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Cashing in on the Kentucky Derby

Cashing in on the Kentucky Derby

An authentic mint julep and BBQ shrimp are signature items on the race day menu at Churchill Downs. We offer the track’s recipes for both.

Need a couple of can’t-miss specials that tie into this Saturday’s 138th running of the Kentucky Derby? Look no further. Churchill Downs executive chef Jo-Jo Doyle is sharing recipes for two of the track’s most tradition-laden signature items: the Kentucky Derby Mint Julep and Churchill Downs Barbecue Shrimp Served Over Cheddar Grits.

Kentucky Derby Mint Julep
Yield: 6-8 drinks

2 cups sugar
2 cups water
16 oz Kentucky bourbon, 2 per mint julep
Crushed ice
10 sprigs fresh mint
8 mint julep glasses

Combine water and sugar in a pot and bring to a boil to make simple syrup. Boil for 5 minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with two sprigs of fresh mint and refrigerate overnight.

To make the mint julep, start by filling each glass with crushed ice. Add 1 tablespoon of the mint-flavored simple syrup, then 2 ounces of Kentucky bourbon. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the glass. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

Churchill Downs Signature Barbecue Shrimp
Yield: 10 portions

2 pounds jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined, tail on
2 ounces light olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic
1/4 pound unsalted butter, cold and quartered
10 ounces white wine
4 ounces Louisiana Hot Sauce
3 ounces Worcestershire Sauce Salt
1 green onion, cut on the bias to garnish

Add oil to a large saute pan, on high heat. Add shrimp and cook until very light pink on one side, about 3 minutes. Add garlic to the pan and stir. Then add white wine and cook until wine has reduced by half. Stir in hot sauce and Worcestershire. Remove cooked shrimp from pan and arrange on serving dish. Continue to reduce the sauce for about one minute longer. Remove pan from heat and add the chunks of cold butter. Swirl butter until the sauce develops a velvety texture. Pour sauce over shrimp on plate and garnish with green onion. Serve with Cheddar Cheese Grits.

Cheddar Cheese Grits
Yield: 10 portions

2 cups quick cooking grits
4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 stick butter

Add grits and water to a 4-quart sauce pan. Bring water to boil and allow grits to thicken, stirring occasionally. Add salt, cream, cheddar, Parmesan and butter and remove from heat. Stir until all of the cheese is melted.

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