The days after Thanksgiving have become a quasi-holiday unto themselves, filled with their own traditions and ritual. Black Friday, the Simpsons marathon, and sending your family back from whence they came are all a part of the post turkey day festivities. One tradition we’d like to see everyone enjoy is the Thanksgiving Leftover Sandwich (TLS).
The Thanksgiving Leftover Sandwich is exactly what it sounds like, taking the best of yesterday’s meal and placing it between two pieces of bread. The TLS has been compared to the Three Course Dinner Chewing Gum given to Violet Beauregarde by Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory…it’s like Thanksgiving in every bite!
Some find this colossus of a sandwich gross and off-putting, but the true food enthusiast will recognize it has all the richness and complexities of Thanksgiving dinner in a fraction of the preparation time. Splimm is happy to share with you our four tips for making the perfect Thanksgiving Leftover Sandwich.
Toast Your Bread
There’s nothing more important to a building than a strong, sturdy foundation. The same is true if you want to build the perfect leftover sandwich. Toasting your bread will give it that extra strength needed to carry that additional slice or two of ham, and absorb run off from the juicier leftovers. Personally, I’m a fan of a nice wheat bread, but I’ve experimented with heftier toasted rolls with great success.
Start with Meats, Top with Sides
When building your leftover skyscraper, it is essential to do this in the right order. You should put the food pyramid on its head and start with a solid base of meat. Ham, turkey, chicken, meatloaf all make a worthy first few layers of your creation. Macaroni and cheese comes next, serving as the midpoint in the sandwich and giving a solid base for the vegetables to rest upon. Following your meats, it’s time to pile on your sides. Start as flat as you can and build toward the sky. My sides typically include candied yams, collard greens, potato salad, and dressing.
Mayo or Mustard May Save Your Life
There’s very little chance your sandwich will be dry, but it’s best not to take the risk. That’s why every leftover sandwich I make, I make sure to slather each piece of bread in mayo and mustard. Holiday eating is an extreme sport: it’s best not to cut corners; just do it.
Top it with Cranberry Sauce
There are people out there who hate cranberry sauce as if it were the plague. I am not one of those people. Cranberry sauce serves as the perfect sweet and tart garnish on your savory mountain of a sandwich. Thanksgiving is all about the smorgasbord from the opening course to dessert, so it’s vital your sandwich reflect this rich tradition. In lieu of cranberry sauce I’ve seen thin layers of pie or cake added.
There Are No Rules
The legend of the Thanksgiving Leftover Sandwich has been passed down from generation to generation. I myself received my tutelage in its creation at the feet of my grandfather. Like any tradition, changes are made by new adopters. So experiment and make the sandwich your own. Add a center layer of bread; cut it diagonally and make it a club. Add bacon and a fried egg and eat it for breakfast. Toss your leftovers in a tortilla, or place them in a pita. There’s no wrong way to eat a leftover sandwich.