Sissy: In honor of Fixin’ To Die by Tonya Kappes (which is our next post), we are cookin’ up some delicious Kentucky Southern food. In Fixin’ To Die, there were these two dishes that were mentioned repeatedly that we deemed worthy of reproducing for you.
Bubby: Yes, we read all about how delicious the Kentucky Hot Brown sandwich is and how decadently rich Chess Bars are so we just had to try them for ourselves. I don’t believe either Sissy or myself had partaken of these delicacies before today, but we’ll be making them again!
Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich (original recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay via Food Network)
8 slices egg-battered bread (recipe follows)
1 batch cheese sauce (recipe follows)
16 slices roasted turkey breast
3 ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups mixed sharp Cheddar and Monterey Jack Cheese
16 slices crispy bacon
chopped parsley and chives
Make a simple cheese sauce by melting 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat in a medium-sized pan. When the butter is all melted, whisk in 3 tablespoons flour. (I like to use Wondra flour because it mixes in so well. Never any lumps.) Whisk in 2 1/2 cups whole milk and bring to a boil, whisking constantly until sauce begins to thicken. Add 2 1/4 cups mixed sharp Cheddar and Monterey Jack Cheese and whisk until melted. Season with a pinch of nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.
Make the egg-battered bread: whisk together 4 eggs, 1/4 c. milk, and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Dip 8 pieces of thickly sliced bread (we used sourdough, but any thick white bread works) into the egg and let sit until soaked through. Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large frying pan and cook soaked bread until golden brown on both sides.
Now you’re ready to assemble! Lay out your 8 slices of egg-battered bread on a cookie sheet. Top each piece of bread with two slices of turkey and two pieces of tomato. Spoon a good amount of cheese sauce over the turkey and tomato. Sprinkle the cheese mixture over the sauce and slide the cookie sheet under the broiler until the cheese is all melty and gooey and golden brown. Remove from oven, add bacon and garnish with chopped parsley and chives. You’re going to want to eat these while they’re piping hot, so have everyone at the table when the Hot Browns come out of the oven. Makes 8 large servings or 16 for a more delicate appetite like Sissy’s.
1 package cake mix (we used yellow, but you can use any mild flavor – butter pecan, french vanilla, white…)
1 stick butter (4 oz), softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 cups (1 pound) powdered sugar
Grease and flour a 9×13 pan (or just spray with Baker’s Joy – easier and better results) and heat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, beat one egg until fluffy and then add the butter and cake mix. Mix together until well-blended and the crumbs stick together. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the 9×13 pan and set aside. In a new mixing bowl beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Mix in the powdered sugar then add the remaining three eggs. Beat until smooth and creamy. Pour the cream cheese batter over the crumb layer and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Bars should be set and lightly golden brown, but will still be a bit gooey. Let them cool on the counter (don’t grab a spoonful while they’re still hot like Bubby did) and chill in the fridge for about an hour. Keep these stored in the fridge if you happen to have any leftovers. These are super rich, so cut them small!