Family Hot Brown

Six slices from the smaller Pepperidge Farm loaves (toaster white, or sandwich white breads) fit neatly into a 9-by-13-inch casserole. Larger slices should be trimmed to fit.

cup butter
cup flour
4 cups milk
2 cups (8 ounces) grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon (freshly ground) black pepper, to taste
6 slices white bread, such as Pepperidge Farm
6 to 12 thin slices roast turkey (12 to 18 ounces total)
1 cup diced tomato, approximately
6 bacon slices

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large saucepan, melt butter. Add flour, stirring to make a roux. Cook 2 to 3 minutes. While stirring, slowly add milk. Use a whisk; stir constantly to keep flour from lumping. (It may seize into a clump at first; just keep adding a little milk and stirring. It will loosen.) Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat. Add cheese, salt and pepper. Stir to melt.

Toast bread in a toaster, or place under broiler until golden on both sides. Line the bottom of a 9-by-13-by-2-inch casserole. Top toast in casserole with slices of turkey. Cover turkey with sauce; use it all. Sprinkle with diced tomato. Place in oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown spots form on top.

While casserole is baking, cook bacon. Cut it in half to make 2 shorter strips. Fry until crisp. Remove to absorbent toweling; drain. Remove casserole from the oven. Cross 2 short pieces of bacon over each sandwich. Let the casserole stand 10 minutes before serving. Serves 6. Courier Journal 4May05