Brrr….its cold out here. There must be some toros in the atmosphere. While we do live a Mediterrean paradise and the sun is almost always shining, it does get cold here in the winter. Not as cold as back home but definitely chilly.
Chilly days call for something warm and preferably covered in gooey cheese like the classic openfaced sandwich, the Kentucky Hot Brown. Developed at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky in the 1920s, the Hot Brown features turkey, sliced tomatoes and crisp American bacon on a thick slice of Texas toast. The sandwich is then covered in a cheese sauce and a quick sprinkle of Parmegiano or sharp cheddar before being run under the broiler until it gets brown and bubbly. A terrific way to serve left over turkey after Thanksgiving or Christmas.
For the turkey
1 turkey breast, boneless and skinless (AKA turkey crown), 4-5 pounds
For the sauce
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup of Sherry
2 cups of milk and/or cream
1 cup grated sharp cheddar and/or Parmegiano
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
couple of dashes of Lea & Perrins
dash of cayenne pepper
8 slices of thick cut white bread toasted
2 large tomatoes, sliced into 4 slices each
16 slices of American or streak bacon, cooked until crisp
grated sharp cheddar and/or Parmegiano for sprinkling over the top
Preheat the oven to 425 Fahrenheit/220 Celsius degrees. Coat the turkey breast with EVOO and butter and season with the salt and pepper. Place in a baking pan and roast for 30 minutes. Lower the temperature to 350/175 and continue roasting until turkey is cooked, about 90 minutes. Check the temperature with a meat thermometer. Remove from the oven and let rest for 30 minutes. Slice and set aside. If you have leftover turkey, lucky you! You can skip this step
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes. Whisk in the Sherry and the milk/cream. Bring to a boil and cook until the mixture thickens whisking all the while, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the grated cheese, Lea & Perrins, mustard and cayenne. Salt and pepper to taste. Continue whisking until cheese melts.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and layout the toast slices. Top each slice of toast with 2-3 slices of turkey, 2 slices of tomato and 2 slices of bacon. Cover with cheese sauce and sprinkle with grated cheese. Run under the broiler or grill until golden brown and bubbly.
Serve immediately. Fantastic with a little arugula salad. You can store any leftover turkey or cheese sauce in the refrigerator for a couple of days.