The Remains of the Day (Thanksgiving, that is)

It was a wonderful weekend with good food and fun company, and mostly good weather. All my leftovers are tucked safely away in the freezer for future use; there will be turkey soup within the next few weeks. I also have an extra pie crust which will likely become a maple-walnut pie later today. The sandwich pictured above won me second place in the local newspaper’s Thanksgiving leftover contest. Several weeks ago the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel asked local food bloggers to come up with an original sandwich that used leftovers from the Thanksgiving meal. This was my contribution: A Banh-Mi style turkey sandwich. I substituted turkey and bacon for the traditional pork and pate, added quick pickled carrot and cucumber, and tweaked the mayonnaise with hot sauce and sesame oil. A topping of fresh herbs makes a sandwich that is a little more interesting, lighter, and fresher tasting than the usual turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce piled on bread rendition. I won an apron and cookbook for my effort, but more importantly, I made some new friends in the local food-blogging community. I will be participating in a charity bake sale for Milwaukee foodies in December; so let the cooking begin. Here is the recipe for the turkey sandwich, just in case you still have some leftovers that need using.

Banh-Mi Style Turkey Sandwich
(these quantities make 2 sandwiches)

Pickled Vegetables
1 teaspoon finely minced, peeled ginger root
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white or rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 medium carrot, peeled and coarsely shredded
1/2 seedless cucumber, cut crosswise into lengths about the same as the rolls you are using, then sliced thinly lengthwise (this is best done on a mandolin)

Spicy Mayonnaise
2 generous tablespoons mayonnaise
1/8 -1/4 teaspoon sriracha or similar hot sauce
4-5 drops sesame oil

4 slices cooked and drained bacon
thinly sliced turkey (2-4 ounces per sandwich)
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped parsley and celery leaves
2 soft French rolls

To Make the Sandwiches
In a medium bowl, whisk together the minced ginger, brown sugar, vinegar, and salt. Add the shredded carrots and sliced cucumbers and allow to marinate for 20-30 minutes. In the meantime, blend the mayonnaise, hot sauce, and sesame oil together in a small bowl. When the vegetables have finished marinating, drain them in a sieve set over a small bowl.

Split the rolls almost all the way through and open them out. Slather the spicy mayonnaise on each side of the rolls. Layer 2 slices of bacon, the turkey, and the drained carrots on the bottom half of the roll. Lay the drained cucumber slices on the top half of the roll and sprinkle the chopped parsley and celery leaves over top of both sides and close the roll. Slice in half diagonally and serve with a cold beer or a cup of herbal tea.

*The newspaper article is titled “Sandwiches are perfect for day after Thanksgiving”, and can be accessed by visiting http://www.jsonline.com/features/food/

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