Oh um, hi! I maybe made us the best lunch ever.

Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwiches on Jalapeño Cornbread Biscuits with Honey Bourbon Bacon Kentucky | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

No, not maybe, I totally think I did. I mean, the honey bourbon bacon pretty much says it all.

It’s Derby season, which to me really just means, bring on all the southern food with an extra side of chocolate bourbon pecan pie. PLEASE.

Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwiches on Jalapeño Cornbread Biscuits with Honey Bourbon Bacon Kentucky | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwiches on Jalapeño Cornbread Biscuits with Honey Bourbon Bacon Kentucky | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

It seems that every year about the end of April/early May I get a little annoyed that there are three foodie days back to back. Don’t get me wrong, I love back to back celebrations and all, BUT well, there is just not enough time to make all the recipes. You’ve got the Kentucky Derby May 1st, Cinco de Mayo May 5th and then Mother’s Day May 10th.

See, not enough time!! For me, it’s always a toss-up on which flavor to go for, but I will not lie, Mexican pretty much always wins.

Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwiches on Jalapeño Cornbread Biscuits with Honey Bourbon Bacon Kentucky | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Today’s kind of different though since I feel like I am combining a little bit of each. You’ve got the Mexican inspired spicy jalapeño-cheddar spiked biscuits, paired with the sweet Southern flavors of the classic Hot Brown toppings. Kind of awesome, right?

I promise it is.

Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwiches on Jalapeño Cornbread Biscuits with Honey Bourbon Bacon Kentucky | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

The biscuits are actually adapted from ones that I made a few years back. To this day, they are still one of my favorite breads to make for BBQ’s and such. They are buttery, sweet, spicy and cheesy with just the right amount of crumble. It’s kind of like when you find the perfect cookie recipe, but with biscuits.

And I know from experience that you do not mess with a good thing, so I kept the biscuits pretty much the same. Really though, the biscuits are what make these Kentucky Hot Brown sandwiches. Well, the biscuits and the bourbon bacon, but maybe that’s kind of obvious. I am not normally all that into bacon, but when you make it sweet, spicy and extra crispy… plus a little boozy, I am so game. Besides, the bourbon and the honey just felt so southern and Kentucky-ish, I just had to go for it.

Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwiches on Jalapeño Cornbread Biscuits with Honey Bourbon Bacon Kentucky | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

The rest is your basic, but delicious Hot Brown. I just used turkey from the deli, which I am not sure is really an “acceptable” thing to do, but I did, and I quite in enjoyed it too.

That’s probably mostly due the fact that I pretty much smothered my turkey in mornay sauce. Yeah.

Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwiches on Jalapeno Cornbread Biscuits with Honey Bourbon Bacon | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Also, instead of warming my tomatoes in the oven, I placed them fresh right on to my biscuits, since I am not the biggest fan of warm tomatoes. For me, they either have to be roasted to a crisp or just eaten fresh. Since the heirlooms are oh so pretty, I went with fresh. SOO GOOD I tell ya.

Oh, and I do feel that I should mention that those drinks are not really what they seem to be. It was like ten in the morning the day I made these and well, liquor just didn’t seem appropriate at that hour…

Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwiches on Jalapeno Cornbread Biscuits with Honey Bourbon Bacon | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest
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The Recipe

Jalapeño Cornbread Biscuit Kentucky Hot Brown with Honey Bourbon Bacon.

*The biscuits and mornay sauce can be made a day or two in advance, just warm the sauce before assembling the biscuits. You can also assemble the biscuits (meaning add the turkey and mornay sauce) a day in advance. Just store in the fridge and then place in a 400 degree F. oven for about 10 minutes or until the mornay sauce is bubbly. Top as directed above.*Biscuits adapted from my [Sweet Honey Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Biscuits | https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/sweet-honey-jalapeno-cheddar-cornbread-biscuits/].
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 0 ABOUT 18 MINI BISCUITS OR 8-10 REGULAR SIZE BISCUITS

Ingredients

Biscuits

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
  • 5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt + pepper
  • 1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter cut into small cubes
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • 2 in jalapeños deseeded (I left some of my seeds ) and diced

Hot Brown (filling)

  • 8 slices thick cut bacon
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk I use 2%
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese grated
  • 1/2 cup sharp white cheddar cheese grated
  • pinch of salt + pepper
  • 3/4 pound sliced turkey I just used deli turkey
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • fresh basil + salt and pepper for serving

Instructions

Biscuits

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper. Whisk until combined. Using a fork, pastry blender or your hands, add butter pieces to the flour and mix until coarse little crumbles remain. Whisk together the buttermilk, egg and and honey and pour into the flour. Stir with a spoon until just combined, not overmixing. Use your hands if needed to bring the dough together. Fold in the cheddar cheese and jalapeños.
  3. Use a 1/4 cup measure to drop batter onto a nonstick baking sheet, or press dough on a sheet of parchment paper or cutting board, then use a biscuit cutter to shape the dough into rounds. Brush with buttermilk. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until biscuits are golden brown.

Hot Brown (the filling)

  1. Line a baking sheet with foil. Arrange bacon strips about 1 1/2 inches apart. In a small bowl mix together the maple syrup, bourbon and cayenne pepper. Brush the mixture evenly over both sides of the bacon. Bake 14 to 16 minutes until bacon is browned and crisp. Transfer to a piece of wax paper to cool. Do not place the bacon on paper towels as it will stick to the towels. Halve the slices.
  2. Meanwhile, to make the mornay, heat a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add the butter, and once it’s melted and bubbly add the flour. Whisk together to create a roux and cook for 1-2 minutes until mixture gets a bit golden in color. Add milk, stir and turn down heat to low. Continue stirring until the milk thickens. Add in the parmesan and cheddar cheese and continue to stir until mixture is smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Keep the sauce over low heat to keep warm.
  3. Preheat the broiler to high.
  4. Slice the biscuits in half horizontally and place the bottom halves on a baking sheet. Divide the turkey among the biscuits. Spoon a little of the mornay sauce over the turkey. Place the pan under the broiler for 30 seconds to 1 minutes or until the mornay sauce sauce is all bubbly. Remove from the oven and top each biscuit with bacon, sliced tomatoes and a sprig of basil. Sprinkle with salt + pepper and then add the top half of the biscuit. Enjoy warm.
Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwiches on Jalapeno Cornbread Biscuits with Honey Bourbon Bacon | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

But once you hit noon, all bets are off and you should probably just make Julep. <– Take that Wednesday.