Thursday, April 30, 2015

AMERICAN: Kentucky Derby Day Brunch at Governor's Mansion

Kentucky Derby Brunch 
Copyright (c) 1992, Liz Waters

On the first Saturday each May, the  Kentucky Derby is run at Churchill Downs in
Louisville. To those of us caught up in the social events surrounding the Derby, a
brunch on Derby Day is a must. For the high rollers, a gathering in Frankfort hosted by
the Governor is traditional. The foods served there and in brunches all over town are 
also traditional.  Brunch just starts of a day of parties and good food to eat!

The Menu:

Mimosas Garnished with Strawberries
Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes
Prospect Cheese Grits Casserole
Country Sausage Casserole
Frosted Egg Mountain
Country Ham with Red Eye Gravy
Kentucky Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Louisville Lemon Bars
Traditional Horse Racing Pie
My Old Kentucky Home Mint Julep

The Recipes:

Mimosas Garnished with Strawberries:

1 quart freshly squeezed orange juice
1 fifth of champagne
a pint of fresh strawberries.

Wet rim of champagne glasses and dip in sugar. Freeze glasses
Wash strawberries, but do not hull.

Pour orange juice into a punch bowl set in ice. Pour champagne over and stir once or
twice. Ladle into glasses and garnish each with a split strawberry on the rim.

Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

1/2 cup freshly cooked crab meat, shredded
1 cup fresh shrimp, steamed and chopped
3 scallions, chopped
1/4 tsp. tabasco sauce
1 tsp. worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 C mayonnaise.
30 large cherry tomatoes
Sprigs of fresh parsley

Combine seafood onions, tabasco, Worcestershire, lemon juice and mayonnaise in a
blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Cut an X in the bottom of each tomato,
cutting to within 1/2" of the stem end. Carefully hollow out the tomatoes, draining well
and discarding pulp. Spoon or pipe crab mixture into each tomato. Top each with a sprig
of fresh parsley. Chill and serve.

Prospect Cheese Grits Casserole:

1 pound shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 C butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tsp. salt
Dash of tabasco sauce
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 C grits, cooked in six cups of water
1 tsp. paprika

Combine cheese, eggs, butter, garlic,  salt, tabasco, and Worcestershire sauce with cooked
grits and stir until the butter is melted. Pour into a lightly greased 2 quart casserole.
Sprinkle with paprika.
Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from fridge 15 minutes before baking. Bake
uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Serves 10.

Country Sausage Casserole:

6 slices white bread
1 pound HOT pork sausage
1 1/2 C shredded Colby cheese
6 eggs beaten
2 cups half and half
1 tsp. salt

Remove crusts from bread and spread with butter. Place in a greased 13x9x2 casserole.
Brown sausage, stirring to crumb.e Drain well. Spoon over bread slices. Sprinkle with
cheese. Combine eggs with half and half, salt and pepper. Beat well. Pour over cheese.
Cover casserole and chill overnight.
Remoe from refrigerator 15 minutes before cooking. Bake casserole uncovered at 350
degrees for 45 minutes until set. Serves 8.

Frosted Egg Mountain

12 hard cooked eggs
1/2 cup melted butter
1 tsp. minced green onion
salt and pepper
1/8 tsp. GOOD quality curry powder
1/2 C sour cream
chives and parsley
4 slices of bacon, fried hard, drained and crumbled
bibb lettuce leaves, washed, dried, and chilled

Line a small round mixing bowl with a large piece of saran wrap. Set aside. Chop 8 of the
hard cooked eggs and mix with butter, onion, salt and pepper, curry powder. Spoon into
mixing bowl and chill at least three hours (or overnight). Unmold egg mixture onto a
bed of bibb lettuce leaves. Spread evenly with sour cream to over. Cut remaining 4 eggs
into wedges and arrange around the outer perimeter of mountain. Sprnkle with
chopped chives and crumbled bacon...garnish with parsley sprigs.

