A classic Kentucky dish!
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 and 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated)
1 and 1/2 cups shredded gruyere cheese
black pepper (to taste)
KENTUCKY HOT BROWN:
1 pound sliced bacon
unsalted butter (softened)
6 slices Texas toast or white bread (sliced 1-inch thick)
2 pounds smoked turkey breast (sliced)
1 recipe mornay sauce (above)
2 vine-ripe or roma tomatoes (sliced 1/4-inch thick)
Parmesan cheese (to serve)
fresh parsley (finely chopped (to garnish)
For the Mornay sauce: Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat with butter. Once the butter is melted, whisk in the flour. While continuing to whisk, add in the milk and nutmeg and black pepper and continue to whisk until smooth and thickened, 3-4 minutes. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes and stir in the gruyere cheese. Once gruyere has melted, if needed, season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and keep warm until ready to serve.
For the Kentucky Hot Brown: Preheat oven to 425ºF. Line a baking sheet with foil, lay out bacon, and bake until crisp, about 12-15 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Spread each piece of bread with some butter on both sides and toast until golden brown and crispy, about 2-4 minutes per side. Remove bread to baking sheet and set aside.
Preheat broiler to high.
Top each slice on bread with 4 slices of turkey, ladle 4 ounces of mornay sauce on top, add 2 tomato slices and broil until golden brown and bubbly, about 3 minutes. To serve, remove from broiler and add parmesan cheese, parsley, and 2 bacon slices.
Tip: Make the mornay sauce ahead of time and reheat when ready to serve!