Kentucky Derby cuisine



Tradition Kentucky Derby foods include "Hot Brown" sandwiches, Benedictine spread and a sinfully rich and delicious derby pie. (Photo provided)



By Annette Kukoy and Jackie Shayotovich


Thanks to Andy and Noelle Noth for sharing recipes originating in Kentucky and used at many Derby Day parties. Andy and Noelle  are members of St. Barbara parish in Erlanger, Kentucky.


Kentucky Derby Pie

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup flour

2 large eggs, slightly beaten

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

6 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 9-inch unbaked pie crust


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough out to fit a 9” pie plate; press evenly into bottom and up the sides of pie plate. In a large bowl combine the sugar, flour, eggs and butter. Beat on medium speed just until smooth. Stir in the pecans, chocolate chips and vanilla. Pour the filling into the pie crust and smooth the top. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until golden brown.


Hot Brown Sandwiches

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons flour

1 1/2 cups milk

1 cup white cheddar cheese, shredded

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

8 slices thick white bread

Dijon mustard

1 pound shredded or sliced turkey

8 slices tomato

6 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled



      Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat; add the flour, stirring until smooth. Cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add the milk, stirring with a whisk; bring to a boil stirring constantly.

      Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring until thickened. Remove from the heat and add the cheeses. Mix until melted and the sauce is smooth. Stir in the salt and cayenne. Set aside.

      Preheat the broiler. Remove the crust from the bread and toast the slices. Spread each slice of toasted bread with the mustard and place the bread slices on a oven safe baking dish. Drizzle with a little of the cheese sauce, then top with a tomato slice. For the next layer divide the turkey evenly on the bread slices and spoon the cheese sauce on top. Place the sandwiches under the broiler and cook until sauce begins to brown lightly, 2 – 3 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with crumbled bacon and chopped fresh parsley. Serve hot.


Benedictine Spread

1 large cucumber, peeled, deseeded and grated

1 medium onion, grated

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

Dash of cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon dried dill

Salt to taste

1 -2 drops green food coloring (optional)

      Place grated cucumber in a fine mesh strainer over a bowl. Using a rubber spatula press on the cucumber to extract the juice; you will need 3 tablespoons of cucumber. Do the same for the onion – one tablespoon. Place the cream cheese in medium bowl; add juices, cayenne, dried dill and salt. Using a hand mixer, beat until well combined. Stir in the food coloring, if using. Refrigerate until chilled. Serve with party rye bread, veggies or crackers.


     Annette Kukoy is a member of St. Thomas More Parish in Munster. Jackie Shayotovich belongs to Ss. Peter and Paul in Merrillville. For more information contact Annette or Jackie at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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