Derby Day Mint Julep (Prego version)

This being the second year my wife is pregnant during the Derby we were unable to celebrate with Kentucky Bourbon. Instead we relied on this old-time non alcoholic version…

4 Mint sprigs — up to 5 sprigs
1 1/2 cups Sugar
2 cups Cold water

3/4 cup Lemon juice

1 1/2 quarts Ginger ale
Lemon slices — thin (garnish ; optional )

Place the sugar, water, and lemon juice
in a medium-sized bowl,
mix, and stir in the mint leaves.
Allow to stand for 30 minutes.
Fill a large pitcher with ice cubes
and strain the liquid over the ice.
Add the ginger ale and
lemon slices, and serve.

Derby Benedictine Sandwiches

1 large cucumber
1 small onion, quartered
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash hot pepper sauce
1 drop green food coloring
Sliced white bread

Peel cucumber and slice in half lengthwise; remove seeds with a small spoon. Place cucumber in a food processor and pulse about 5 times, until cucumber is minced. Place cucumber into a small glass mixing bowl. Place onion in the food processor, pulsing until it is finely chopped. Add onion to cucumber. Add cream cheese and stir well with a spatula. Add salt, hot sauce, and food coloring. With a round cookie or biscuit cutter, cut rounds out of bread slices. Spread a small amount of mayonnaise on bread rounds. Spread cheese mixture on one half the rounds and top with another round.

Kentucky Hot Brown

1 1/2 tablespoons salted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, plus extra for garnish
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper
14 oz. sliced roasted turkey breast, slice thick
4 slices of Texas toast (crusts trimmed)
4 slices of bacon
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced in half

In a two-quart saucepan, melt butter and slowly whisk in flour until combined to form a thick paste or roux. Continue to cook roux for 2 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Whisk heavy cream into the roux and cook over medium heat until the cream begins to simmer, about 2-3 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and slowly whisk in Pecorino-Romano cheese until the Mornay sauce is smooth. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.

For each Hot Brown, place one slice of toast in an oven safe dish and cover with 7 oz. turkey. Take the two halves of Roma tomato and two toast points and set them alongside the base of turkey and toast. Pour half of the sauce over the dish, completely covering it. Sprinkle with additional cheese. Place entire dish under a broiler until cheese begins to brown and bubble. Remove and cross two pieces of crispy bacon on top. Sprinkle with paprika and parsley and serve immediately.

The Ultimate Derby Julep

8 to 10 mint leaves
1 Sprig of mint for garnish
1 Tablespoon sugar, more or less to taste
1 1/2 Ounce clean fresh Kentucky spring water
3 Ounce premium Bourbon
Crushed ice

Step 1:
Rinse the mint and don’t dry it. The water helps flavor the cocktail.

Step 2:
Put the leaves in a 12 ounce cocktail glass and pour the sugar on top. Muddle them together with a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon.

Step 3:
When the leaves and wet sugar begin to turn to paste, add water and bourbon, and stir with a fork until the sugar dissolves.

Step 4:
Top with crushed ice and garnish with the sprig of mint.