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Turkey Sandwiches

Submitted by on November 11, 2009 – 7:45 PM2 Comments
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turkey-sandwichLeftovers without Tears…

It’s pretty hard to mess up a turkey sandwich.  You take two pieces of bread, slather mayonnaise on one piece, mustard on the other, pile on the sliced turkey, slap on a bit of tomato and a leaf of lettuce.  Throw in some chips and voila, lunch.  Making this kind of sandwich will tide you over when hunger hits, no question.  But there’s more to life than just turkey on white and right after Thanksgiving is the time to branch out.


Five easy ways to jazz up a turkey sandwich:

1. Mix it up.  Throw a little horseradish sauce onto the sandwich to wake up your tastebuds.  Instead of mayonnaise, spread a little hummus on the inside of a pita bread and add turkey.  Serve with a Mediterranean side salad:  Half a cucumber, peeled and chopped; 1 small tomato, de-seeded and chopped; ¼ small yellow onion, chopped.  Make a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice and a dash of sea salt.

2. Spice it up.  Shred some leftover turkey and mix with mayonnaise that’s been spiked with curry powder. (Start with just a little, maybe a ½ teaspoon and add more to taste.)  Add a little grated onion. (You can use dried onion as long as you leave it in the mayonnaise long enough so it rehydrates).  Sprinkle in a little powdered ginger.  Chop up half an apple.  (Your basic Red Delicious is fine but if you like more tang, try a Honey Crisp.)  Spritz a lemon wedge over everything and mix well.  Use a hearty mixed grain bread for this sandwich so it won’t fall apart.

turkeywrap3. Wrap it up.  Sandwich wraps started out as trendy street food and appetizers but now they’re mainstream and a lot heartier than you would think from their delicate appearance.  Use 1 burrito-size flour tortilla for each wrap.  Spread with a thin layer of plain cream cheese.  Spoon a layer of pesto over that.  (You can buy it pre-made in the deli section of most supermarkets.)  Add thinly sliced turkey.  Roll up and eat.  You can vary the taste by ditching the pesto and using a flavored cream-cheese spread.  Buy one or make your own.  Try this one:  Take half a block of cream cheese and let it soften until you can mash it with a fork.  Chop an entire green onion and add to the cheese.  Add bacon bits to taste.  (I’m a “more bacon” gal.)  The mixture will serve three or four wraps, depending on how thickly it’s spread.

4. Grill it up.  Diners call this sandwich a “hot brown” but you can just call it delicious.  It’s too much prep work to make just for yourself (unless you can eat four sandwiches) but invite over some buddies and impress them with your kitchen cred.

1. Fry up 16 pieces of bacon and set aside.  Melt 2/3 a stick of butter in a heavy, medium-sized sauce pan.  Whisk in 3 tbsps. flour.  Add ¼ tsp. black pepper.  Stir in 2 1/3 cups of milk (whole or skim—there’s so much butter, no one will notice if you don’t do full-fat).  Stir until mixture thickens and bubbles.  Meanwhile, separate two eggs, discarding the whites.  Take a large spoonful of the hot mixture and blend it into the egg yolks.  Then add the egg yolks to the sauce pan and keep stirring until it begins to bubble again.  Remove from heat and add ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese.  Stir well and set aside.

2. Toast eight slices of white bread.  Put the toast on the top a broiler pan.  Cover each piece of toast with turkey.  Cover each turkey-covered toast with sauce.  Top that with more grated parmesan cheese.  Broil 4 inches from the heat until the sauce and cheese bubble, about three minutes.

3. Garnish with two slices of bacon per toast.  Serve hot—two toasts per serving.

5. Fill it up. Pile it on and don’t forget the veggies.  Add slices of your favorite cheese and some avocado.  Adding bacon never hurt a sandwich.  Use romaine instead of lettuce and pour on a little Caesar salad dressing to make a turkey Caesar sandwich.  (Toast your bread, of course.)  Buy sandwich rolls and imitate Subway with pickle rounds and sliced olives and green pepper and spinach leaves.  A little jalapeno?  It’s your sandwich—go crazy.

Beer Pairing

GrolschAnd when you’ve finished creating your sandwich masterpiece, take a little time to think about what beer will make your sandwich a feast.  These are no ordinary sandwiches, don’t settle for an ordinary beer.

For the cold sandwiches, choose a lager like Grolsch or (for those in the Great White North) Creemore Springs Premium Lager.

For the hot browns, you’ll want something a little heartier, like Lake Superior’s Mesabi Red, a fruity amber ale. Mesabi Red is loaded with five different malts, including Munich and Belgian aromatic, for a rich mahogany hue, then balance it with three hop varieties.