Looking for a fresh take on classic Kentucky Derby recipes. Chef Nikkia Rhodes, CTE Culinary Arts Instructor at Iroquois High School and her students have put together three recipes that are sure to make your at-home Derby party a tasty hit. From Hot Brown Sliders to non-alcoholic Mint Lemonade Julep, there’s something for everyone.
Enjoy and Happy Derby!
Hot Brown Sliders
- 1 pack of king’s Hawaiian rolls
- 1 pack of ham or turkey
- 1 pack of bacon or turkey bacon, cooked to your liking
- 3-4 large Roma tomatoes, sliced
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup flour
- 3 cups milk
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 ounces grated gruyere
- 2 ounces mozzarella cheese
- 2 ounces grated parmesan cheese
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of butter. Then stir in the flour to form a roux. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the raw flour flavor has cooked out.
Slowly add in the milk and whisk constantly to emulsify. Then add in the bay leaf, and simmer for about 10-15 minutes. The sauce should thicken.
Remove the bay leaf and add in your cheese. Stir until melted then set aside.
To begin assembly, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Cut all of your rolls open. Then smooth a layer of the mornay sauce on the bottom.
Next, add on a layer of ham or turkey, followed by the sliced tomato, and topped with the bacon
Add another generous layer of the mornay sauce and add the top bun to the sandwiches
Bake the sandwiches in a casserole dish or on a sheet tray for about 10 minutes.
Mint Lemonade Julep
- 1/2 pound fresh strawberries
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 5 cups of water
- 1 1/2 cups of lemon juice, fresh
- 1 bunch of mint leaves
Use a blender to puree the strawberries, then strain to remove seeds.
In a small saucepan, over medium heat, stir the sugar and water together
Bring that to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Let that cool, this is called Simple Syrup
Strain your lemon juice into a 2-quart pitcher, add the simple syrup, pureed strawberries, and mint. Stir to combine then chill.
Lastly, when ready to serve, add in 2 1/2 cups of cold water. Serve over ice.
- 2 English cucumbers, peeled, seeded and grated on the large setting of your box grater
- 2 tablespoons white onion, minced
- 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, soft
- 1 teaspoon fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces water
- 4 ounces unsalted butter cubed and at room temperature
- 4.7-ounces AP flour, sifted use 5-ounces / 145 g for a firmer shell (like for eclairs)
- 8 ounces eggs weighed with the shell, about 4 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Use less if using table salt, or fine salt
- 1 Tablespoon white sugar, optional
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
For the Benedictine: First, grate your cucumbers on your box grater. Place your grated cucumbers into a strainer lined with a clean kitchen towel, or cheesecloth. With your hands, you can ring out the excess water from the cucumbers or you can press the cucumber with the back of a wooden spoon. Save the liquid
Once your cucumbers are drained, add them to a food processor, stand mixer, or bowl and combine with the remaining ingredients. The consistency should be thick, but still spreadable. If yours seems a little too thick, add some of the cucumber juice.
Finally, place your prepared spread into a piping bag and set aside.
For the puffs: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Place salt, water, sugar (if using) and butter in a saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When the water is starting to boil (butter should be melted at this point), add the flour in one go (do this with the saucepan away from the stove/heat) and vigorously mix the flour in, so that it absorbs all of the water (use a wooden spoon or spatula to do this). When the flour has absorbed the water and it’s forming a dough, return the pan to the stove (medium heat).
Cook the dough for 1-3 minutes (over medium heat) while you mix and move it around in the pan until you get a dough that pulls away from the sides of the pan, forms a film or oil droplets on the bottom of the pan, and when you stick a regular tablespoon in the dough, it stays upright. (The cook time will vary depending on your stovetop).
Transfer the dough to a bowl, and let it cool down slightly for a few minutes. Add the vanilla extract (if using), and then with a hand-held mixer (or whisk), mix the dough while adding the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Make sure the eggs are lightly beaten so that you can stop adding eggs immediately when you reach the right consistency (i.e. a dough with a glossy sheen with pipeable consistency. You may or may not use up all the eggs, please see the ingredient list for details).
Prepare a baking tray with parchment paper and mist the surface with water (either using a mister or lightly sprinkle water with your hands — this is an optional step).
Pipe the desired shape onto the baking sheet either using a piping bag fitted with a large tip (I use Wilton 1A or 2A tip, or you can cut the pastry bag opening instead), or spoon it on to the tray, using a teaspoon. Then with a damp finger, flatten the apex and any points.
Bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes in the center of the oven, or until the choux pastry shells puff up and are golden brown on top. Do not open the oven door, at least until you have reached the 25-minute mark. Importantly, baking time depends on the size of your pastry shell. If you prefer a drier shell, bake for a couple of minutes longer.
During the last 5-10 minutes of baking, prick each shell with a skewer or toothpick and let them dry out in the oven while baking.
Remove from the oven, and let the choux pastry cases cool completely in a draft-free area. Preferably in a place that is not cold. (Letting them cool in an open but turned off oven is even better, but not necessary).
Fill with the benedictine and serve immediately.