Are you ready for “The Run for the Roses”? Post time for the Kentucky Derby is 6:34 p.m. ET today, and Mini Hot Browns are just the right size appetizer to enjoy along with “The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports”.
The Hot Brown is an open-faced sandwich of turkey and bacon, covered in Mornay sauce. Made famous in the 1920’s by the chef at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, this mini-version is a quintessential Derby Day party food!
You can make your own Mornay sauce or use a short-cut with a ready-made Welsh Rarebit creamy cheddar cheese sauce you can find in the freezer section of your grocery store. These Mini Kentucky Hot Browns are crowd-pleasing bite you can scale up or down for a crowd or yourself and enjoy in front of your television while cheering on your favorite horse. Don’t forget to wear your fanciest hat ;)
Mini Kentucky Hot Browns, recipe courtesy Celebrate Magazine
24 (2-inch) round slices white bread
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 (10-ounce) package prepared Welsh rarebit sauce
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1⁄4 pound thick-cut smoked deli turkey, cut into bite-size pieces
24 slices Roma tomatoes
1⁄4 cup loosely packed chopped parsley
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
Preheat oven to 400°. Brush both sides of bread rounds with melted butter. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 4 to 6 minutes, or until lightly golden. Microwave Welsh rarebit sauce according to package directions. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Microwave for 1 minute longer, stirring well to blend.
Spoon cheese sauce on top of toasted bread rounds. Sprinkle with bacon. Layer 2 pieces turkey and 1 slice tomato. Sprinkle with parsley and paprika. Serve immediately.
To make ahead for your Derby watching, assemble as directed, without tomato and parsley and refrigerate. When ready to serve, place in preheated 350° oven on a parchment lined baking sheet for 5 – 10 minutes or until warmed through. Top with tomato and parsley and serve. You can find a printable recipe, HERE.
Serve these Kentucky Hot Browns with a Sweet Tea Julep, a marriage of two classic Southern drinks, the mint julep and sweet tea!
I pulled out my Old Kentucky Home scale to serve up these Mini Hot Browns. . .
The Stephen Foster ballad, “My Old Kentucky Home” is performed by the University of Louisville Marching Band as the horses make their way from the paddock to the starting gate, and has been a Derby Day tradition since 1936.
And for a sweet ending, serve up some Mini Derby Pies, a Bluegrass-inspired recipe, baked in a muffin tin! These mini pies are a winning trifecta of pecan pie, chocolate and a touch of Kentucky Bourbon!
Top your Mini Derby Pies with Easy Bourbon Whipped Cream, ready in 20 seconds!
Or enjoy a Derby Truffle (or two!)
Rich, easy, and can be made ahead
You’re welcome to join me at an Off to the Races Derby-inspired Table, with plaid and roses plates, Mint Julep Cup vases filled with azalea blooms and sprigs of mint.
Don’t you love the names of some of these horses? Some of my favorites at the starting gate today are Suddenbreakingnews, Oscar Nominated, Exaggerator, My Man Sam, and last but not least, Cherry Wine ;)