One of the best parts about Thanksgiving for me is the leftovers. There’s nothing quite like it. Perhaps it’s the taste of love from the various hands that prepared such an extravagant and abundant meal. Or maybe I just really like microwaved turkey and stuffing.
As tasty as the real deal is, I’m always looking forward to the next day’s lunch of leftovers: a heaping plate of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce…And you can’t forget that slice o’ pie for dessert! Yes, I am blessed with a cooperative digestive tract and can endure eating just as much food as I did the previous night. So, I understand if you’re a bit grossed out by the sight/smell/taste of more turkey.
But, instead of just microwaving your leftovers, which I fully support, I wanted to share with you another way to enjoy the last of your leftovers. A croque monsieur! Originating in France, it’s a grilled ham and cheese sandwich that is served as a fast food snack in cafes and bars. For our purposes, we’re using turkey, of course, and adding some cranberry sauce to it.
You spread the sauce, sprinkle cheese, pile on the turkey, (and whatever else you might want to add), and press. Pop it in the oven. Wait for the cheese to melt, the bread to get that golden crisp. And voila! You’ll have yourself a non-leftover lookin’ kind of meal.
Note: If you don’t have any cranberry sauce, I’ve shared the recipe I used below. You could make the sandwich without it, but I strongly suggest that you don’t. It’s a one-pot recipe and well worth it!
Festive Turkey Croque Monsiuer
Adapted slightly from Jamie Oliver Magazine
• 8 slices of white bread
• Cranberry sauce
• 100g gruyère, grated
• Leftover turkey
1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
2. Line the bread on baking sheet pan. Spread slices with cranberry sauce and sprinkle half the gruyere. Top with turkey and sandwich with the remaining bread. Press lightly and top with the remaining gruyere.
3. Bake until the cheese melts and the sandwiches turn golden brown.
Recipe from Saveur.com
1 lb. whole cranberries, fresh or frozen
3⁄4 cup sugar
1⁄2 cup fresh orange juice
1⁄2 cup fresh grapefruit juice
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1⁄2 tsp. salt
Generous pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Zest of 1 orange
Zest of half a grapefruit
Zest of 1 lemon
1. Put cranberries, sugar, orange juice, grapefruit juice, lemon juice, salt, nutmeg, and zests into a medium pot and bring just to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir well. Cook, covered, without stirring, until liquid has thickened and about half of the berries have collapsed, about 15 minutes.
2. Transfer cranberry sauce to a wide, shallow bowl and let cool. Remove zest. Serve at room temperature or chilled, if you like.