Country Ham with Red Eye Gravy

3 good-sized country ham slices
extra bits of country ham fat
100 Proof Kentucky Sour Mash Bourbon
strong black coffee

In a heavy iron skillet, render bits of country ham fat to form grease. In grease, fry
country ham slices until done. Remove from pan and keep warm. To remaining grease
in pan, add a dash of Kentucky bourbon whiskey, 1/2 C strong black coffee, and 1 cup
water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer five minutes. Serve ladled over ham
with additional gravy alongside.

Kentucky Sour Cream Coffee Cake

1 cup margarine
6 eggs
3 cups flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 3/4 cups sugar
grated rind of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream

Bring margarine and eggs to room temperature. Grease and flour a ten inch 
tube pan.

Mix flour and baking soda. Beat margarine until fluffy. Gradually add sugar,
beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute
after each addition. Add lemon peel and vanilla, beat well. Add rest of dry 
ingredients and sour cream, alternately, beating each addition in before adding 
the next. Gently turn batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350 for 1 1/2 hours or 
until no crumbs cling to a wooden toothpick inserted into the center. Cool 
fifteen minutes on a wire wrack before iinverting on serving plate. 
Dust with sifted powdered sugar and garnish with sprigs of fresh mint.

Louisville Lemon Bars

2 1/2 C all purpose flour, divided
3/4 C powdered sugar, divided
1 cup butter
1/2 tsp. baking powder
4 eggs beaten
2 cups sugar
juice of two lemons
grated zest of one lemon.
1 lemon sliced thin, and twisted for garnish
sprigs of fresh mint for garnish.

Combine 2 cups four with 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Cut butter into flour mixture with a
pastry blender until mixture resembles cornmeal. Spoon flour mixture into a 13x9x2 pan
and press into place. evenly.Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until lightly
browned. Remove from oven. Combine 1/2 C flour and baking powder and set aside.
Combine eggs with 2 cups sugar. Add lemon juice and zest. Beat well. Stir dry
ingredients into egg mixture and pour over the hot crust. Bake at 350 degrees for an
additonal 25 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Dust with sifted powdered sugar and cut into
bars. Stack on glass plate and garnish with lemon slices twisted (cut round slice halfway
through. Turn one side one way and the other the other way so it stands up) and fresh
sprigs of mint.

Not too far from downtown Louisville is a motel and restaurant called The Melrose
Inn. At this restaurant, Derby Pie was developed for the first time and the recipe was
If you are really lucky, you will be able to serve a Derby Pie purchased from the Melrose
Inn. If not, you can try this recipe which is similar, but of course not the real thing!
Every Louisville hostess has her own way of making this wonderful dessert. Each recipe
is just a bit different and while everyone does anyhow, no one but the Melrose Inn may
legally call it Derby Pie.

The Traditional Horse Racing Pie

2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 C sugar
1/4 C all-purpose flour
1/2 C butter or margarine, melted and cooled
1/2 C chopped English walnuts *
1/2 C chopped black walnuts *
1 6 oz. pkg. chocolate chips
1 Tablespoon 100 proof Kentucky Bourbon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 unbaked 9" pie shell

* May substitute 1 Cup of chopped pecans

Mix the first nine ingredients together and pour into pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees F. for
45 minutes, or until filling is set.
Cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Mint Juleps for Derby Day
Copyright 1990, Liz Waters

Crushed Ice
2 jiggers Kentucky 100 Proof Sour Mash Bourbon
1 jigger minted simple syrup (below)
cutting of fresh mint, rinsed

   Fill sterling silver julep cup or old-fashioned glass with crushed ice. Pour bourbon
over ice and then syrup. Belabor somewhat with a swizzle stick until the glass begins to
frost. Slip a sprig of mint and a straw into the glass and serve. This is a sipping drink and
quite powerful, so proceed with caution.

Minted Simple Syrup

1 cup cold "branch water"
2 cups sugar
6 healthy stalks of mint, fresh from the garden

 On the night before serving, bring water and sugar to a boil. Boil, stirring, until sugar is
completely dissolved. Cool to room temperature and add leaves from the mint, stirring
in, bruising the leaves ever so gently. Cover and leave on counter overnight. Strain
through cheesecloth and use in juleps, above.

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