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Easy or tricky, Thanksgiving leftovers call for a sandwich

The idea of making a sandwich out of Thanksgiving leftovers should be appealing this weekend. You, or someone close to you, spent the previous day cooking a huge meal and you want to use up the last bits of deliciousness - with minimal additional effort.

Smoked turkey leg pate banh mi from Banh Street and the Lucky Well.
Smoked turkey leg pate banh mi from Banh Street and the Lucky Well.Read moreJESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer

The idea of making a sandwich out of Thanksgiving leftovers should be appealing this weekend.

You, or someone close to you, spent the previous day cooking a huge meal and you want to use up the last bits of deliciousness - with minimal additional effort.

When you ask food professionals for their ideas of a sandwich built on leftovers, you get a full range of suggestions.

Roger Bassett of the Original Turkey stand at Reading Terminal Market can't escape turkey, his stock in trade.

"I am expected to cook and carve the perfect bird," he said of the 10 to 12 people who will gather. "I always cook the biggest bird I can find because everyone fights for the leftovers." Bassett hit the "easy" button for his dream sandwich.

It is a little bit of everything - turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, potatoes, mac and cheese, walnuts, and even pumpkin pie - between two slices of bread. (In fact, the stand will sell this "Feast" sandwich for $10 from Nov. 24 through 30.)

Michael Strauss at Taproom on 19th in South Philadelphia, whose 40-year tradition has him visiting his aunt and uncle's house, came up with what he calls My Holiday Morning After Sandwich Jawn. It's similar to Bassett's kitchen-sink-style sandwich, but with matchstick-size pieces of apple for crunch and a topping made of leftover cranberry sauce zipped with salsa. He also builds his sandwich on a potato roll.

Asked for his spin on a leftover sandwich, Chad Rosenthal of the Lucky Well in Ambler and Banh Street in Roslyn created a banh mi by making a turkey pate out of smoked dark meat, butter, walnuts, fish sauce, and mayo. He slathers the pate onto a baguette, tops it with crispy turkey skin and homemade pickled cranberries, and adds cucumber, carrots, and cilantro. (The Banh Gobbler, $9, will be available at Banh Street from Nov. 25 through 27.)

Anthony Bonett of the Moshulu at Penn's Landing opted for a turkey cheesesteak - that is, a rich, hot turkey sandwich built on a steak roll with sottocenere cheese, black truffle aioli, maitake mushrooms, onion, and garlic.

Nunzio Patruno of Nunzio Ristorante Rustico in Collingswood thought "Italian" with his effort - a panino made on a large ciabatta loaf. Nunzio and Maribel Patruno's Thanksgiving meals - which attract upward of 30 people - reflect their Italian, Italian American, and Puerto Rican culture. His sandwich offering contains leftover Brussels sprouts and cranberry sauce, pancetta, Parmigiano cheese, sharp provolone, and fried long hot peppers.

My Holiday "Morning After" Sandwich Jawn


Makes 4 servings


1 pound roast turkey

2 cups mashed potatoes

2 cups stuffing

1 cup Cranberry Salsa (see recipe below)

1 apple (diced into matchstick-size pieces)

1 cup turkey gravy or jus

Bread of choice, such as potato buns

French onions, for garnish

For the cranberry salsa:

1 14-ounce can of whole-berry cranberry sauce

11/2 cups of your favorite salsa


1. Heat the turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and gravy.

2. To make the cranberry salsa, mix the cranberry sauce and salsa together.

3. From the bottom up, layer ingredients on bottom slice of bread or roll. Spread cranberry salsa on the top slice of bread. Top it off with the other half of roll or bread.

- From Michael Strauss of Tap Room

Per serving: 766 calories, 46 grams protein, 93 grams carbohydrates, 18 grams sugar, 22 grams fat, 89 milligrams cholesterol, 2,257 milligrams sodium, 9 grams dietary fiber.


Decadent Turkey Cheesesteak


Makes 4 servings


4 steak rolls

2 tablespoons butter

Vegetable oil, for sautéing

1 pound maitake mushrooms, sliced

Salt and pepper

1 large sweet onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 pounds dark and white meat turkey, sliced

Chicken, vegetable, or turkey stock, if necessary

4-6 ounces sottocenere cheese, grated

4 tablespoons truffle aioli

Pickled long hot peppers, sliced, to taste

For the black truffle aioli:

Black truffle peelings (optional)

Roasted garlic cloves

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Splash sherry vinegar

Splash white truffle oil

Salt and pepper to taste

For the pickled long hots:

1 pound red long hot peppers, sliced thin

4 cloves garlic, sliced thin

Olive oil and red vinegar, to cover


1. Slice roll, toast in medium hot pan with 1 tablespoon butter.

2. In a large sauté pan, heat enough vegetable oil to cover bottom of the pan. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until well browned. Remove from pan, allow to dry on paper towels.

3. Add a little more vegetable oil and sauté onions until lightly caramelized. Season with salt and pepper. Return cooked mushrooms to pan, toss together with onions, and then add garlic. Remove mushroom-onion mixture from pan, set aside.

4. Add olive oil and remaining 1 tablespoon butter, and heat cooked turkey meat until heated through; add a little stock if necessary to keep it moist. Add mushroom mixture into turkey and toss together.

