Hot Brown

  • Serves

    serves 4


This open-faced sandwich was created at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, by chef Fred K. Schmidt, who was looking for a unique midnight snack to serve to all the revelers dancing in the ballroom until the wee hours.



  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 4 tbsp. flour
  • 1 34 cups milk, hot
  • 3 tbsp. freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
  • Half of 1 beaten egg
  • 2 tbsp. heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper


  • 8 thick slices white bread (such as shokupan), crusts trimmed, bread toasted and halved
  • 1 lb. sliced roast turkey breast
  • 4 tbsp. freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
  • 1 ripe tomato, cored and cut into 8 wedges
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked
  • Leaves from 8 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped


Step 1

For the mornay sauce: Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking constantly, until pale golden, 3–5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and whisk in milk and cheese.

Step 2

Return pan to heat. Cook sauce, whisking constantly, until thick and creamy, 1–2 minutes. Remove pan from heat.

Step 3

Put egg into a medium bowl and gradually whisk in half the sauce. Add egg mixture to sauce in pan, whisking constantly. Beat cream in a small bowl until soft peaks form, then fold cream into sauce. Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 4

For the sandwich: Preheat broiler. Heat four ovenproof ceramic individual serving dishes or gratin dishes under broiler. Remove dishes from broiler, put 2 pieces of toast in each dish, and cover with one-quarter of the turkey. Spoon 1⁄3 cup of the mornay sauce over turkey. (You will have leftover sauce. It will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 2 days.) Sprinkle cheese over sandwiches. Put 2 of the remaining pieces of toast and 2 tomato wedges around each sandwich. Broil sandwiches until sauce is browned, 5–6 minutes. Put 2 pieces bacon on each sandwich and garnish each with parsley.

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