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Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwiches

Indulgence Unleashed: Crafting the Perfect Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich

In the realm of iconic American comfort food, the Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich stands as a testament to indulgence. Originating from the historic Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, this open-faced sandwich is a symphony of flavors—a melange of turkey, bacon, and Mornay sauce, all under the comforting embrace of a golden broiled crust. Join us as we delve into the art of creating the perfect Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich, uncovering its rich history, guiding you through each step of the recipe, offering essential cook notes, tantalizing variations, and even keto and low-carb adaptations.

Ingredients

For the Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich:

  • 8 slices thick-cut white bread
  • 1 pound roasted turkey breast, thinly sliced
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked until crispy
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 cup Mornay sauce
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Paprika for garnish
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish

For the Mornay Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pinch of nutmeg

For the Keto and Low-Carb Version:

For the Keto Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich:

  • 8 slices keto-friendly bread or a low-carb alternative
  • 1 pound roasted turkey breast, thinly sliced
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked until crispy
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 cup Keto Mornay sauce
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Paprika for garnish
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish

For the Keto Mornay Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons almond flour
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pinch of nutmeg

Instructions

Crafting the Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich:

  1. Toasting the Bread:
    • Toast the bread slices until golden brown.
  2. Layering the Goodness:
    • Arrange the toasted bread slices on a baking sheet. Top each slice with a generous layer of roasted turkey, crispy bacon, and sliced tomatoes.
  3. Pouring the Mornay Magic:
    • Drizzle the Mornay sauce over the layered ingredients, ensuring even coverage.
  4. Grating the Parmesan Finale:
    • Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over each sandwich, providing a tantalizing crust when broiled.
  5. Broiling to Perfection:
    • Place the baking sheet under the broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbly, and the edges turn golden brown.
  6. Garnishing with Flair:
    • Remove from the broiler and garnish the Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwiches with a sprinkle of paprika and chopped fresh parsley.

Crafting the Mornay Sauce:

  1. Making the Roux:
    • In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk continuously to create a smooth roux.
  2. Whisking in the Goodness:
    • Gradually pour in the whole milk, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Continue cooking until the mixture thickens.
  3. Cheese Euphoria:
    • Add the Gruyere and Parmesan cheeses, stirring until fully melted and the sauce becomes velvety.
  4. Seasoning with Finesse:
    • Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg to elevate the flavors.

For the Keto and Low-Carb Version:

Keto Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich:

  1. Choosing Keto-Friendly Bread:
    • Opt for keto-friendly bread or a low-carb alternative for the base of your sandwich.

Keto Mornay Sauce:

  1. Almond Flour Alchemy:
    • Replace all-purpose flour with almond flour in the Keto Mornay Sauce for a low-carb adaptation.
  2. Choosing Unsweetened Almond Milk:
    • Substitute whole milk with unsweetened almond milk in the Keto Mornay Sauce to minimize carb content.

Cook Notes

  • Bread Thickness Matters: Opt for thick-cut slices of bread to provide a sturdy base that can withstand the hearty toppings.
  • Mornay Sauce Consistency: Aim for a smooth and velvety consistency in the Mornay sauce; adjust the thickness by adding more milk if needed.
  • Broiling Tip: Keep a close eye on the broiling process to prevent burning. The goal is a golden-brown crust and bubbling cheese.

Variations

Keto Version:

  • Avocado Bliss: Enhance the keto version by adding slices of creamy avocado for a rich and satisfying twist.
  • Pickle Perfection: Introduce the tanginess of pickles to cut through the richness, creating a well-balanced keto Hot Brown experience.

Low-Carb Version:

  • Lettuce Wrap Wonder: Create a low-carb version by substituting the bread with large lettuce leaves, turning it into a flavorful lettuce wrap.
  • Vegetarian Twist: For a meatless option, replace the turkey and bacon with grilled mushrooms and zucchini, elevating the sandwich’s veggie appeal.

Presenting the Perfect Platter:

  1. Elevating Elegance:
    • Serve the Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwiches on a platter with a touch of sophistication, perfect for a brunch gathering or a cozy dinner.
  2. Pairing Suggestions:
    • Accompany the Kentucky Hot Brown with a crisp salad or a side of sweet potato fries for a well-rounded meal.
  3. Indulging in Garnishes:
    • Garnish with additional fresh herbs, such as chives or tarragon, to add a burst of freshness.

Reveling in Kentucky Hot Brown Mastery

As you savor the layers of succulent turkey, crispy bacon, and creamy Mornay sauce, revel in the mastery of creating a Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich that transcends the ordinary. The marriage of flavors, the balance of textures, and the visual appeal make this sandwich an unrivaled indulgence.

Navigating Dietary Preferences

This recipe offers a classic Kentucky Hot Brown experience alongside keto and low-carb adaptations, ensuring that everyone, regardless of dietary preferences, can relish in the magic of this beloved dish.

Embracing Culinary Creativity

In conclusion, crafting the perfect Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich is a journey of culinary creativity, paying homage to tradition while embracing innovative twists. Whether you opt for the classic version or venture into keto and low-carb territory, each bite is a celebration of decadence and flavor.

So, gather your ingredients, preheat that broiler, and let the aroma of roasted turkey and sizzling bacon fill your kitchen. May your Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwiches be a feast for the senses, a testament to the joys of creating exceptional comfort food.

Happy cooking, and may your Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwiches become a staple in your culinary repertoire!

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