Hot Brown

A Hot Brown is a hot sandwich originally created at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, by Fred K. Schmidt in 1926. It was one of two signature sandwiches created by chefs at the Brown Hotel shortly after its founding in 1923. The Brown Hotel is a grand property, of distinctive English Renaissance design and is on the National Register of Historic Places. 

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According to The Hot Brown legend, "In the 1920's, The Brown Hotel drew over 1,200 guests each evening for its dinner dance. In the wee hours of the morning, the guests would grow tired of dancing and retire to the restaurant for a bite to eat. Diners were growing rapidly bored with the traditional 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." 

The dish is a local specialty and favorite of the Louisville area, and is popular throughout Kentucky. Think fondue-like only more of a pub-ish lunch; ideal and comforting during cold weather. The Hot Brown is an open-faced sandwich w/ turkey and or bacon, covered in Mornay sauce and baked or broiled until the bread is crisp and the sauce begins to brown. Other varieties of Hot Browns may include ham with the turkey, and either pimentos or tomatoes over the sauce. 

Making The Sauce

A béchamel or white sauce can be spiced up with a pinch of cayenne pepper, or hot sauce, 1/2 cup IPA (or another good ale), 1 teaspoon prepared English mustard, and pinch of paprika.

Finish the sauce off with 1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese. Whisk in and simmer just until the cheese is melted. Serve a couple tablespoons of sauce over a slice of good wheat toast. Serve as is, or you may want to place the 'Hot Brown' under a broiler for 30 seconds to brown lightly. Top with chopped chives or green onion. I've also topped this with a slice of good ripe tomato + sweet onion. Enjoy.

A Light Béchamel Recipe

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

1 Tablespoon sweet butter

1 Tablespoon flour

1/2 cup half & half (can use milk for a lighter version) 

In a small sauce pan over low heat add butter and flour and cook for 2-3 minutes. With a wire whisk add in milk and allow to simmer until slightly thickened.

If using béchamel for Hot Brown, continue adding ingredients as above and simmer for 5 minutes while continuing to stir. 

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Summer is ripe for Lobster Roll

Celebrating Chef George's 24th Anniversary on PBS

Join me + Tune-in GHL CreateTV

Sat 6:30AM/11AM/11PM/6:30PM 

Sun 12:30AM/8:30AM/5PM

Wed 8:30AM/2:30PM 

Is a lobster roll the new hamburger? 

George Hirsch Lifestyle Lobster Roll

There are many seaside locations up and down the coast that serve very good lobster rolls. And, I have enjoyed many. But clearly the best meat-for-meat is still the Clam Bar located here in the Hamptons, on the Napeaque stretch between Amagansett and Montauk. The late owner Dick Ehrlich set the bar very high serving-up their chock-filled fresh lobster rolls, chowders and locally grilled fish caught within minutes of Montauk. You can tune-in to CreateTV this summer to watch; or view at your leisure on DVD. Order GHL DVD and watch the segment filmed at the Clam Bar plus all 13 episodes of George Hirsch Lifestyle.

George Hirsch Lifestyle on location The Clam Bar

The Clam Bar's recipe is a trade secret, but making a great lobster roll is about keeping it simple. Buy lobsters from a reputable fish monger. How the lobsters are caught, handled and stored is the key to the flavor of the meat. And, never use lobster meat that is spongy, a sign the lobster was falling off or died before cooking. 

Chef George Hirsch's Lobster Roll

George’s Lobster Roll

Makes six sandwiches 

* 1 1/2 - 2 pounds knuckle & claw lobster meat, , cooked (How-to cook Lobsters)

6 top-split long soft rolls 

3 Tablespoons celery, chopped fine 

1 Tablespoon chives, chopped 

1 Tablespoon parsley, chopped 

Juice of 1 lemon  

1 teaspoon hot sauce

3 Tablespoons butter, melted 

Optional: 1/4 cup mayonnaise. Or, 2 additional Tablespoons of melted butter added in place of mayo. 

Cut lobster meat into 1 inch pieces. In a large bowl toss lobster meat, mayonnaise, celery, chives, parsley, lemon, and hot sauce. 

Brush rolls on the outside with butter and lightly toast on a griddle or in a large sauté pan.
Divide lobster filling up into the 6 rolls and serve immediately. 

TIP: Steaming lobsters preserves the flavor of the meat. Buy lobsters steamed from your local fish market.

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Benedictine Sandwich

Celebrating Chef George's 24th Anniversary on PBS

Join me multiple times weekly + Tune-in GHL CreateTV this Sunday May 6th 8:30AM EST

If it seems like a busy week for celebrating, then you are spot-on. This is what's on the celebrations calendar; there's Cinco de Mayo approaching, and this weekend is the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby. The “fastest two minutes in racing or for most sports,” here’s how to celebrate like a triple crown winner!

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To keep your entertaining true to form, here's a traditional Derby Day classic, invented by Jennie Benedict in the 19th century, The Benedictine Sandwich. This sandwich is to Churchill Downs as the Pimento Sandwich is to the Masters; and is one that John Montagu (The 4th Earl of Sandwich) would still be proud to eat.

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To Make a Benedictine Sandwich:

In a food processor - mix 1 package softened cream cheese with 2 Tablespoons finely chopped watercress, 1/4 of a finely chopped Vidalia onion, 2 Tablespoons of olive oil mayo, a shot of hot sauce, and a pinch of sea salt. Pulse all ingredients until just blended smooth. Fold in 1 large peeled, seeded and finely chopped English cucumber. Spread cuke filling on thinly sliced white sandwich bread. Trim crusts, if desired. 

Equally as good enjoyed with Deviled Eggs

 

Wash down with a cool Mint Julep!

BTW: Each year, almost 120,000 Early Times Mint Juleps are served over the two-day period of Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby weekend at Churchill Downs Racetrack.

Wash down with a cool Mint Julep!

My Mint Julep Recipe

It's easy to make with only four ingredients; Bourbon Whiskey, mint, crushed ice and sugar. Simply muddle/pestle the sugar and mint; to release the oils in the mint, Add ice to top off highball glass, top with Bourbon. Traditionally served in silver cup with a straw. Hat, optional.

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Masters' Pimento-Cheese Sandwich

The pimento cheese sandwich is to The Masters Tournament (begins April 5th - Sunday April 8th in Augusta, GA) - as a good BBQ slider would be at a Super Bowl weekend tailgate. There are many stories claiming the sandwich's origin (not sure which one to believe) and there are many versions of this recipe (I have my own). BTW, you can get one at The Masters for the reasonable price tag of $1.50.

The Masters' pimento-cheese sandwich is a highly guarded secret recipe. I'm thinking the recipe might come with the green jacket though! If you are not in contention to receive the jacket this weekend you might want to watch comfortably at home with your own sandwich. 

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To make six Pimento-Cheese Sandwiches, use whole wheat or white bread spread with pimento-cheese filling.

Blend all ingredients in a food processor, 1/4 cup each shredded extra-sharp cheddar yellow cheese, Monterey jack cheese, softened cream cheese, drained jarred pimento, 1 Tablespoon mayonnaise. Add a pinch of sea salt, pepper and a dash of hot pepper sauce. 

Optional additions: chopped hard boiled eggs, sliced vidalia onions, watercress

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