Go ahead. Call me crazy. Thanksgiving hasn’t even arrived yet and I’m already planning leftovers.
But aren’t the leftovers the best part?
Today I’m knee deep in sweet potatoes, turkey brine and my finger nails are covered with pie crust.
Tomorrow I’ll be executive sous (pronounced like “sue”) chef to the master griller Mr. Crumbs, fetching tongs and plates as needed while monitoring my side dishes in oven. Later in the day we’ll fill up our bellies and kick up our heels as the tryptophan runs its course.
Come Friday, while shopping Black Friday from my computer, I’m eating me some sandwiches.
I know this is early, but preparation is key. I want you to be emotionally ready or one of the best tasting sandwiches you’ve ever had.
You’ve got two days to come to grips with this peeps! 🙂
While the turkey takes center stage on Thanksgiving, I believe the type of bread you use is vital to the success of this sandwich. Please don’t use regular ol’ sandwich bread. You can use focaccia or my personal favorite, buttermilk potato bread. You can even make mini-sandwiches with leftover dinner rolls. But whatever you do, do not pull out the Sara Lee or Wonder bread and attempt to do this sandwich justice. It just won’t happen.
Preparation: Cut two medium thick slices of bread off a loaf, or cut a large piece of focaccia in half or several dinner rolls in half. Butter the outside of each piece of bread (using real butter). Lay the bread on a plate with the unbuttered side up.
The tartness of cranberry sauce and the savory Herbed Garlic Cream Cheese (recipe below) offset each other and both finely compliment the turkey. Don’t skip on either.
Preparation: Smear a medium-thick layer of Herbed Garlic Cream Cheese on the inside of one piece. Smear an ample layer of cranberry sauce on the inside of the other piece of bread.
If you did turkey-pulling duty after your crowd feasted, this step is easy. If you haven’t, get to work and come back. And hurry up. The sandwich is waiting.
Preparation: Place several pieces of turkey on top of the cranberry sauce. Overlap the pieces so that no bite is left without.
This layer is completely optional. The Herbed Garlic Cream Cheese plays the role of creamy cheese, but if you have a spare slice of Havarti in your fridge (like me), or some leftover brie from your appetizer tray, let’s put it to good use. Extra cheese is always a good thing!
Preparation: Place cheese on top of the turkey.
No sandwich is complete without green. Have spinach? Lettuce? Kale?
Preparation: Choose whatever green you have and layer on top of the turkey. A few pieces will do. This is a turkey sammy, not a vegetable.
Kudos if you own a George Foreman grill. Hubs and I ditched ours years ago, before “grilled” and “sandwich” were popular in the same sentence. We don’t have cast iron skillets either, although they weigh a ton and would come in handy.
If you’re like me, fear not. This can still be done with what you have in the house.
Preparation: Preheat a large skillet to medium-high, or a griddle to 350 degrees. Place the herbed piece of bread on top of the turkey side to make a sandwich and place the sandwich on your skillet or griddle (buttered side down). Press down on the sandwich with something heavy (I use a 9×13 glass pan). Cook for 4-6 minutes until cheese begins to melt. Carefully flip the sandwich over and repeat. (Those with GF grills can just close it and wait the 4-6 minutes. Lucky you!) Slice in half before serving.
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ¼ tsp dried basil
- ½ tsp dried dill
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- Mix ingredients together until evenly combined. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator. Flavors will enhance over time.