Iron Chef Bobby Flay and celebrity chef Rachael Ray recently issued a Nationwide Burger Challenge, and Parkette Drive In co-owner Randy Kaplan stepped up to put his best burger on the line.
Kaplan entered Parkette's Kentucky hot Brown burger in the competition and was chosen one of three finalists. He will appear on The Rachael Ray Show on Dec. 30.
The burger was one of the new concepts Kaplan came up with when he opened the new retro 50s garage-diner in August adding 90 seats to the restaurant.
"We wanted to upscale our menu a little bit. We added three new premium burgers, made with Certified Angus Beef," he explained.
"Since Parkette is such an icon and landmark in Lexington, we wanted to do something to compliment Kentucky and we thought a hot Brown concept would be a great choice. We chose an Alfredo sauce over a Mornay sauce (usually found in a hot Brown), because we really liked the way the Alfredo complemented the flavor of the Angus Beef," Kaplan said.
Here's how they make the hot Brown burger: "On a toasted bun, we place a slice of yellow American cheese, a 4-ounce Certified Angus Beef patty, three slices of oven roasted turkey breast, two slices of bacon (criss-crossed), 3 ounces of Alfredo sauce, a slice of tomato and the top bun."
Kaplan submitted the hot Brown burger idea to the show and, as one of the three finalists, he'll cook the burger on the show in front of Bobby, Rachael and a live audience.
Parkette Drive In is at 1230 East New Circle Road. Call (859) 254-8723. Go to Theparkette.com.
Barbara Harper-Bach will sign copies of The Christmas Clinic cookbook at Ruth Hunt Candies, 213 Walton Avenue, from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday. Call (859) 268-1559.
Praise for bourbon balls
The editors at Food Network magazine chose the best food gifts from 50 states to include in their holiday issue. They chose Rebecca Ruth Candy Factory's bourbon balls to represent Kentucky. Go to http://bit.ly/18G0uDd or Rebeccaruth.com. The retail store is at 116 East Second Street in Frankfort. Call (502) 223-7475.
Historic home tour
Maple Hill Manor Bed and Breakfast and Alpaca & Llama Farm in Springfield is holding a historic holiday home tour this month. The antebellum mansion is decorated with garlands of fresh pine cones and bright boughs, and a 14-foot Christmas tree trimmed with red, gold, and crystal ornaments.
The holiday open house is from 1 to 5 p.m. every Saturday this month. The farm store is stocked with alpaca fur items. Maple Hill Manor is at 2941 Perryville Road. Call (859) 336-3075 or go to Maplehillmanor.com.
If you don't have time to make special goodies this holiday season, let the bakers at Great Harvest Bread Company do it for you. Specialty items include cranberry orange walnut, apple scrapple, and pumpkin walnut breads; pumpkin pies, rolls and dip; and gingersnap and shortbread cookies. Call (859) 223-7603 or go to Greatharvestlexington.com. Locations are 3735 Harrodsburg Road in Palomar Centre, and 2121 Richmond Road in Idle Hour Shopping Center.
Sharon Thompson: (859) 231-3321. Twitter: @FlavorsofKY. Blog: Flavorsofkentucky.bloginky.com.