Are you finished with your leftovers yet?