Kentucky Hot Browns with Tomato, Basil & Candied Bacon

Makes 6 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 16 slices of bacon
  • 1/4 c. butter, softened
  • 1 French bread
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 2 c. milk
  • 2 c. Sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 c. Parmesan chese, shredded
  • 1-1/2 lbs. turkey, thinly sliced
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh basil, minced

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Line the baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray a cooling rack with a non-stick cooking spray and place it on the baking sheet. In a shallow bowl combine sugar and cayenne pepper. Dredge bacon in sugar mixture and place bacon strips on wire rack. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes until bacon is crisp and caramelized. Cool, chop; set aside.

Preheat broiler. Cut the French bread into 24 slices. Butter the bread. Place bread, butter side up on a baking sheet and broil for several minutes until bread is toasted, set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt 3 Tbsp. butter, whisk in flour and dry mustard; cook for 1 minute. Gradually add milk, whick until smooth. Cook for approximately 8 minutes, whisking constantly until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat, add Cheddar and Parmesan; whisk until smooth.

Place sliced turkey over toasted bread. Spoon cheese sauce over each. Broil until golden and bubbly. Place 2 slices on each plate. Sprinkle with tomato, basil and spiced candied bacon.

Note: This can also be served as an appetizer by using a smaller sliced bread like a French baguette.

2012 Organic Creamery® recipe contest 3rd place winner - entry courtesy of Nadine Mesch