5. Finish with the grated sottocenere cheese, salt, and pepper, allowing cheese to melt. Check seasoning.

6. Spread truffle aioli on rolls, fill with turkey steak mixture, and top with pickled hot peppers. Slice in halves and secure with toothpick.

7. To make the black truffle aioli, mix black truffle peelings (if you don't have any, add a little more truffle oil) with a few roasted garlic cloves, a spoonful of Dijon mustard, a splash of sherry or red wine vinegar, a splash of white truffle oil, and salt and pepper. Add up to one cup Hellman's or Duke's mayo, mix thoroughly, and chill.

8. To make the pickled long hots, season sliced peppers with salt, allow to sit for a few minutes with garlic. Pack in jar with oil and vinegar. Refrigerate.

- From chef Anthony Bonett of the Moshulu

Per serving: 886 calories, 90 grams protein, 54 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams sugar, 37 grams fat, 207 milligrams cholesterol, 1,050 milligrams sodium, 9 grams dietary fiber.EndText

"Left Over" Smoked Turkey Leg Banh Mi


Makes 4 sandwiches


4 baguettes

Smoked turkey leg pate (see recipe below)

6 tablespoons mayo

1/2 teaspoon maggi seasoning

Pickled Cranberries (see recipe)

Crispy Turkey Skin (see recipe)

Carrots and cucumber, sliced into matchsticks

Jalapeno and cilantro, for garnish

For the Smoked Turkey Leg Pate:

1 cup smoked turkey leg, diced

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

2 tablespoons cognac

1 teaspoon fish sauce

1 teaspoon mirin

4 tablespoons mayo

Salt and pepper to taste

For the Pickled Cranberries:

2 cups sugar

2 cups rice vinegar

1 teaspoon peppercorns

1/4 teaspoon juniper berry

1/4 teaspoon clove

1 teaspoon salt

1 pound cranberries

For the Crispy Turkey Skin

Skin from turkey

Salt and pepper


1. To make the pate: In a food processor, process turkey and walnuts until finely chopped. Add butter, cognac, fish sauce, and mirin until a smooth paste is formed. Add mayo until desired consistency; add salt and pepper to taste.

2. To make the pickled cranberries: Place sugar, vinegar, spices, and salt in a pot and bring to a rolling boil. Add washed cranberries and cook for 6 minutes, until skins are cracked and the liquid is turning red. Remove from heat and let cool.

3. To make the crispy turkey skin: Place turkey skins on sheet tray, season with salt and pepper, and place in a 500-degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until crispy. If a fryer is available, heat oil to 350 degrees and fry until crispy and brown, about 1 minute; season with salt and pepper.

4. To assemble, slice open baguette. Spread one side with mayo. Season mayo with a couple of drops of maggi seasoning. Place baguette in 450-degree toaster oven for about a minute, or until roll is crusty and hot but won't cut the roof of your mouth. Pull baguette out, spread a generous amount of pate on the other side of the roll, and then fill with pickled cranberry, the herbs, and the veggies.

- From Chad Rosenthal (Banh Street, the Lucky Well)

Per serving: 1,228 calories, 25 grams protein, 170 grams carbohydrates, 113 grams sugar, 44 grams fat, 82 milligrams cholesterol, 1,737 milligrams sodium, 13 grams dietary fiber.


Feast Sandwich


Makes 1 serving


2 slices bread or 1 roll, your choice

1 tablespoon mayo

1 ounce cranberry sauce

2 ounces stuffing

3 ounces turkey

3 ounces potato (mashed, sweet, or scalloped)

2 ounces mac and cheese

1 ounce walnuts

1 ounce pumpkin pie filling

4 ounces reheated gravy, for dipping


Layer ingredients on bread or roll. Top with the other slice or top of roll.

- From Roger Bassett of the Original Turkey

Per serving: 838 calories, 42 grams protein, 76 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams sugar, 42 grams fat, 70 milligrams cholesterol, 1,686 milligrams sodium, 10 grams dietary fiber.


Thanksgiving Panino


Makes 4 servings


1 large ciabatta loaf

2 ounces extra-virgin olive oil

4 slices pancetta

1 cup Brussels sprouts

1 pound turkey breast

2 tablespoons cranberry sauce

1 tablespoon parmigiano cheese, grated

4 slices sharp provolone

4 fried long hot peppers


1. Split ciabatta and drizzle with olive oil. Grill bread facedown on a pan and set aside. Grill pancetta on pan till just crispy and set aside. Slice Brussels sprouts a half-inch thick and place on a flat sheet pan. Sprinkle with parmigiano cheese, broil on high for 5 minutes, and set aside.

2. To assemble: Place a slice of pancetta on one side of ciabatta. Place turkey on ciabatta. Spread cranberry sauce on top. Add Brussels sprouts. Follow with provolone and hot peppers. Top with other side of ciabatta and affix toothpicks. Cut into 4 portions.

- From chef Nunzio Patruno of Nunzio Ristorante Rustico

Per serving: 473 calories, 35 grams protein, 20 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams sugar, 29 grams fat, 83 milligrams cholesterol, 2,268 milligrams sodium, 4 grams dietary fiber.EndText