Open-face sandwich adds spicy Southern kick

Gretchen McKay
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (TNS)

Whew! Bet all that holiday shopping has worked up an appetite. This open-face hot sandwich from “Southern Heat: New Southern Cooking Latin Style” should snap you back to life while also offering a chance to use up any lingering Thanksgiving turkey. A spicy variation of traditional Kentucky Hot Brown sandwich (created in Louisville in 1926), it gets extra kick from jalapeno peppers.

Don’t feel guilty about piling on the Mornay sauce, Chef Anthony Lamas writes in the recipe headnotes, “because that’s one of the best parts. I’m your chef, not your cardiologist.”

Kentucky Hot Brown With Manchego-


Morney Sauce

For sauce

4 cups heavy cream

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

2 teaspoons kosher salt

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 jalapenos, seeds and membranes removed, 1 diced and the other sliced for garnish

2 cups grated Manchego cheese

For hot browns

12 slices French bread or Texas toast, toasted and crusts removed

11/2 pounds roasted and sliced turkey breast

12 strips bacon, cooked

12 slices heirloom tomatoes, lightly salted

Grated Manchego cheese, for topping

Heat oven to 450 degrees.

Make sauce: In medium saucepan, warm cream with nutmeg, pepper and salt over medium heat just until mixture bubbles around the edges. In another pan, melt butter over medium heat and add flour, whisking constantly to make a blond roux. Cook for 2 minutes to remove flour taste, then slowly add warm cream to roux, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. When mixture is slightly thickened, add diced jalapenos and cheese and whisk until cheese has melted and everything is blended. Adjust seasonings and keep warm.

Assemble sandwiches in 6 individual greased oval casserole dishes. In each casserole, place 2 slices of toast on bottom of dish. Top with sliced turkey and 3/4 cup sauce. Place 2 bacon slices on top, add 2 tomato slices and top with grated Manchego. Place dish in oven and cook until sauce is bubbly and cheese has melted, about 5 minutes.

Serves 6.

— “Southern Heat: New Southern Cooking Latin Style” by Anthony Lamas (Taunton Press, Nov. 2015, $35)