Hot Brown Sandwiches

A Week of Kick-Butt Recipes…

Thing always taste good here at The Culinary Center of Kansas City, but last week was unusually tasty!  A Pop-Up Lunch, 3rd Friday Local Life with its Tamale Tasting & a killer Art Show by Garcia Art, our kick-off Menus & Music event with “Honky Tonk Heaven”  and more. #wow   We have had several requests for recipes from the events, so we’re sharing a few here. Read on…

Pop-Up Lunch with a Dinner-for-Two To-Go OptionOur Pop-Up Lunch on Tuesday featured a pot roast dinner that would have made Grandma proud, including Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, as well as roasted cauliflower, rolls and chocolate pie.  The good news is that Chef Sergio put together a menu that rocked and everything was really delicious.  The bad news, if you’re looking for recipes, is that he’s just such a natural in the kitchen that he doesn’t always follow recipes. We pinned him down about the Garlic Mashed Potatoes, though. See below for a recipe you’re going to want to make in your own kitchen! (If you don’t feel like cooking but you want that tasty pot roast dinner at home, we have it in our freezers, available for sale!)

3rd Fridays Local LifeChef Jill made Pork Tamales at 3rd Friday Local Life event. Also as part of Downtown Overland Park’s Multicultural myKIND theme for 3rd Friday’s Local Life, we hosted a Mexican Folk Art Showing with artist Mario G. Garcia. The weather was edgy, but we still had folks stopping by to watch Chef Jill (ahem… Frida Kahlo) demonstrate how to make authentic Mexican tamales. There were tastings and sales, as well. More good news: you’ll find the recipe below, and we have them for sale by the dozen in the freezers in our Kitchen Shop! And you know what goes great with tamales? One of our CCKC Signature Margaritas! Find that recipe below also.

Menus & MusicFriday was also the kick-off for our Menus & Music event series. Our Tuscan Kitchen turned into Honky Tonk Heaven for the occasion, and the sold-out crowd enjoyed live music from Slim Hanson & the Poor Choices, whiskey tastings, craft cocktails and backyard beers, plus an amazing buffet of Nashville-inspired foods including Fried Chicken, Hot Browns, Collard Greens, Mac ‘n Cheese and much more. Find the Hot Brown sandwich recipe below and give it a try at home. It’s delicious!  (p.s. Our next Menus & Music event will be Fri, March 20. Café Babaloo will feature the music & flavors of Cuba and local Latino band, the Cubanisms! More details @ http://bit.ly/MenusMusic-CafeBabaloo.)



Roasted Garlic Mashed PotatoesRoasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes


  • 1 whole head of garlic, cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 2 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 8 slices
  • ½ cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • ½ cup (+/-) heavy cream, or half ‘n half, or whole milk


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place the garlic halves in the center of a piece of aluminum foil large enough to cover all of the garlic. Sprinkle with olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Fold the foil into a small packet or purse surrounding the garlic, making sure it is sealed.

Roast the garlic for about 30 minutes or until the garlic cloves are caramel colored, and soft. Remove from oven and let cool in the foil until cool enough to handle.

Boil the potatoes in heavily salted water until tender. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pan to dry.

Add all the butter and cheese to the potatoes. Squeeze the garlic free of its papery jacket and add to potatoes. Add about half of the cream and begin to mash the potatoes into desired consistency, adding cream as needed. (You may not use all ½ cup of cream, you may need more depending on how you like your potatoes.) Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.


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Pork Tamales

Pork TamalesPork

  • 2.5 lb. pork butt (shoulder)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil

Corn Husk

  • 6 dozen dried corn husks
  • ½ lb. dried chile ancho
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cups stock (saved from boiling the chiles)
  • 2 tablespoons manteca
  • 2 tablespoons salt


  • 4 cups manteca (lard)
  • 3 tablespoons baking powder
  • 10 lbs. masa harina
  • ¼ cup pork broth
  • 2 oz. chile ancho (to color and flavor masa)
  • Salt to taste (optional)


Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

To prepare the pork, trim excess fat from pork and reserve. Cut the pork butt into manageable sized pieces and season with garlic, salt and pepper.

Heat a large cast iron skillet until just smoking, carefully add the canola oil. When the oil is hot, add the pork, IN BATCHES, and sear until all the pork is browned on all sides.

In the bottom of a large Dutch oven or roasting pan, lay out the larger excess pieces of fat removed from the pork butt. Layer the seared pork meat over the top of the fat.

