I admit it; I’m pulling something from the Archives to publish again. I’ll hope you’ll forgive me but every year when I have my favorite after Thanksgiving sandwich, this Turkey, Cranberry and Cream Cheese Sandwich with Sprouts and Sunflower Seeds, I fall in love all over again. It’s been five years since I published it and I just know some of you will love it too.
One of my most favorite sandwiches…ever. I first had one at a local pizzeria and sandwich shop named Nick and Willy’s where you would buy the pie and take it home to bake. When in the mood for lunch, you could buy baked slices of pizza or order from a wonderful menu of sandwiches. One day I tried their turkey and cranberry sauce sandwich with the surprise of cream cheese and was hooked; line and sinker. When the location near me closed their doors, I had no choice but to try recreating it at home and soon a tradition was born. I look more forward to this sandwich on the Friday after Thanksgiving than I do the turkey the day before!
This year, after a week of dealing with strep throat, I decided to not spread my germs far and wide and opted to stay home alone on the holiday. That sounds sad but it really wasn’t. My kids were not coming back into town and I was exhausted after being sick all week so I really enjoyed a low key day without any expectations. I still wanted to cook something though so decided to scale way back. Instead of a whole turkey I found some fresh turkey thighs that I smoked on my grill for a couple of hours.
I made some amazing Pumpernickel and Rye Stuffing with Bacon and Bourbon and my favorite Bourbon Cranberry Sauce and I was done for the day; enough for a small meal on Thanksgiving but as importantly I would have the goods I needed to make this Sandwich on Friday. I know I should have posted it sooner but well, stuff happens. That Christmas tree wasn’t going to decorate itself was it? 🙂
It was worth waiting for; honestly this sandwich has never disappointed. The smoked turkey was a bonus but it’s the tart cranberry sauce juxtaposed again the creamy cheese that is really the highlight of the dish. Sprouts add a nice, light crunch and the salted sunflower seeds are perfect; a bit of seasoning and some more crunch and I’m in sandwich nirvana.
If you’ve got some leftover meat; make this. If you don’t…buy some. While for some silly reason I hold this special for the day after Thanksgiving, one year I made it for a crowd using chicken and son of a gun, it was terrific too! I gave some ingredients to a neighbor who has grown accustomed by now to trust some of my more unusual combinations and while he had a bit of trepidation, he took home the sauce, the sprouts and the seeds and the next day let me know I was right…I knew that silly boy! So, take my word for it, OK? Make it!
The best reason for Thanksgiving turkey is this sandwich for the day after!
- Sandwich bread (I honestly use whatever bread we have on hand; the bread in the photo is Orowheat Oatnut bread, my favorite everyday bread).
- Sliced turkey meat (Remove the breast from the turkey and then slice perpendicular to the bottom where the bone was, results in great, tender slices of meat)
- Cranberry Sauce - I use whatever version I've made for the holiday but if you buy canned sauce I think this sandwich is best if you get the whole berry variety.
- Cream Cheese - either spread with soft cream cheese or cut 'slices' if using regular cream cheese; you want a fairly thick layer of cream cheese, don't scrimp here.
- Alfalfa or Clover Sprouts
- Roasted Sunflower Seeds
- Smear some mayonnaise on bottom bread slice and season with a small amount of salt
- Layer turkey on top of mayonnaise
- Cream cheese goes on next on top of the turkey.
- Dollop generous spoonful of cranberry sauce on top of turkey and spread to edges.
- Put a small handful of alfalfa or clover sprouts on top of sauce.
- Sprinkle with toasted sunflower seeds; spread mayonnaise on 2nd slice of bread and top off sandwich.
- Cut in half and serve with chips and/or pickle spears.