Derby at heart

Damaris Phillips serves up food for your party

Louisville’s own Damaris Phillips is the chef/host of “Southern at Heart,” which airs Sunday mornings at 10 on Food Network. This week’s episode focused on her favorite horse-based holiday, and she shared these recipes that every Louisvillian can make:


Hot Browns with
Pimento Cheese Mornay

1 bone-in turkey breast half
(about 2 pounds)?

4 teaspoons vegetable oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black

4 ounces bacon, cut into lardons

20 grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise

4 tablespoons unsalted butter?

2½ cups whole milk

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar?

1/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers?

2 slices stale sourdough bread, cut into

1-inch cubes (a heaping 2 cups total)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan??


Special equipment: four 4-by-6-inch cast-iron gratin pans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Rub the turkey breast with 3 teaspoons of the oil; sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 160 degrees, about 55 minutes. Place the bacon lardons on a baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 20 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate; drain and reserve the fat for another use.

Lower the oven temperature to 250 degrees. Coat the tomatoes with the remaining teaspoon of oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the tomatoes cut-sides up on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake until they start to dehydrate and wrinkle, about 45 minutes.?? While the tomatoes are cooking, start the Mornay sauce. Add the butter to a medium saucepan and melt over medium heat. Add the milk to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add the flour and stir continuously so the roux doesn’t scorch, about 2 minutes. When the milk starts to simmer, slowly add it to the roux, stirring constantly so lumps don’t form. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 6-8 minutes. Add the cheddar and red peppers and stir until smooth. Remove the sauce from the heat and season with salt and pepper.

You are ready to assemble the dish. Heat the broiler. Distribute the bread cubes evenly among four 4-by-6-inch cast-iron gratin pans. Cut the turkey into bite-size pieces, about 1/2 inch each, and divide evenly among the gratin pans. Spoon the Mornay sauce over the pans, and top each with 10 tomatoes. Sprinkle each pan with the Parmesan and bacon and place under the broiler on the bottom rack of the oven until golden and bubbly, 5-10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Cook’s note: If cast-iron gratin pans aren’t available, layer the ingredients in a broiler-proof 9-by-13-inch baking dish and cook under the broiler until golden and bubbly.?? 

Yield: 4 servings?
Active Time: 45 minutes?
Total Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes


Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus
2 tablespoons

4 ounces (8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter

2-4 tablespoons ice water

1/3 cup firmly-packed light brown sugar

3 large eggs

1/4 cup coconut oil

3/4 cup sorghum

3-4 tablespoons bourbon

1 1/2 cups pecans, roughly chopped

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Special equipment: baking weights or beans


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Combine the salt, granulated sugar and 1 1/4 cups of the flour in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times. Add the butter and pulse until there are pea-size pieces. Add the ice water, a few tablespoons at a time, and pulse until the mixture barely comes together. Turn it out onto a piece of parchment paper and press into a disc. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Roll out the dough so it is large enough to fit into a 9-inch pie pan with a slight overhang. Place in the pie pan and fold over the overhang to create a nice crust. Pierce the base all over with a fork, line with aluminum foil and fill with baking weights or beans. Bake on the bottom rack of the oven for 12 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and pie weights. Return the pie crust to the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes to ensure the pie crust will be crisp. Allow to cool, about 30 minutes.

Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Beat the brown sugar and eggs in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the coconut oil and remaining 2 tablespoons of flour and mix for another 2 minutes. Add the sorghum and bourbon and mix until combined. Finish by stirring in half of the pecans. Sprinkle the bottom of the crust with the chocolate chips and remaining pecans. Gently pour in the pie filling. Bake until the top is firm but the center is slightly gooey, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on the counter for 4 hours or in the fridge for 2 hours before serving. 

Yield: One 9-inch pie (6-8 servings)

Active Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours, 35 minutes (includes chilling dough)