Tag Archive | recipes

The Hot Brown–Kentucky Derby Style!

Today is a very full day. It’s the Kentucky Derby, Cinco de Mayo and spectacular Moon weekend. I’ve been thinking all week about what to make and blog about and really had a hard time deciding on just one item. Since we eat a lot of Mexican food, I thought that I’d first try something I’ve never had before. The infamous Hot Brown. In my discussions with my foodie friend, Heather, the Hot Brown sounded like a nice treat. She is a Kentucky-born foodie who I really enjoy talking with. We talk recipes all the time!

In looking over the images online, I found many different versions of this very popular sandwich. This got me wondering which was the original way? I’m not from Kentucky, so I

Hot Brown FN

really didn’t know about this sandwich. Well, I’d heard of it, but had never seen it, nor tasted it! After talking to my Foodie Friend Heather…I decided it was time to try it.

What is the Hot Brown? Back in the Roaring 20s, guests of The Brown Hotel was a hot spot for dancers and would attract upwards of 1,200 dancers every evening. After dancing into the early morning hours, guests would head for the restaurant to find something wonderful to eat. At the time, everyone was bored with the typical ham and eggs. To help keep his guests happy and coming back, Chef Fred Schmidt created this open faced turkey sandwich with bacon and delicate Mornay Sauce. Needless to say, this is one popular sandwich today!

Hot Brown Brown Hotel

This is the Brown Hotel recipe is reminiscent of a time when whole fats were used constantly and stacked on each other.  I immediately started thinking about how I could tweak this recipe to make it healthier while still enjoying a classic dish. We don’t use heavy cream in our house, but I realized that the cream is probably what creates a good portion of the flavor, so substituting a low fat milk would probably work well. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, an unsweetened nut milk would work as well as a vegetable protein meat replacement for the turkey and bacon. For the butter, you can substitute with Earth Balance or other type Heart Healthy expeller pressed oil “butter” spread.

The Hot Brown by the Louisville Brown Hotel

2 oz. whole butter

2 oz. all purpose flour

16 oz. heavy cream

1/2 c. pecorino Romano cheese

Salt & Pepper, to taste

14 oz. sliced turkey breast

2 slices Texas Toast, crust trimmed

4 slices crispy bacon

2 Roma tomatoes, sliced in half

Paprika, Parsley

In a 2-qt saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and slowly whisk in the all-purpose flour to make a thick roux. Cook for another 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Slowly whisk in the heavy cream and cook another 2-3 minutes or until the cream begins to simmer. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the cheese and stir until the Mornay Sauce is smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Place the toast in an oven-safe dish, cover with 7-oz of the sliced turkey, take the Roma tomato halves and place alongside the base of the turkey & toast. Pour the Mornay Sauce to completely cover the dish. Top with cheese. Place under the broiler until cheese browns and bubbles. Remove. Cross the bacon on the top, garnish with paprika & parsley. Serve immediately.

Hot Brown Veggie Styel

This is my version of the Hot Brown with oatmeal toast….and since I don’t eat bacon, I used “veggie” bacon. I know, it’s an oxymoron, but still was good! And I used my sliced yellow tomato – and broiled it with the rest. I used Romano and Parmesan cheeses grated super fine and low fat milk to make the Mornay Sauce. While my hubby didn’t try this (I would have used turkey bacon for him) I enjoyed something a little different for breakfast.

Happy Derby Day!

Cheesy Corn Dog Cakes

Is there any one food that takes you back to childhood? Do the memories flood back front and center when you think of certain dishes that mom used to make and everyone gobbled them up like there was no tomorrow?

For me there are many fond memories in the kitchen. Mom started me out at the age of 6, shortly after I learned just how hot a burner was by putting my hand flat on the big red, cool looking swirly thing on the stove. Needless to say, singed, blistered fingers and palm taught me quickly that in the kitchen, red hot means red hot and not to touch! But there are just as many good memories with mom in the kitchen and homemade corn dogs is one of them.

Recently Jeff and I were hungry for these tasty treats but because I am incorporating healthier cooking in our lifestyle, frying them just didn’t seem a good option. Not to mention having to eat them off sticks! The wheels in my head started to turn…..why couldn’t corn dogs be baked AND have no sticks? The solution? A 12-cup muffin pan!

You’ll have to forgive me for not having pictures of the ingredients and preparation because I was so excited about this that I forgot to take any!

Cheesy Corn Dog Cakes Muffin Pan

The feverish search for the best corn dog batter recipe began on Google! I wanted one that enveloped the whole essence of growing up in the 70s and was just good, old’ corn batter.

Here is the recipe I found:

Corn Dog Batter

1-1/4 c. all purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

3/4 c. corn meal – not corn bread mix

4 tbsp. sugar – you can use any substitute like stevia extract-1/4 tsp, etc.

1 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder

2 eggs

1-1/2 c. low fat milk or unsweetened soy or other nut milk

(just take care to select one without strong flavors)

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. This batter will be thick, but make sure it’s not too stiff. Add milk or water by tablespoon if too stiff until you get your batter thick again.

Cheesy Corn Dog Cakes Ramekins

Now to assemble the Cheesy Corn Dogs:

Taking your hot dogs or franks, cut them into thirds

Shred 1 cup Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Optional – your favorite chili (This became Jeff’s favorite addition)

Grease muffin pan or ramekins using non-stick spray

Cheesy Corn Dog Cakes

Using a 12-muffin baking pan or 4-ounce ramekins, spoon 2 Tbsp. batter into the bottom of each muffin or ramekin, place 1/3 piece of hot dog or frank on end into the center of the batter. Sprinkle cheese around the hot dog or frank. Add a teaspoon of chili – not too much or you will have a mess! Top off with spooning 2-Tbsp. batter over the top, completely covering the hot dog/frank, cheese and chili.

Bake in a 350F pre-heated oven until golden brown. About 14-15 minutes depending on altitude.

Serve with ketchup, your favorite sauces or just alone!

Open Cheesy Corn Dog Cakes

These were an absolute hit with my hubby and the girls at work. I’ve received a special request from my nephew, a very hungry Marine, who has just recently returned home from his 2nd Tour. I’m sure that once you serve these up, there will be requests for them again and again.