Roast in preheated oven for 8 hours or until falling apart tender. Strain the *broth from the pan and reserve for masa.

Shred meat and set aside.

To prepare the corn husk, place in a large bowl or pot. Pour enough boiling water over the husks to cover. Place a metal lid or heatproof dish on top of the husks to keep them submerged. Soak for about 45 minutes. Remove, drain and set aside. Keep them pliable in a damp kitchen towel.

Using kitchen shears, remove the stems from the dried chile ancho. In a large dry sauce pot, toast the chiles until fragrant and they start to darken in color. Add enough water (or chicken broth) to completely cover the chiles. Seal with a lid and bring to a hard to boil. Turn heat to medium and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the chiles are super soft.

Carefully transfer the chiles and cooking liquid to a blender (to avoid catastrophe, only fill your blender ¾ full, you may need to do this batches), remove the insert from the lid and use a folded kitchen towel to cover the hole. Blend until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve.

In a large, deep sided skillet or Dutch oven, melt manteca over medium heat and slowly add the strained chile sauce – it will splatter so watch out! Season with granulated garlic and cumin. Add the 2 tablespoons s, taste, and adjust seasoning as needed. Add the shredded pork and simmer for 15-20 minutes over low heat.

Meanwhile, make the masa: In a large bowl, beat the lard by hand or with an electric mixer until it is light. Add baking powder and the masa-harina and gradually add the strained pork broth and work it together until dough is very light and “squishy”. Work in the chile ancho puree with your hands until combined. If your dough looks dry add more broth or water. Taste and add salt if needed. Continue to beat the dough until light and fluffy. (If you pinch off a small piece of dough and toss it in a glass of water, it should float at this point.)

To assemble the tamales: Place a small amount of the dough in the center of a softened corn husk. Using the back of a spoon spread the dough out and top it with 1 1/2 tablespoon of the pork filling. Fold in one side of the husk over the other and then fold the bottom toward the center.  Place the pork tamales standing upright in your already prepared tamale steamer, cover tightly with a lid or with a layer of corn husks and a dish towel. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes. (Add more water to the steamer, as needed)

To check for doneness: remove one of the tamales, if the husk can be easily peeled away from the masa they are ready, if the masa sticks to the husk, place back into the steamer and cook for 15 more minutes.


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CCKC Signature MargaritaCCKC Signature Margarita


  • 1 large can limeade frozen concentrate 
  • 3 cans water
  • ¼ cup Triple Sec
  • ½ bottle beer
  • Tequila to taste (or 1 can) 
  • Margarita salt, for glass rim (optional)
  • Lime wedges, for garnish


In a pitcher (or punch bowl) add limeade concentrate, water, triple sec, beer and tequila.  Stir to combine. Serve cold in a cocktail glass with salted rim. Add a slice of lime, for garnish.  Serve immediately.  

Makes 8 servings.


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World Famous Hot Brown SandwichWorld Famous Hot Brown Sandwich

Mornay Sauce

  • 2 ounces whole butter
  • 2 ounces all‐purpose flour
  • 8 ounces heavy cream
  • 8 ounces whole milk
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese plus 1 tablespoon for garnish
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 slices Texas Toast, crust trimmed
  • 14 ounces sliced roasted turkey breast, sliced thick
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 4 slices crispy bacon
  • Paprika, for garnish
  • Parsley, for garnish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For the Mornay sauce, in a two-quart saucepan, melt butter and slowly whisk in flour until combined and forms a thick paste (roux). Continue to cook roux for two minutes over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Whisk heavy cream and whole milk into the roux and cook over medium heat for about 2‐3 minutes, or until the cream begins to simmer. Remove sauce from heat and slowly whisk in Pecorino Romano cheese until the sauce is smooth. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.
For each Hot Brown sandwich, place two slices of toast with the crusts cut off in an oven safe dish – one slice is cut in half corner to corner to make two triangles and the other slice is left in a square shape ‐ then cover with 7 ounces of turkey. Take the two halves of Roma tomato and two toast points and set them alongside the base of the turkey and toast.
Next, pour one half of the Mornay sauce to completely cover the dish. Sprinkle with additional Pecorino Romano cheese.
Place the entire dish in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. When cheese begins to brown and bubble, remove from oven, cross two pieces of crispy bacon on top, sprinkle with paprika and parsley, and serve immediately.


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