Growing up, did you family do this at Thanksgiving? We would all sit down to dinner and after the pumpkin pie, we’d leave the table, do the dishes and keep the food out for second and third helpings to enjoy as the night wore on.
Returning to the feast was part of the special ritual of the Thanksgiving meal.
No more! We’ve learned since that we were courting foodborne illnesses. And while no one ever got sick, we know better than to take chances.
The rule: USDA says that you should cut up the turkey, separate stuffing and refrigerate in shallow containers within two hours of cooking. Use leftovers within three to four days.
I love leftovers and cook accordingly. Roast turkey is such a neutral meat; it lends itself to all sorts of flavor profiles, as you’ll find in the sandwich combinations below:
Thirteen Terrific Turkey Sandwiches:
- Open-faced – the classic. On good-quality white bread, lay turkey slices and top with reheated leftover gravy; serve cranberry sauce and/or stuffing on the side.
- Wrap – On flour tortilla, spread mayonnaise mixed with a little pressed garlic. Layer leaf lettuce, sliced turkey, sliced avocado and tomato wedges. Roll tightly and secure with toothpick.
- BBQ – Shred turkey and heat in barbecue sauce; sandwich between toasted buns; serve with coleslaw.
- Banh Mi – Spread split baguette with mayonnaise mixed with sriracha sauce. Fill with layers of turkey slices, sliced English cucumber, sliced jalapeno, shredded carrots and lots of cilantro sprigs.
- Battered – Layer slices of turkey, ham and Swiss Cheese between two slices of artisan bread spread with yellow mustard. Dip in a mixture of eggs beaten with a little milk and fry on both sides in melted butter.
- Club – On toasted white bread spread with mayonnaise, layer turkey slices, crisp bacon strips, avocado slices and romaine lettuce. Top with second slice of toast, cut into quarters diagonally to form four triangles and thread on bamboo skewer.
- Curry – Dice turkey and combine with sliced green onion, raisins, chopped apple, mango chutney, mayonnaise and curry powder. Fill lettuce-lined pita pocket halves.
- Mexican – In crisp taco shells add shredded turkey, shredded iceberg lettuce, guacamole and salsa.
- Mediterranean – Combine diced turkey with sliced kalamata olives and drained sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil. Serve in warmed focaccia.
- Panini – On rustic bread slice layer turkey, cranberry sauce and sliced Cheddar. Top with second slice and grill in panini press or on stovetop.
- Basic – On thick-sliced white bread, layer turkey with romaine lettuce, mayonnaise, sliced tomato and/or cucumber; season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Healthy – Combine turkey cubes with Greek yogurt seasoned with chopped fresh dill weed, pressed garlic, salt and pepper. Spoon into whole wheat pita bread halves with avocado and sprouts.
- Hero – Split a baguette lengthwise and layer deli meats (such as salami, mortadella or prosciutto), sliced turkey, sliced provolone, roasted red peppers, shredded iceberg lettuce; sprinkle with vinaigrette.
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