Classic Louisville Hot Brown Sandwich

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. The classic is slightly updated with the use of sweeter cherry tomatoes instead of large tomato wedges.

Classic Louisville Hot Brown Sandwich
This lavish Louisville original is one of the world's great hangover helpers.
Yield: serves 4 people
Time: 30 minutes

For the mornay sauce

  • 2 tbsp. heavy cream
  • 4 tbsp. (2 oz.) unsalted butter
  • 14 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 34 cups whole milk, warmed
  • 3 tbsp. freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
  • 1 large egg
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper

For the sandwiches

  • 8 thick slices white bread, crusts trimmed, bread toasted and halved diagonally into triangles
  • 1 lb. sliced roast turkey breast
  • 14 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 8 slices cooked bacon
  • Leaves from ½ small bunch parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. Make the mornay sauce: In a small bowl, whisk the cream until soft peaks form. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until pale golden, 3–5 minutes. Briefly remove from the heat and whisk in the milk and cheese. Return the pan to the heat and cook, whisking the sauce constantly, until thickened and creamy, 1–2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat the egg. Gradually whisk a few tablespoons of the sauce into the egg to temper. Whisk the egg mixture into the remaining sauce in the pan. Fold in the prepared whipped cream. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Make the sandwiches: Place four individual ovenproof serving dishes under a broiler, and preheat. Retrieve the dishes and place 2 toast triangles into each; top with the turkey, and spoon 1⁄3 cup of the mornay sauce over each sandwich. (Leftover sauce will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 2 days.) Top with the cheese and broil until the sauce starts to brown, about 6 minutes.
  5. Retrieve from the broiler, rest the two remaining pieces of toast around the edges at an angle, and top the sandwiches with half of the cherry tomatoes. Broil until the tomatoes are softened and the new toasts are browned, 1-2 minutes.
  6. Top with 2 pieces of bacon, the remaining cherry tomatoes, and the parsley. Serve immediately.
Hot Brown
Classic Louisville Hot Brown SandwichMatt Taylor-Gross