So this is something that I remember having as a kid. I think my parents took us to have them in Kentucky, but I don't think it was at the Brown Hotel. Anywho, these are delicious, but not low-fat or heart-healthy. The recommended serving is for 2 pieces of toast, but it's so rich that you may only be able to eat one. The original also calls for tomato which I ditched because 1. I don't like cooked tomatoes unless they are chopped up and mixed in something and 2. No one else likes cooked tomatoes in my house. I also put the bacon under the Mornay sauce, but if you want it crispy just lay it over the top after broiling.
Here's a little history lesson on the Hot Brown from the Brown Hotel's site...
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. Exemplifying our unending dedication to serving our guests, The Hot Brown was born!
adapted from multiple recipes
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
3 cups milk (I used skim with good results)
1/2 Cup Pecorino Romano Cheese
1 egg, beaten (Optional - if you use a heavier milk or an extra TBS of cream you might not need this)
2 TBS heavy cream
1/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 - 1 lb oven roasted turkey breast (or leftover Thanksgiving turkey)
8 slices Texas toast, toasted
8 slices crispy bacon (Hate cooking bacon? Me too! Try this easy way from my friend Amber's blog)
Make sure that you have all of your ingredients for the sauce ready before you begin! Having to stop and measure might bring about unfavorable results (like lumpy sauce).
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour with a whisk and continue to cook and keep whisking until it begins to brown slightly. Gradually whisk in the milk so that no lumps form, then bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Mix in Romano cheese and then stir in the beaten egg to thicken. Do not allow the sauce to boil once the egg has been mixed in. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream.
Preheat the oven's broiler. For each hot brown, place two slices of toast into the bottom of an individual sized casserole dish. Cover with a liberal amount of roasted turkey (and tomato slices should you want to include them). Spoon sauce over the top of each one and sprinkle with some of the remaining Romano cheese.
Place the dishes under the broiler and cook until the top is speckled brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from the broiler and arrange two slices of bacon in a cross shape on top of each sandwich. Serve immediately.