Each Thanksgiving of our married lives, Ryan and I have celebrated the holiday with his mom’s extended family. It has become a special progression of traditions (maybe some of these elements are familiar to you, too).
We begin by sharing an elaborate meal prepared by his fabulous grandma Betty – turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, lots of veggies – and of course, we completely over-eat. Next we all pitch in to wash dishes and clean up. Then we enjoy several rousing rounds of the family’s trademark card game, Hand & Foot. And finally, we part with hugs …and lots of leftovers.
I always happily accept extra turkey, selecting the white meat (my fave) and knowing that it will likely become a basic sandwich for the next day’s lunch. But, I’m stepping up my game these days, so I have been looking forward to trying out this Open-Faced Turkey, Cranberry & Apple Sandwich variation instead. What I really like is that it’s so simple! With dried cranberries and some basic ingredients you may already have in your fridge, you infuse the turkey with more moisture and flavor.
To make your Open-Faced Turkey, Cranberry & Apple Sandwich, turn your oven on to the broiler setting so it’s ready when your sandwiches are. Then, begin with the basics – place slices of your favorite artisan bread on a pan and butter the top side. My loaf was pre-sliced a little smaller than the recipe called for, so I prepped six slices instead of four.
In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the honey mustard and mayonnaise (I used a mayo with olive oil instead of regular mayo).
Now chop up the turkey into chunks (or you could use clean hands to pull the turkey apart if you prefer that texture). Wash and chop the apple and celery as well.
Now, just throw the turkey, apple, celery and dried cranberries into the mustard-mayo mix. Use a spoon to stir it up so the chunks of meat and fruit are lightly coated.
Evenly divide the turkey mixture onto each slice of bread.
Finally, top the sandwiches with cheese. We had several kinds already in our fridge, so we decided to do a little taste test. The far left was shredded marble jack, the middle was provolone and the right had shredded cheddar. When the sandwiches are fully “cheesed", place them in the oven about 4-6 inches away from the broiler heat.
I had honestly never used the broiler setting on an oven before, so this was slick! After just 2-4 minutes, the cheese should be melted and beginning to brown.
And I’m thankful once again because my lunch was made in a flash and the turkey combined with the fruit and cheese is a completely new and refreshing flavor. This doesn’t taste like leftovers at all!
In case you were wondering about the results of the taste test, cheddar wins by a landslide! The provolone was too mild for the punchy flavor of the sandwich, and the co-jack was fine, but nothing to write home about. The cheddar, however, had a sharp enough flavor to balance the tartness of the apple and the sweet of the cranberries. Voila! A flavor explosion!
Don’t wait until next Thanksgiving to try this recipe! Enjoy your Open-Faced Turkey, Cranberry & Apple Sandwich, then rate and review the recipe online.
Come back in a couple of days and Liz will share a classic holiday cookie recipe!
Amanda is paid to write for the Land O’Lakes Recipe Buzz® Blog.