I’m not sure if y’all know this, but there is an itsy bitsy horse race coming up this weekend. It’s called the Kentucky Derby…maybe you’ve heard of it?
Now normally we would spend the day snacking on yummies and watching every second of coverage just to see if we know anyone there and which horses we want to claim as our own. However, this year, Spizzie and I will be out-of-town celebrating her birthday (yay!) and everyone else will be working or sleeping on the couch (you know who you are).
Hopefully everybody knows by now that the Derby food is just as important as the horses and the hats. Since we won’t be around to tantalize you with pictures of our own nosh-fest, I thought I would share recipes for Kentucky Derby must-have menu items. These are the foods I think are quintessential to race day…at least at our house!
- Benedictine Spread. Don’t ask me why it became so popular for Derby. It just did. It’s also popular for funerals. And picnics. And lunch. Go with it.
- Mint Juleps. Darlin’ it is not a Derby party without some sort of julep. Don’t like bourbon? Leave it out. Don’t like mint? Substitute it. It doesn’t matter, as long as you have one! Here is a great traditional julep recipe and Ann’s Entitled Life does a julep with a raspberry twist! Sweet! (Or maybe sour depending on your raspberries!)
- Kentucky Hot Brown. Is it the creamy sauce, the cheesy goodness, the bacon? Who knows, but it’s worth it! This is the traditional Hot Brown recipe straight from the Brown Hotel. It doesn’t get any more legitimate than that. (Photo is not from the Brown Hotel. It was shared with me by a blogger who is no longer in business.)
- Ah, pie, sweet pie. There is a long-standing tradition of having a gooey, chocolatey, nutty pie as a Derby dessert. And if you take the word “Derby” and put it next to the word “pie,” you have the name of it. I won’t do that though, because somebody has a claim to it and I’ve heard they get mighty touchy when other people use it. Instead, I will just give you multiple recipes and let you try them all! We have the Chocolate Pecan Pie from Views From the Ville and the Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie Cupcakes (oh my!!) from The Tiptoe Fairy. If those don’t make you happy, I really don’t know what will!
These are just a few of the delicious things you really need to make your Kentucky Derby celebration complete, but if you need more recipes I have a few you might like. The Southern Lady Cooks has all kinds of fabulousness going on, but I recommend you start with the Kentucky Butter Cake. Also, for a delicious non-alcoholic julep drink, make sure to check out the Apple Juleps over at Southern Plate.
Now, if you really want to go all out, get you some Beer Cheese, Fried Green Tomatoes, and Kentucky Burgoo (apparently the spoon has to stand up in it…otherwise it’s just soup). Maybe even add some ham and biscuits and a big ol glass of sweet tea. Now that’s a Derby party!!
Now it’s your turn…Do you have a favorite way to celebrate the Kentucky Derby?