hot turkey sandwich

I’ve been too busy and/or sick to breathe lately. Two weeks ago, I went on a business trip to Charleston, and while I thoroughly enjoyed my time there (and the fried green tomatoes, grits and Frogmore stew), I spent approximately 15 hours sitting in planes and airports, where I undoubtedly contracted the stomach bug that hit me the moment I walked in my house. I was then healthy for about 12 hours before I came down with a terrible cold that completely encumbered my motivation to do anything — including write, but especially cook. I’m hoping to be back in action this week if I can find time between my work symposium, conference call, soccer games and coaches clinic. Siiiiigh.

This open-faced sandwich is a modified version of the hot brown turkey sandwich from Food Network Magazine’s December issue. I took a few shortcuts. No picture of mine is going to look as nice as the the magazine, but this photo doesn’t really do justice. I ate this sandwich for four meals over the next three days. It was easy to prep and packed with a lot of flavor. You can either use leftover turkey (like from Thanksgiving), or order the driest roasted turkey breast from the deli. The recipe below is my even easier easy hot turkey sandwich, but if you’re interested in trying the original, visit FN Magazine’s website.

♦1/4 lb. sliced roasted turkey
1 tbs. olive oil
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 tbs. flour
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
1 c. grated monterey jack cheese (few sprinkles reserved for topping)
Salt and pepper
2 slices of white bread (per sandwich)
1 tomato
Spicy mustard
1 tbs. dried parsley
Bacos (optional)

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onions and cook until soft (three minutes). Add flour and stir, cooking for one minute. Increase the heat to medium-high, and add milk and broth. Bring to a boil, stirring. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring, until thickened (about six minutes). Remove from heat and stir in grated cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

I made the mixture and made one sandwich, storing the rest for leftovers; if you’re making one sandwich at a time, you can use a toaster oven for convenience. Lightly toast both pieces of bread (or the sandwich will get soggy). Remove and spread mustard on one side of both slices. Press those sides together (plain side up) and place on tinfoil-lined baking sheet. Top with two slices of tomato, then add turkey and gravy. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and parsley. Broil in toaster or conventional oven until golden — about two minutes. Top with [optional] Bacos.

Total time? 20 minutes prep, 2 minutes cook.
Cost? $2 turkey, $1.69 cheese, $1 tomato, $1 onion, $1.99 bread, $1.29 chicken broth (for several sandwiches)
Overall success relative to expectations? 6 out of 10. I really let Food Network Magazine’s beautiful presentation skew my expectations, but this was still a tasty sandwich that kept well as leftovers for several days. The mustard between the toasted slices is key because it adds an extra level of flavor and consistency that cuts through what otherwise could have easily been a soggy, muddied sandwich. One of my obvious shortcuts was using Bacos over bacon, and while the former obviously isn’t as mouthwatering as the real thing, I really dug the crunch and not having to spend time frying slices, avoiding grease splatters and cleaning a waxy pan. If you’re looking for an easy weeknight meal — or lunch if your office has a toaster oven — give this a try.


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