Mini Kentucky Hot Browns

Mini Kentucky Hot Browns

Mini Kentucky Hot Browns are the bomb for Derby Day.

My recipe for Mini Kentucky Hot Browns has garlic toasted crostini, topped with a slice of a ripe Roma tomato, juicy roasted turkey breast, cheesy mornay sauce, and crisp smoked bacon. Just one a bite…OMG!

Sip on a Mint Julep or Oaks Lily with a big piece of fresh mint in your other hand…Oh Baby!

Did you know…

The Kentucky Hot Brown originated from the Brown hotel in Louisville Kentucky. It is a staple and comforting food choice for all Kentuckians.

Now the down and dirty about these are:

  • You have to you roast your own turkey breast…don’t buy that process turkey at the deli!  I’m not kidding you.
  • Make your own Mornay Sauce, but you’ll need to tighten it up.
  • Use Roma tomatoes, less seeds more fruit and just the right size.
  • Be sure to choose a nice french baguette and slice it 1/4 ” thick, no thicker!
  • Use good slice smoked bacon, thin sliced and cooked crisp.

Take these along to Keeneland Race Track on Derby Day…it’s Kentucky’s best kept secret.

Doll yourself up, hats and all and feel like you are at Churchill Downs and avoid the millions of people, and long lines to the beverage stations, betting booths, food vendors, and bathrooms…Bonus!

Just get there around 10 am, stake out your location with your “Picnic Fare”  chairs & coolers, study the racing forms and watch it from the Huge Screen planted in the infield…

It is more fun…people watching is still the best entertainment!

Also, these are a great leftover hors d’oeuvre after Thanksgiving Day.

Mini Kentucky Hot Brown Recipe

Serves 8-16

[ingredients title=”Equipment”]

  • 3  Sheet pans with racks, one for the turkey, two for the crostini/mini KHB’s  lined with foil (easy clean up)
  • Digital Thermometer 
  • Pastry brush
  • Small saucepan for garlic herb butter
  • 3 quart saucepan, for Mornay Sauce
  • Rubber Spatular and hand whisk
  • Grater for cheese
  • Chef knife, serrated knife, and carving fork
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Small spoon (for draping mornay sauce onto mini KHB’s)


[ingredients title=”Ingredients”]

  • 1          Small boneless fresh 1/2 of a turkey breast, or 4 turkey tenderloins *
  • 4 T     Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 T     Herbs of Provence
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Lb   Smoked  bacon, sliced thin
  • 8          Roma tomatoes, cored and sliced thin
  • 3 C      Mornay sauce, approximately. See recipe below. *
  • 1/2 C   Parsley, minced for garnish
  • 1 – 2     Loaves, French baguettes, 1/4 inch slices *
  • 8 oz     Butter
  • 4           Cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 C    Parsley, minced for garlic butter

Mornay Sauce : This Cheddar Mornay Type Sauce (you want it Thick so it doesn’t run all over) *

  • 1 C        AP flour
  • 8 oz      Butter
  • 1/2 Gal Whole milk *
  • 1 Lb       White cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2         Onion
  • 1              Bay leaf
  • 1              Clove, whole
  • 1 t           Garlic, minced
  • Dash of ground nutmeg
  • Dash of hot sauce
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


Chef Gerrie’s Notes *

  • The turkey breast, Mornay sauce, and baguette slices can be made the day or two before. Make sure that the toasted garlic butter baguette slices are dry before putting them in a ziplock.
  • Mornay Sauce needs to be thick/tighten up so when you dollop up a spoon full, it doesn’t run all over…Easier to eat and less messy, but sooo good.
  • You can assemble these mini Kentucky hot Brown’s a couple hours before service. Minding that you have a oven or warmer on low to heat them up.

[directions title=”Directions”]

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Rub the turkey breast with olive oil and season with herbs of Provence.
  • Roast turkey breast for 30-40 minutes or until it registers 165°. You can roast the turkey the day before or not. While turkey is roasting, start the Mornay sauce. (all of this can be made the day or two before)
  • Make the Mornay Sauce. In your large quart saucepan, make a white roux first; melt butter over medium low heat, then add the flour mixing to form a paste.
  • Slowly whisk in milk, making sure the roux is dispersed in the milk and there are no lumps. Had the onion, bay leaf, clove, garlic, nutmeg, and hot sauce to the milk mixture. Increase the heat to medium and stirring so often, making sure there is no leftover roux stuck to the bottom of the saucepan. The sauce will begin to thicken, stir often. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  • Now pass the sauce through a fine mesh sieve. Discarding the onion, bay leaf, and whole cloves. Return sauce to saucepan and add cheese mixing well together. (You can make the sauce a day or two before)
  • Lay out baguette slices on foil covered sheet pans. Brush with garlic butter on one side and broil for 3 minutes until golden. Being so careful not to burn them. Then flip slices and brush with garlic butter. Again broil for couple of minutes until golden and crisp. (These can be made a day or two ahead. Just make sure they are totally cool before storing them. If not, they will become limp.)
  • Lay out bacon on foil covered sheet pans. Roast at 350° for 15 minutes, then flip slices and continue cooking until crisp. Drain on paper towels in. Cut into pieces and reserve.
  • While bacon is cooking, core and slice Roma tomatoes in thin slices (1/4″) and chop parsley.
  • If you cook the turkey breast and made the Mornay sauce the day before, slice turkey into thin slices and warm up in a covered dish in the microwave or oven. Warm up the Mornay sauce in a covered dish in the microwave or oven.
  • While the turkey breast and Mornay sauce are warming up, start assembling the crostini’s. On top of each crostini, lay a slice of Roma tomato, follow it with a slice or two of turkey breast, drape Mornay sauce on top, sprinkle with bacon pieces and then sprinkle with minced parsley.


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