Kentucky Hot Brown Bites for Derby Day!

Everyone knows about the mint julep, but how many of you know about Kentucky Hot Browns? 

There's a hotel in Louisville called The Brown Hotel. During the 20's it would draw as many as 1,200 guests for its' dinner dance. In the wee hours of the morning, the guests would grow tired of dancing and would want a little something to eat. They were getting bored with ham and eggs, so Chef Fred Schmidt set out to create something new to tempt his guests' palates. His unique creation was an open-faced turkey sandwich with bacon and a delicate Mornay sauce. Enter The Hot Brown!
I found this mini version on Steph's blog, Plain Chicken. The crescent rolls give it the bready texture of a hot brown, but I can see these made with puff pastry, with filo...even plain pie crust. Anything you have handy.

Kentucky Hot Brown Bites

For the Mornay Sauce:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
Pinch of freshly ground pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
1/2 cup coarsely grated Gruyère or Swiss

For the Hot Brown Bites:
1 can refrigerated crescent rolls
1 cup finely chopped turkey
1 cup mornay sauce
2 slices bacon, chopped
1 tomato, diced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Mornay Sauce:
Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in flour, and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. (Do not let mixture brown.) Add milk, whisking constantly. Bring to a low boil, and cook, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes more. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Remove from heat, and stir in cheese.  Allow to cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl combine finely chopped turkey and mornay sauce.
Lightly spray a mini muffin pan with non stick cooking spray.
Unroll crescent rolls and press dough into one large rectangle. Cut rectangle into 24 squares. Press dough squares into muffin cups and shape up around the edges.
Fill each muffin cup with some of the turkey mixture. Top each bite with some diced tomato, bacon and Parmesan cheese.
Bake 13-15 minutes or until lightly browned.


  1. Mmhhh, those look so scrumptious! I love the idea.



  2. wow! These look great. I can't wait to try them.

    - The Tablescaper

  3. These look delicious and much less caloric than the original sandwich. We stayed at The Brown last September when we attended a wedding in Louisville. It is a lovely old hotel with the best hotel gift shop I've ever been in. They even had glorious hats--the kind one wears to the Kentucky Derby. Thanks for the memories.


  4. I haven't had a good Hot Brown in I don't know when. It just might be my favorite decadent sandwich. What's not to love about Mornay sauce, bacon and Parmesan cheese.

  5. I had never heard of these until now! They look scrumptious, lots of bacon love. :D

  6. Okay. I'm making these tomorrow!! I love a hot brown...

  7. It's been along time since I've had a hot brown, and I love your version Barbara. This is one to bookmark!

  8. Hi Barbara,

    Always great to see what is on the menu over there.
    The Hot brown sounds delicious and washed down with a mint julep would be very nice.

    Happy weekend

  9. What a cute idea! This way you get the flavor of the hot brown without having to eat a whole one.

  10. These really are delicious when they are properly made. Yours look wonderful and if I ever reach my goal weight I intend to give your version a try. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary

  11. I love the horses! I'm making my picks this morning! Yahoo!

  12. did not know about these bites but look very good !!pierre

  13. I've read about hot browns but have never tried to make them. And by the way, my simple syrup is "minting" as I type. :)

  14. Awesome idea - they look delicious :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  15. Definitely a great way to feed the munchies! Thanks for sharing this cute idea.

  16. What lovely, tasty & savoury bites! I love a good Mornay sauce! :)

    Yum Yum Yum: They look really appetizing too, Barbaba! :) xxx

  17. I'm married to a Kentucky boy so I definitely know about hot browns--and have even had one.

  18. several of my coworkers had never heard of a hot brown--i was floored! this is a great idea, barbara. :)

  19. These are so CUTE! And yummy looking!



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