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Video: Derby-day treats

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    >> cracker.

    >>> today, we're getting saucy with delicious dishes for the weekend's big race.

    >> look at her hat. the chef-owner of lynn's paradise cafe . she's showing us her version of a kentucky hot brown .

    >> no one's heard of it.

    >> it's like a sandwich, a casserole. it has its own unique thing.

    >> we want to hear about your restaurant. our producer was there and said it was some kind of whacky.

    >> look at this. what's going on here?

    >> it's like san antonio . remember that, hoda?

    >> it's a large art project done by the community.

    >> wall of fame --

    >> it's fun.

    >> that is not a toaster.

    >> yes, it is.

    >> we're going to get in the guinness book world of records. largest capocuppacino. we've got salads --

    >> tell us about the kentucky brown .

    >> it's a hot brown .

    >> whatever.

    >> it's okay if you didn't do your homework. it was invented in louisville at the brown hotel . and basically, we're going to make it, but it is a delicious mission of rue, turkey, bacon and cheeses. it's really low fat , it makes you thin. this is just basically a thickening agent , which is flour and butter and then you pour --

    >> is that heavy cream ?

    >> you just really want to pour that down. and stir really fast.

    >> okay. if you've heated up your cream, it gets thicker faster. i slave over the stove, so i pour it in cold. and then we add the cheese. we're adding a parmsean. this is a white cheddar that we get here in kentucky .

    >> it's new york .

    >> that's later.

    >> you stir it, try not to spill it. now, i'm going to actually turn that off. i think that's down or off. now, i'm going to instruct you in the fine art . quick.

    >> we just have a minute for the entire segment.

    >> one piece of bread. grab two piece of turkey. put your tomatoes -- three miss pieces each. bacon. two pieces of bacon.

    >> some of this?

    >> not yet. now, whoever dwet gets the ladle first. now, you cover it so it all looks good.

    >> here, hoda.

    >> it's already made.

    >> look.

    >> oh, my gosh. so, actually, it's more than you realize. give it a try. remember, we have a little bourb bourbon.

    >> it's a hot brown .

    >> i call it a kentucky brown .

    >> but then you said, no, and now, it's a kentucky hot brown .

    >> what do you think?

    >> now, isn't that worth going to kentucky for? this is our bourbon french toast , one of our most famous dishes. let's just finish this. this is a bourbon custard. you pour it on there.

    >> do you know who's covering it?

    >> who is covering it?

    >> nbc , of course. don't forget. coverage of the kentucky derby coming up this weekend, saturday, begins at 4:00 p.m . eastern time .

    >> natalie and al will be there.

    >> thank you so much.

    >>> up next, death defies stunts. this is "today" on nbc .

    >>> we are kicking off a series called, "they get paid for that." awesome jobs you do without a paycheck. sara haines has one of those

TODAY recipes
updated 4/28/2010 4:38:30 PM ET 2010-04-28T20:38:30

Recipe: Kentucky Hot Brown

  • 1 loaf of sourdough bread
  • 2.5 pounds of roasted turkey breast
  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 1 pound of bacon
  • 6 salted butter
  • 1/4 cup of diced onion
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 1 quart of milk
  • 1/2 cup of cream
  • 1.25 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Dash of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino grated
  • 1 cup grated Swiss (Gruyere or cave-aged Emmentaler)
  • 1 cup sharp white cheddar cheese

For the Mornay sauce:
Make the white roux. In a medium saucepan on low heat place butter and diced onions. Sauté until translucent. Add flour and whisk until smooth. Cook the roux until you get a faint nutty aroma. Do not let brown.

For the sauce, combine milk, cream, salt and cayenne pepper in a separate saucepan. Tie a bay leaf and cloves in a cheesecloth ball or tea ball. Heat to simmer.

Pour in the roux while whisking continuously until the roux begins to thicken. Remove sack or tea ball. When thickened, add 1/4 cup Pecorino, 1/2 cup of Swiss and 1/2 cup of sharp white cheddar cheese. Whisk until cheese is thoroughly incorporated.

For the roasted sweet tomato slices:
Brush four large firm ripe tomatoes with olive oil. With tongs, hold the tomatoes over flame or roast in oven. When slight color appears, toss in to bowl with 1/4 cup white sugar. Core then slice.

For the Kentucky hot brown
Cook bacon and set to the side. In a flat-bottomed ovenproof bowl, place one slice of sourdough bread, top with a touch of Mornay Sauce, 6 ounces of turkey breast, sliced roasted tomatoes, two slices of bacon and cover with 4 to 6 ounces of Mornay Sauce. Sprinkle reserved Pecorino and sharp cheddar cheese.

Place in oven on 375 degrees for six to 10 minutes or until the cheese starts to brown.

Garnish with sweet dried tomato slices and tomato confetti.

Serving Size

Serves six to eight

Recipe: Bourbon Ball French Toast

  • 7/12 cup Kentucky Bourbon
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 2 quarts heavy cream
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1.25 cups milk
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (homemade is best)
  • 1.25 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3.25 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2.125 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 loaf of cinnamon swirl bread
  • 6 cups pecans or pecan pieces
  • 1 pint fresh sliced strawberries
  • Dark chocolate syrup
  • Butter or oil for frying
  • Dashes of powdered sugar

For the French toast batter: 
Beat the three egg whites with nutmeg, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon of salt in a medium sized bowl. Whisk in the milk.  Set aside.

For the Kentucky Bourbon whipped cream:
Whip heavy cream in chilled mixer until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar and fold in 1/4 cup of Kentucky Bourbon.

For the sugar spiced pecans
Beat three egg whites with water until well combined. Add 1.5 cups of sugar,  1 tablespoon cinnamon, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 3/4 teaspoon ground allspice and 3/4-teaspoon ground nutmeg nutmeg to egg mixture and mix well.

Add six cups of pecans to wet mixture and toss and stir to coat. Transfer to full-size sheet tray covered with non-stick spray. Bake at 300 degrees for 10 minutes

Stir bringing the outside edges of the pecans to the center. Cook for 21 minutes, stirring and rotating at seven-minute intervals. Place on a speed rack to cool. Store in an air tight container.

For the Bourbon vanilla custard
Heat half & half and 1 cup whipping cream in small saucepan over low heat, until the mixture begins to simmer.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Meanwhile, whisk four large egg yolks, 1/2 cup sugar, and 4 teaspoons cornstarch in a stainless steel bowl for about two minutes or until mixture thickens and lightens in color.

Slowly pour hot cream into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Return the custard to the saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir constantly until the mixture reaches 170 degrees. Remove from heat and stir in the 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and 1/3 cup of Kentucky Bourbon.

Serve immediately or hold over a hot water bath.

For the French toast: 
Slice the cinnamon swirl bread into 18 thick slices. Soak the slices in the batter for about three minutes, turning to coat evenly on both sides.

Heat butter or oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat. Lift the bread from the batter, draining slightly and place it in the hot pan. Add only enough to fit easily in the pan.  Sauté on both sides until golden brown.

Place three slices on each plate. Drizzle with warm Bourbon vanilla custard.

Garnish with chocolate syrup and Kentucky Bourbon whipped cream. Sprinkle with sliced strawberries and 1 cup of the toasted sugared pecan halves.

Serving Size

Serves six


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