Well, here we are, my favorite race fo the Triple Crown! I love horse races, and I have since I was really young.
Horse racing is a sport steeped in tradition and history. It's a blue-blood celebration of good breeding, strength and speed. I grew up riding jumpers, and a few of the horses I rode were once race horses. It's amazing the kind of heart these thoroughbreds have!
A lot of people give it flack, but horses love to run, and when it's the Kentucky Derby we're talking about, those horses are treated like kings!
I'm hosting a Derby party (small, tiny one) this Saturday. I'd love to cook something like this:
Kentucky Hot Browns
Courtesy Bobby Flay
♥ Egg-battered Bread, recipe follows
♥ Maple-Bourbon Roast Turkey Breast, recipe follows, sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices
♥ Cheese Sauce, recipe follows
♥ 1 cup grated sharp white Cheddar
♥ 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
♥ 8 (1/4-inch) thick slices ripe tomato (from 2 tomatoes), sauteed until lightly browned
♥ 8 slices bacon, cooked until crisp
♥ Finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
Place the egg bread on a baking sheet, place under the broiler, and heat on both sides for 20 seconds just to warm through.
Top each slice of bread with 2 to 3 slices of turkey, ladle sauce over the top, and divide the Cheddar and Parmesan over the top of each slice. Place under the broiler and cook until bubbly and the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and top each slice with 2 slices tomato and 2 slices of bacon. Sprinkle each slice with parsley and serve immediately, 2 open-face sandwiches per person.
♥ 4 large eggs
♥ 1/4 cup milk
♥ 8 (1/2-inch thick) slices 1 day-old white bread, such as Pullman or Pain de mie
♥ 4 tablespoons butter
♥ 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
Whisk together the eggs, milk, and salt in a medium bowl. Dip each slice of bread in the mixture and let sit about 30 seconds, or until completely soaked through.
Heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of oil in a large nonstick saute pan over medium-high heat. Cook 4 slices of the bread at a time until golden brown on both sides. Remove and place on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining butter, oil, and bread.
Maple-Bourbon Roast Turkey Breast:
♥ 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
♥ 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
♥ 2 tablespoons bourbon
♥ Salt and freshly ground black pepper
♥ 1 (4 to 5-pound) turkey breast
♥ 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
♥ Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Whisk together syrup, mustard, and bourbon in a small bowl and season with salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Set glaze aside.
Rub entire turkey breast with butter and season with salt and pepper. Place in a small roasting pan and roast for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and continue roasting until a thermometer inserted into the center registers 155 degrees F, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. During the last 15 minutes of roasting, brush the breast with the glaze. Remove from the oven, loosely tent with foil and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.
♥ 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
♥ 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
♥ 2 1/2 cups whole milk
♥ 3/4 cup grated sharp white Cheddar
♥ 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
♥ Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
♥ Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Melt butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk, bring to a boil and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened and the flour has cooked out, about 4 to 5 minutes. Whisk in cheese and cook until melted. Season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper, to taste.
But then again... I was supposed to be on a diet! But it doesn't mean that I can't make a slimmed down version! Egg beaters, low fat cheese, leaner meats...
Then of course you can't forget these!
♥ 2 cups water
♥ 2 cups white sugar
♥ 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
♥ 32 fluid ounces Kentucky bourbon
♥ 8 sprigs fresh mint leaves for garnish
Combine water, sugar and chopped mint leaves in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Allow syrup to cool, approximately 1 hour. Pour syrup through a strainer to remove mint leaves
Fill eight cups or frozen goblets with crushed ice and pour 4 ounces of bourbon and 1/4 cup mint syrup in each. (Proportions can be adjusted depending on each person's sweet tooth). Top each cup with a mint sprig and a straw. Trim straws to just barely protrude from the top of the cups. Serve juleps on a silver platter.
And may the best horse win!