I say they’re fake because I starting looking into what the real deal might be after seeing one of those recipe videos that are all the rage on Facebook right now. According to Wikipedia, a Kentucky Hot Brown (or Hot Brown) “…is an open-faced hot sandwich of turkey and bacon, covered in Mornay sauce…” and the recipe video I saw was closed sandwich with no sauce. Reading more, I saw that alternate recipes use Swiss cheese to replicate the sauce.
I indicated to my friend, who shared the video jokingly, that I wanted to make it as the video outlined and she urged me to try it the real way because the sauce is where it’s at. Can’t blame her at all because a good Mornay is basically good on everything, lol. It’s like cheese milk gravy, right? I decided to try making it as the video showed because it looked so good, but then cover the whole thing in Mornay. What I ended up with was a super rich but super good hot sandwich that I want to make again and again and again! Great on a stormy night.
Fake Kentucky Hot Browns
1 bag of pre-made pizza dough (I use TJ’s)
1 pound deli sliced smoked turkey
1 package bacon, cooked
8 slices Swiss cheese
3 Roma tomatoes, sliced
2 eggs, beaten
3 TBSP butter
3 TBSP flour
2 cups whole milk
Salt and white pepper
8 oz. shredded Swiss or Gruyère
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Unpackage your pizza dough and cut in half. Note: it’s usually best to let your pizza dough rest on the counter for about 30 minutes before working with it. However, if you’re using the Pillsbury kind, follow the directions – the popping fresh stuff might not need to come to room temperature first. Grease a square casserole dish (about 8×8″) and spread the dough to cover the bottom. Layer half the turkey, bacon and cheese and top with all of the tomato. Repeat the turkey, bacon and cheese layers and top with the other half of your pizza dough. Pour beaten eggs over the top. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Meanwhile, in a saucepot over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes (you should smell the flour when it’s ready – it’ll have a nutty aroma). Whisk in the milk and season with salt, white pepper, and nutmeg. If you don’t have white pepper, black pepper works fine too – it’s all aesthetics with slight flavor changes. Cook the sauce, stirring frequently for 4-6 minutes or until thickened. Add the cheese and continue to whisk until the cheese is melted.
When the Hot Browns are done, cut into four sandwiches. Plate and top with Mornay. Serve with a green salad – a kale salad holds up to the richness very nicely.