Hot Brown

Hot Brown Turkey Sandwich
Matt Taylor-Gross

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.

Hot Brown
This open-faced sandwich was originally served as a midnight snack at the famous Brown Hotel.
Yield: serves 4

FOR THE MORNAY SAUCE

  • 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

FOR THE SANDWICH

  • 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

Instructions

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