Make your party spread unforgettable with baked cheese straws, mini pecan pies, spiked sweet tea and cheesy, open-faced turkey sandwiches.
Pimento Cheese Straws
8 ounces finely grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1/4 cup diced pimentos
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, butter, pimentos, mustard powder, salt and pepper in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
Beat ingredients until incorporated, scraping down sides of mixing bowl with a spatula. Sprinkle in flour in batches, mixing until just incorporated.
Turn dough out onto a floured work surface, cutting in half so you can work more easily with one half at a time.
Roll dough to about 1/8th of an inch thick rectangle measuring 4 inches by 11 inches.
Using a fluted pastry cutter or knife, cut 1/2-inch thick strips, and place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, reworking scraps up to 2 times.
Bake straws in batches for about 10 minutes, rotating in oven and baking for another 10-12 minutes.
Allow to cool slightly before placing on a cooling rack to cool completely. Enjoy within a few days, storing in an airtight container.
Derby Hot Browns
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon dry mustard, optional
3 cups whole milk
2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar
1/2 cup finely shredded Pecorino, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
8 thick slices of white bread
1 pound freshly roasted turkey breast, sliced thin
16 slices Roma tomatoes
16 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked slightly crispy
Dash or two of hot sauce (preferably Southern)
Chopped parsley, for garnish
Prepare Mornay sauce by melting butter in a sauce pot. Sprinkle with flour and mustard, stirring to incorporate. Slowly whisk in milk in batches until mixture begins to thicken. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly to prevent scorching on the bottom. Cook for about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in half the cheeses. Season with salt and pepper.
To prepare sandwiches, preheat broiler to high. Once heated, toast bread, turning once.
Top toast with a thick pile of turkey, 2 slices of tomato, a hefty spoonful of sauce, and a sprinkling of both cheeses.
Broil for about 2-3 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly. Garnish with 2 slices of bacon and a sprinkling of chopped parsley. Enjoy immediately!
Sweet Tea Mint Julep
12 mint leaves
1 lemon, sliced
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
8 ounces Kentucky bourbon such as Maker's Mark
Crushed ice for serving
Fresh mint bunches, for garnish
Sweet Tea (makes 2 cups):
1 cup water
3 black tea bags
Pinch of baking soda
1 cup ice cubes
1/3 cup simple syrup
Prepare the sweet tea. Place water in a kettle or pot on the stove and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add in tea bags and steep for about 5-7 minutes. Remove and discard tea bags.
Place remaining ingredients in a pitcher. Pour prepared tea over and stir to combine.
In a cocktail mixing glass, place mint, lemons and brown sugar. Muddle for 10-12 seconds until fragrant and lemons are juicy.
Top with bourbon and 8 ounces sweet tea, stirring to combine. Pour into 4 Julep cups and top with crushed ice and lots of fresh mint. Enjoy immediately.
Bourbon Pecan Pie Bites (a la mode)
1 box store-bought pie crust, refrigerated
1 1/2 cups pecan pieces, toasted and chopped
1 cup light corn syrup
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons bourbon
1/2 teaspoon salt
Vanilla bean or butter pecan ice cream, for serving
Preheat oven to 350°F, and spray a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
Unroll pie crust to make mini pie shells. Using a 3 1/2 - 4-inch round cutter, cut about 12-14 circles. Press into prepared muffin tin.
In a bowl, mix together chopped pecans, corn syrup, eggs, brown sugar, coconut oil, bourbon and salt. Stir to combine.
Fill crust 3/4 of the way with pecan filling. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until filling is cooked and pie crust is golden.
Allow to cool slightly before removing from tin. Serve with your favorite ice cream!