Thursday, September 20, 2012

Tailgate Thursday: Kentucky Edition!

Well, wouldn't you know it. I spent all that time worrying about last weekend's game for nothing. ;) And so we move on to the next competitor: the Kentucky Wildcats.

The University of Kentucky is located in Lexington, The "Horse Capital of the World". Before writing this post my knowledge of important Kentucky facts and information ran about as deep as what I knew about Tennessee.

Kentucky = Bluegrass. Horse races. Bourbon.

{Good grief, do I need to travel the U.S. a little or what?! Embarrassing.}

1. Sail Away Dress {be sure to check out the back... SO cute!} from Twelve Saturdays
2. Kentucky Hot Brown Dip 3. The Tipsy Wildcat cocktail by Haute Cocktail 4. Boozy Bourbon Mini-Bundts
When I started planning out the recipes for a Kentucky tailgate, I wanted to find something different  yet well known to Kentuckians. After some browsing, I found something that I had never heard of, but that seemed to be a true Kentucky staple: The Hot Brown Sandwich.

What is a Hot Brown? Basically, it's an open faced turkey sandwich that's completely smothered in a creamy cheese sauce, topped with bacon and tomato, and broiled until it's bubbly and completely irresistible.

Um, I'm in love. {Isn't it sad that a river of cheese is all it takes to woo me??}

The only problem was that it could be a little difficult, messy, and time consuming to make Hot Browns for a tailgate crowd! So, with a little innovation {a lot of laziness}, I turned Kentucky's favorite sandwich into a gameday-ready dip!

Carla designed a bourbon-based cocktail for your sipping pleasure. The color didn't quite turn out when I made it at home, but put it in a blue plastic cup and you're good to go! ;)

And last but not least, these Boozy Bourbon Mini-Bundts with Bourbon Caramel Glaze taste like Fall has finally arrived {at the distillery}. ;) Check out the recipe below to see how an attempt at Caramels left me with this happy accident!

What will you be cooking this weekend? Hope your gameday is tons of fun!

The Tipsy Wildcat
created by Carla from Haute Cocktail

1 oz. Kentucky Bourbon
1 oz. Southern Comfort
2 oz sour mix {see recipe below for homemade}
Splash of Blue Curacao
2 oz. lemon-lime soda

Stir together first 4 ingredients. Pour into a glass, over ice. Top with lemon-lime soda, and stir.

Homemade Sour Mix
adapted from Martha Stewart

1/3 cup simple syrup
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice

Combine all ingredients in a glass. Stir together. Pour into an airtight container and store in refrigerator.

Kentucky Hot Brown Dip
Inspired by The Brown Hotel

1/3 pound oven roasted turkey, sliced thick and torn into bite sized pieces
4-6 slices thick cut white sandwich bread
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for bread
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups half & half
1/2 cup {packed} grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
3-4 slices of crisp bacon, crumbled
1 small Roma or plum tomato, sliced

Set oven to broil. Place torn turkey pieces in the bottom of an oven-safe dish. Set aside.

Place bread slices on a sheet pan and broil for 4-5 minutes on each side until golden and toasted. {Be careful not to forget that it's in the oven like I did!} Remove from oven and butter liberally on each side. Cut off crusts if desired, then cut into toast points. Set aside.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until smooth; cook for about 1 minute. Slowly pour half & half, whisking constantly, to mixture. Let simmer for 8-10 minutes or until thickened {it should look like Alfredo sauce and coat the back of a spoon}.

Remove from heat and add cheese. Whisk until smooth. Pour over turkey in dish and smooth out.

Sprinkle with crumbled bacon and top with tomato slices. Sprinkle extra cheese over top. Broil for 8-10 minutes or until bubbly and top starts to brown in places.

Serve with toast points. {You may want to set out a knife for spreading as it is a thick and chunky dip.}

Boozy Bourbon Mini-Bundts
Adapted from Martha Stewart

3/4 cup brown sugar {packed}
3 tablespoons butter
1 egg
1/2 cup cooked, mashed sweet potato
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/3 cup milk
2 1/2 tablespoons Kentucky bourbon
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray liberally with non-stick spray. {There's nothing worse than stubborn bundts that won't come out of the pan!}

Cream brown sugar and butter together until combined. Add egg and beat until mixture is light and fluffy. Add sweet potato and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Set aside.

In a cup, combine milk and bourbon. Set aside.

Alternating between dry and wet, add flour and milk mixture in 2 additions to butter/sweet potato mixture. Beat until just combined.

Spoon batter into a zip-top plastic bag, and snip the tip to pipe batter into oiled bundt mold. Fill about 3/4 of the way full. {You can certainly spoon it directly into the mold, but I find this is the easiest & most precise method.}

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool for 15-20 minutes and remove from pan. {If you have a hard time removing them, use a spoon to gently scoop them out. Just make sure they are sufficiently cooled or they will crumble.}

Top with your favorite glaze. {See below}

Bourbon Caramel Glaze

So, here's funny little story. I tried to make these caramels {except I used bourbon instead of honey flavored whiskey}, and they didn't set up. So, not to be deterred by the epic fail,  I used the sauce to dip these baby bundts into, and they were a perfect pairing.

You can take your chances and follow this recipe & see if you come out with Caramels or Caramel Sauce... either way it will be delicious.

Alternatively, you can mix together about 1 cup of confectioners' sugar with about 2 tablespoons of bourbon to create a nice glaze, or mix bourbon into store bought caramel sauce for an even more decadent topping.

P.S. If you end up with caramels, and not sauce... will you please tell me your secret?? ;)


recipes with twist said...

I feel like eating this type of food.

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