As you sit there savoring the slices of tender, juicy turkey on Thanksgiving Day, is there an idea in your mind how good some of that will be on a sandwich on Friday?
Most of us look forward to Thanksgiving leftovers, so much so that if you are lucky enough to be invited to someone’s home that day, you quickly realize, “But, there will be no leftovers.”
Leftover turkey definitely makes us think of sandwiches and for some, of gumbo, pot pies or casseroles. Though “leftovers” may not sound enticing, it’s fun to transform those holiday dishes into a completely different meal. Added to the mix nowadays will be wraps, tacos, empanadas or croquettes. All of those sound good to me with cranberry sauce.
If you have friends from New Orleans or friends who have lived in New Orleans, you have heard them talk about turkey poulet after Thanksgiving.
The story is that the turkey poulet sandwich was created in the kitchen of the old Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans, as a way to use up leftover turkey and ham from lavish holiday buffets. Supposedly, these sandwiches were so well received that the dish stayed on the menu year round and became a city favorite.
I’ve used my version of turkey poulet for years and don’t remember its origin. However, I believe it’s a combination of an old New Orleans recipe and one I got from my friend Rose Lorio, of Baton Rouge.
The open-face, hot sandwich is basically a version of à la king with a rich, well-seasoned cheese sauce, sautéed onions and mushrooms over turkey, ham and bacon.
Green onions and more cheese are sprinkled over the cream sauce before baking.
Turkey Salad Croissant makes a delicious sandwich, but I’ve also served it on a cracker as an appetizer. It would also be good over lettuce for a tasty salad.
Turkey, brie or cheddar, cranberry sauce, spinach and arugula and a slice of bacon is another sandwich combination that’s delicious. A half of any of these sandwiches with a cup of soup makes a delicious lunch.
Corinne Cook is a columnist for The Advocate. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.