Saturday, May 4, 2013

Kentucky Hot Browns/Bocci Ball

Happy Derby Day!!! The Kentucky Derby is quite the event at my household. I've been following/watching the iconic race since I was at least 14, and while in later years I haven't been as zealous at following the pre-race horse history, the actual race is always something to be excited about. We pick our favorites, cheer loudly, and crow proudly if we correctly guess any of the top three placers. (I would like to boast at this point that I did in fact pick the winner this year - Orb) This year we cranked up Derby fever a bit and added classic Derby food to the day! It was quite yummy, so I am going to share it with you. Enjoy! (Recipe copyrights go to Shine on Yahoo)

4 thick white bread slices 3/4 pound sliced roasted turkey 
Mornay Sauce (see below)
1 cup (4-oz.) shredded Parmesan cheese 
3 plum tomatoes, sliced 
8 bacon slices, cooked 

1. Preheat broiler with oven rack 6 inches from heat. Place bread slices on a baking sheet and broil 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until toasted. 

2. Arrange bread slices in 4 lightly greased broiler-safe individual baking dishes. Top bread with turkey slices. Pour hot Mornay Sauce over turkey. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. 

3. Broil 6 inches from heat 3 to 4 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned; remove from oven. Top sandwiches with tomatoes and bacon. Serve immediately. 

Mornay Sauce 
1/2 cup butter 
1/3 cup all-purpose flour 
3 1/2 cups milk 
1/2 cup (2-oz.) shredded Parmesan cheese 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon pepper 

Melt butter in a 3-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour; cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, and cook, whisking constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened. Whisk in Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. 

      Follow as directed (pretty much ;p). I used Garlic Texas Toast for the bread, and shredded block Parmesan in the food processor. I did bake the bacon prior to starting the recipe - I feel like once you get started with the sauce, you're stirring until you put everything together! As a result, the bacon wasn't piping hot, so instead of adding it right before serving, I put it on top of the bread/turkey/Mornay sauce/Parmesan combo before putting it back in the oven to broil for the 3-4 minutes. This was perfect, as it browned the bacon just a bit more, and didn't interfere with the browning of the Parmesan. I used 1 piece of bacon, and 1 and 1/2 thick cut slices of turkey breast per sandwich, which was a great ration of meat to bread.
       The sauce is a little bland...I think next time I would spice it up with some sort of seasoning +/- extra salt. There is also a TON of sauce made with this recipe! I typically like things really saucy, and even making 6 sandwiches, I still have over half the pot of sauce left! Definitely recommend halving the sauce portion of the recipe, or devising something else you could use it for!  And while in traditional Derby fashion, this should be served with a Mint Julep...I just don't like them! I'm not a big fan of drinks with mint in them. So we opted to serve a Hunt classic - The Bocci Ball! 
     The Bocci Ball is pretty simple - mix orange juice, club soda, and amaretto together (as much of each as desired, and served cold - typically it's 1 cup orange juice, 1/3-1/2 cup club soda, and 1 shot amaretto) with a splash of lime juice. Stir well and enjoy!

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