Monday, April 27, 2009

Run for the Roses

Kentucky Derby Party Food.

The first Saturday in May is always an excuse for a good party...not just because it is actually starting to feel like Summer, but because of "The Derby." Any event that makes it socially acceptable to wear a big hat and drink Bourbon early in the day is more than alright by me.

Most people are more than aware of the Mint Julep and it's ties to The Derby, but I think this year I'm going to try my hand at a few other Kentucky Classics - The Hot Brown Sandwich and Derby Pie. Of course I'm going to have to hit the treadmill as hard as Smarty Jones and Big Brown worked the racetrack to burn off these calories, but it only happens once a year so it's worth it!

The Legendary Hot Brown Recipe
the official recipe of The Brown Hotel

4 oz. Butter
Flour to make a Roux (about 6 tablespoons)
3 - 3 1/2 cups Milk
1 Beaten Egg
6 T Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 oz. Whipped Cream (optional)
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Slices of Roast Turkey
8-12 Slices of Toast (may be trimmed)
Extra Parmesan for Topping
8-12 Strips of Fried Bacon (I like to roast mine so that they are nice and flat)

Melt butter and add enough flour to make a reasonably thick roux (enough to absorb all of the butter). Add milk and Parmesan cheese. Add egg to thicken sauce, but do not allow to boil. Remove from heat. Fold in whipped cream. Add salt and pepper to taste.

For each Hot Brown, place two slices of toast on a metal (or flameproof) dish. Cover the toast with a liberal amount of turkey. Pour a generous amount of sauce over the turkey and toast. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese. Place entire dish under a broiler until the sauce is speckled brown and bubbly. Remove from broiler, cross two pieces of bacon on top, and serve immediately.

Derby Pie

4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup Karo light corn syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 tsp vanilla
8 oz. package semi-sweet chocolate chips
9 inch deep dish pie shell, unbaked

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix all ingredients and pour into shell. Bake 15 mins and reduce heat to 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Mint Julep
**part of this must be made in late as the night before.

2 cups sugar
2 cups water
Sprigs of fresh mint
Crushed ice
Silver Julep Cups (if possible...otherwise an Old-Fashioned Glass works fine)

Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for five minutes, until sugar is dissolved. Cool and place in a covered container with six or eight sprigs of fresh mint, then refrigerate overnight. Make one julep at a time by filling a julep cup with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon mint syrup and two ounces of Early Times Kentucky Whisky. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

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