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Recipe

Hot Brown Bites in Turmeric-Black Pepper Pastry

Servings: 12

These hors d’oeuvres are a homage to Louisville’s most famous culinary creation. Hailing from the city’s Brown Hotel and dating back to 1926, the traditional Hot Brown is an open-face turkey and bacon sandwich topped with cheese sauce and broiled until the bread is crisp and the sauce is puffed and lightly browned. It’s a meal unto itself, but mine are smaller and in an easy-to-make black pepper and turmeric-spiced pastry.

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 6-3/4 oz. (1-1/2 cups) all-purpose flour; more for rolling
  • 1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 oz. (8 Tbs.) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large egg (optional)
  • 3 to 5 Tbs. ice water

For the filling

  • 3/4 cup grated sharp Cheddar
  • 2 Tbs. mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 medium jalapeño, minced (optional)
  • 3 Campari tomatoes, cut into 12 thin slices
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 4 oz. deli roasted ham, coarsely chopped
  • 4 oz. deli smoked turkey, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup bacon bits
  • Finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish (optional)

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 210
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 120
  • Fat (g): 13
  • Saturated Fat (g): 7
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3.5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 55
  • Sodium (mg): 400
  • Carbohydrates (g): 14
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Sugar (g): 1
  • Protein (g): 8

Preparation

Make the dough

  • Combine the flour, turmeric, and 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper in a food processor; pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the egg, if using, and pulse for no more than 10 seconds to incorporate. Slowly add the water, 1 Tbs. at a time, while pulsing until the dough comes together and forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days.

Make the filling

  • In a medium bowl, combine the cheese, mayonnaise, garlic and onion powders, and jalapeño, if using. Stir well to combine. (You can make the cheese filling up to 1 day ahead. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.)
  • Arrange the tomato slices on two layers of paper towels, sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper, and let drain for at least 20 minutes.

Bake the hot brown bites

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350°F. Generously coat a 12-cup muffin tin with the cooking spray.
  • Bring the dough to room temperature. Lightly flour a work surface. Roll the dough into a 12×14-inch rectangle. Using a 31/2-inch round cutter or a pint glass, cut 12 circles from the dough, folding and rerolling the scraps as necessary. Nestle the dough circles into the prepared pan, allowing the dough to come three-fourths of the way up the sides of the cups. Prick the dough with a fork.
  • Divide the ham, turkey, and cheese mixture among the muffin cups, pressing down lightly after each addition. Top each with a tomato slice and a small sprinkle of bacon bits. Bake until browned and bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pan. Serve sprinkled with the parsley, if using.

Reviews

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Reviews (2 reviews)

  • user-3122012 | 05/08/2020

    Even though the Kentucky Derby was postponed this year, I made these Hot Brown Bites on the first Saturday in May to celebrate. This update on the iconic hot brown might be more delicious than the original. The addition of turmeric and pepper to the pastry, and the jalapenos in the cheese filling were so good! The recipe works as written and is super easy if you follow the instructions. Too good to eat only for the Derby!

  • user-3122012 | 05/08/2020

    Even though the Kentucky Derby was postponed this year, I made these Hot Brown Bites on the first Saturday in May to celebrate. This update on the iconic hot brown might be more delicious than the original. The addition of turmeric and pepper to the pastry, and the jalapenos in the cheese filling were so good! The recipe works as written and is super easy if you follow the instructions. Too good to only eat for the Derby!

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