Sunday, July 02, 2006

My Hot Brown Casserole Brings All The Boys To The Yard

I love to cook. For those of you who know me well, this is no secret. The anonymous voyeurs out there (so you like to watch, do you?) may not be as in tune with that side of my personality. Read this if you need more background.

Tonight I am whipping up a dish to bring over to a friend and her family tomorrow as they cope with their mother's battle with breast cancer.

The perfect situation for some down home cookin' from the Bluegrass.

The Hot Brown is a legendary Kentucky tradition, revered alongside with our Derby Pie, our bourbon and of course our fried chicken. The dish originates from the Brown Hotel in Louisville (say it with me: Luhl - vuhl. You can do it in three syllables Lou uh vuhl if you're having a tough time getting the hang of it) and is served up in many a Kentucky kitchen.

My favorite can be found at Ramsey's in Lexington, KY.


Here's a look at a recipe I snagged off the Allen County Extension Office webpage. Yeah, they're the ones who include "Wash your hands" as one of the steps. I guess a little soap never hurt anybody.

I am probably going to switch out the margarine for real butter, and I will probably use shredded sharp cheddar instead of the low fat kind. I know the recipe says it's the Leaner version, but today I'm really not watching the calories I'm putting in.

Happy cooking.

The Leaner Kentucky Hot Brown Casserole

1/4 cup low fat margarine
1/4 cup flour
2 cups skim milk
1 chicken bouillon cube
6 slices bread, toasted
3/4-1 lb. thinly sliced or shredded turkey
2/3 cup shredded low fat cheese (or low fat cheese slices)
2 tomatoes, sliced
3 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled

1. Wash hands.
2. Melt margarine in pan over low heat.
3. Add flour, stirring until smooth. Add bouillon and milk.
4. Cook over medium heat, stirring until thickened and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
5. Place toast in 13x9 baking dish, greased with cooking spray.
6. Top each slice of toast with desired amount of turkey.
7. Spoon sauce over meat.
8. Layer cheese, tomato slices and crumbled bacon over sauce.
9. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Makes 6 servings.

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