Cape Fear Cooking: Recipes for Derby Day Party

Cape Fear Cooking: Derby Day
Published: May. 4, 2022 at 6:26 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The Kentucky Derby is this weekend and Chef Brad Hagler from Savor Southern Kitchen joined Bill Murray in the WECT kitchen to share some of his favorite recipes for a great Kentucky Derby Day party.

Hagler showcased a miniature version of Kentucky Hot Browns from The Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. Hagler said these open-faced turkey sandwiches with tomatoes and Béchamel sauce are also known as the Kentucky state sandwich.

His spicy pimento cheese dip is a great accompaniment for your favorite crackers and Hagler says you can enjoy this with your favorite pecan pie. Hagler’s Kentucky Derby pecan pies contain chocolate as well as bourbon.

The 148th Kentucky Derby is this Saturday and WECT has complete coverage of the world’s most famous horse race. Post time is 6:57 p.m. Saturday.


Derby Pie


Sugar - 1/2 cup

Dark brown sugar - 1/4 cup

Light brown sugar - 1/4 cup

Corn syrup (light) - 1 1/2 cups

Butter - 1/4 cup

Vanilla - 1.5 teaspoon

Chopped pecans - 1 1/2 cups

Bourbon - 1/4 cup

Chocolate chips - 1/2 cup

Eggs - 4

9 inch pie shell - 1


1) Boil sugars and corn syrup together for 2 minutes, allow to cool slightly.

2) In separate bowl, whip eggs and slowly add into sugar mixture.

3) Add bourbon, vanilla, pecans, and chocolate chips then mix well.

4) Pour in pie shell.

5) Bake at 350 degrees (F) for 35-45 minutes.

Kentucky Hot Brown

Makes 2 sandwiches, cut into 1/4 pieces for mini servings.


For Bechamel Sauce (or use high quality alfredo sauce):

Heavy cream - 1 1/2 cups

Whole milk - 1/2 cup

Pecorino Romano Cheese - 1/2 cup (1 tablespoon for garnish)

Nutmeg - pinch

Salt & pepper - to taste

For Sandwich:

Sliced turkey breast - 12 oz.

Texas toast - 4 slices

Bacon - 4 slices

Roma tomatoes - 8 slices


1) In saucepan, melt butter and slowly whisk in flour.

2) Continue to whisk over low/medium heat to foam the roux.

3) Whisk in heavy cream and milk for 2/3 minutes until cream begins to simmer then remove from heat.

4) Whisk in Pecorino cheese until smooth, then add nutmeg and salt and pepper.

5) Toast the bread.

6) Top each with 6 oz. turkey and 4 slices of Roma tomatoes.

7) Pour sauce over the top then broil until cheese begins to brown and bubble.

8) Top with 2 pieces of bacon and garnish with Pecorino.

Pimento Cheese


Shredded Sharp Cheddar - 8 cups

Mayo - 3/4 cups

Dijon mustard - 2.5 tablespoons

Roasted red peppers - 1 long or 2 small

Texas Pete - 2 teaspoons

Worcestershire Sauce - 1/8 Cup

Granulated garlic - 1.5 teaspoon

Onion powder - 1 tablespoon

Black pepper - 1 teaspoon


1) Mix well.

2) Refrigerate if not served immediately.

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