Derby is quickly approaching…can you feel it?! Louisville is abuzz with Derby season activities right now, making it a super fun place to be. Derby season wouldn’t be complete without ridiculously delicious food and drinks, and I really wanted to share my own twist on some of my favorite Kentucky food items with you that would work perfectly for a Derby party, whether you’re in Louisville or many miles away.
I started out sharing Benedictine Tea Sandwiches and then discussed foodie-related Derby party gift items. Now it’s time to pull out the big guns with these Hot Brown Bites. Have you ever had a Hot Brown? Hot Browns started at the Brown Hotel here in Louisville many moons ago. It’s the most decadent combination of turkey, bacon, Mornay sauce, tomatoes, and bread that you ever will meet. I was lucky enough to try a Hot Brown at the Brown Hotel a year-and-a-half ago when some of my best friends treated me to a Bachelorette weekend complete with a stay at the famous establishment. Right after we checked in, we immediately headed down to the lobby bar and ordered a Hot Brown to split. Holy my goodness, that sucker was huge! One order was split between 4 hungry ladies and we were still stuffed! But oh my gracious, what an amazing bite! Hot Browns are totally worth the hype!
I’ve craved that divine dish many times since our first meeting and decided to take the opportunity to recreate the dish in bite-sized form during blog’s first Derby season. These bites are the perfect appetizer! They are amazingly decadent, just like the real deal, without being messy.
These will be a huge hit at your Derby party, or any dinner party, for that matter! Plus also, these are not at all difficult to make. You definitely won’t be waking up at the crack of dawn to make these babies the morning of your event! The Mornay sauce can be prepped a day in advance, which is the most difficult part of the prep (even though it isn’t really difficult at all).
I still have a few more Derby party recipes up my sleeve, so make sure to check back in this week!
More Kentucky Derby Recipes:
- Kentucky Derby Cookies
- Benedictine Tea Sandwiches
- Mint Julep Granita
- Kentucky Bourbon Pecan Pie
- Chocolate Coconut Bourbon Truffles
- Bourbon Ball Cupcakes
Also, find Kentucky Derby Party hostess gift ideas here.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons freshly shredded Pecorino Romano cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 15 mini phyllo tart shells
- ½ cup roasted turkey breast, finely chopped
- ¼ cup diced tomatoes* (see note)
- ¼ cup white cheddar, shredded
- 2 slices cooked bacon, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon paprika (smoked or regular)
- 1 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Slowly whisk in flour until well combined to form a roux. Cook the roux for 2 minutes stirring frequently.
- Increase heat to medium. Whisk in heavy cream and cook until the cream begins to simmer, about 2-3 minutes.
- Remove saucepan from heat and whisk in cheese 1 tablespoon at a time until sauce is smooth. Taste sauce and adjust salt and pepper levels as desired.
- Transfer sauce to a bowl. Allow sauce to come to room temperature. Once sauce reaches room temperature, cover bowl and chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour. (Can be made a day in advance)
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place mini phyllo tart shells on parchment-lined baking sheet, about ½ inch apart.
- Fill the bottom of tart shells with a sprinkling of shredded white cheddar cheese.
- Combine the cold Mornay sauce, turkey breast, and tomatoes in a medium-sized mixing bowl and gently mix to combine. Transfer mixture to a quart-sized Ziploc bag to use for piping.
- Snip the tip of the Ziploc bag. Pipe mixture into each tart shell.
- Top Hot Brown Bites with bacon and a sprinkling of paprika and Parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until heated through. Allow to cool for a minute or two, then serve!
P.S. Don't reheat these in the microwave. They will melt into a puddle of Hot Brown Bites. I haven't tried to reheat in the oven, but I think it would work better than in the microwave.
Recipe adapted from Epicurious