From the Garden to the Kitchen
Yardboy, with Derby Day and Cinco de Mayo coming up, there will be lots of good food to share with family and friends for these celebrations. So I’m sharing two recipes – one for a hot brown that you can put a Mexican twist on by using a sprinkling of Queso Blanco on top of the Romano, and the other for a mint julep that goes really south by substituting the Kentucky colonel spearmint with one of my favorite herbs: Lime Mint (that’s the one you use for Mojitos, too).
Natorp’s has a wonderful selection of mints, along with an unusual selection of thymes, oreganos, basils and Rosemary. And that’s just the tip of the herb iceberg. Let’s just say you have to see to believe!
LEGENDARY BROWN HOTEL HOT BROWN (From the Brown Hotel in Louisville. This is the real deal – I called the hotel and verified the recipe. They were so accommodating. I don’t know if I can wait until Derby Day to make this. The notes in parentheses are mine.)
Ingredients (Makes Two Hot Browns):
2 oz. butter (1/4 cup)
2 oz. All Purpose Flour (1/2 cup)
1 Qt. Heavy Cream (I’d use whipping cream)
1/2 Cup Pecorino Romano Cheese, Plus 1 Tablespoon for Garnish
Salt & Pepper to Taste
14 oz. Sliced Roasted Turkey Breast
2 Slices of Texas Toast (Crust Trimmed)
4 slices of Crispy Bacon
2 Roma Tomatoes, Sliced in Half
In a two-quart saucepan, melt butter and slowly whisk in flour until combined and forms a thick paste (roux). Continue to cook roux for two minutes over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Whisk whipping cream into the roux and cook over medium heat until the cream begins to simmer, about 2-3 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and slowly whisk in Pecorino Romano cheese until the Mornay sauce is smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
For each Hot Brown, place one slice of toast in an oven safe dish and cover with 7 ounces of turkey. Take the two halves of Roma tomato and set them alongside the base of turkey and toast. Next, pour one half of the Mornay sauce to completely cover the dish. Sprinkle with additional Pecorino Romano cheese. Place entire dish under a broiler until cheese begins to brown and bubble. Remove from broiler, cross two pieces of crispy bacon on top, sprinkle with paprika and parsley, and serve immediately.
Make a simple syrup by combining 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar and a generous 1/2 cup roughly chopped spearmint leaves in a pan. Bring to a boil and cook until sugar dissolves. Let cool, then strain. Fill your frozen goblets (or even regular glasses, not frozen) with crushed ice and pour about 4 ozs good bourbon and 1/4 cup mint syrup in each. Go to taste on this! Top each with a sprig of mint and a straw which has been trimmed to barely come up to the top of the cups.
-Rita Heikenfeld, CCP / Herbalist www.abouteating.com
[Rita just gave me a book to read that will help enhance our relationship. It’s titled, “Women are from Venus, Men are Wrong.”]
OBKB – That’s it for this week. Now do yourself a favor. Go out and make it the best last week of April / first weekend of May of your life! See ya. RW, the Yardboy. (Join us every Saturday morning 6-9am ‘In the Garden’ on 55KRC The Talk Station.)