I didn't finish the book, BUT after the discussion last night, I feel inspired to do so. In honor of the Kentucky setting of Jayber Crow, I made non-traditional Kentucky Hot Browns to share with the gals. The ones I had while I lived in Lexington always grossed me out: bacon, artificial & processed "cheese," sometimes, even gravy *shudder. My stomach churns thinking about them. However, I sucked it up, and wondered if there was a way I could make them that would induce me to eat them. After asking my brother's native Kentucky gal for the basic ingredient list, I set out to modify the recipe, which I offer to you:
Amanda's "Modified" Hot Brown Bites
-1 fresh baguette cut into 1" slices (about 30)
-1 package pancetta (I abhor bacon, so I went with this more flavorful Italian version), cut into strips and fried
-1/2 pound smoked deli turkey meat
-1 package grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced
-1 recipe cheese sauce
-Parmesan cheese for sprinkling
For cheese sauce (I used the recipe for a cream cheese sauce for a crock pot chicken and mushroom dish...I think it was in a c2009 edition of Midwest Living)
-1 block cream cheese
-1/4 cup dry white wine
-1 0.7oz package Italian dressing seasoning
1. Melt cream cheese, add wine and seasoning, and stir until combined. Keep warm on low until ready to use.
2. Toast the baguette slices in the broiler for 30-45 minutes until golden brown.
3. Assemble the hot brown bites. Start with the turkey on top of the baguette. Next, add a few small strips of the cooked pancetta. Top with 3-4 slices of tomatoes and a dollop of the cheese sauce. Sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese.
4. Broil for about 1 minute, rotating the pan halfway through, until the Parmesan cheese is melted and the cream cheese is slightly brown.