Living for Leftovers

I am begrudgingly heading into this holiday week.  The same song is playing here on Payne Street again.  Full calender through the end of the year already, not full enough with things I actually want to participate in, feeling out of control about the schedule, irritable that the start of "the season" is pushed sooner and sooner every year (Christmas everywhere two weeks before Thanksgiving?  Really?), stressed about extended family interactions, blah, blah, blah.  Whatever.  Grumpy pants have been belted in place.  Now get off my lawn!

The fantasy for the week involves the Macy's Parade while cooking turkey, Thanksgiving left overs (my very favorite), football/napping, dragging out the Christmas drag on commercial breaks, walking the woods with the dog for some interesting sticks/greenery/stuff to decorate with, snapping photos of the winter transition while in the woods, christening mom and dad's new house with a proper toast, seeing a really bad vampire movie, and spending time with friends.  A couple of those may actually happen.  We'll see.

In the meantime I want to talk about some good food stuff.  This is the stuff that food dreams are made.  It's the meal for which you buy more than enough food so that you actually guarantee you have left overs.  It's nostalgia and good food memories served with bread, bread, and more bread.  It's food you forgot you were madly, passionately in love with but will not be able to look at again in a week you will have had so much of it, gorging yourself on it's comforting gravy laden pleasure several times in a few short days.

When I did Thanksgiving a few weeks ago I made sure we had leftovers.  Sandwiches the next day were amazing.  There are a couple of sandwich recipes for your viewing pleasure.  Please share yours.  I love some turkey creations.  Serve all of these with sweet potato chips or a good leftover salad.

Turkey, Arugula, Cranberry Chutney with Sage Mayo
Baguette cut in 1" slices on the bias for bigger slices
Leftover Turkey Slices
Emmentaler Swiss 
Cranberry Chutney with Fennel and Golden Raisins
Sage Mayo

For the Cranberry Chutney*:
from Cook's Illustrated

2 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 Fennel Bulb cored and diced
1/2 tsp Fennel Seed
1 shallot, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 cup packed brown sugar
12 ounces (3 cups) fresh cranberries

Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat until just shimmering. Add shallot, fresh fennel, fennel seed, and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until shallot and fennel has softened, 5 minutes.

Add water, vinegar, and sugar. Increase heat to high and bring to simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add 1 1/2 cups cranberries; return to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, add raisins, stirring occasionally, until cranberries have almost completely broken down and mixture has thickened, about 15 minutes.  Cool completely.  Can be refrigerated and stored for a week or canned and stored for up to a year.  It actually does OK frozen too.

*This recipe is a HOME RUN for cranberry lovers.  It combines some amazing and lovely flavors together.  It is a really easy recipe that packs huge flavor punch.  I also am in love with sweet and savory in one dish together.  It's a party in my mouth.

For Sage Mayo
Adapted from Julia Child

3 egg yolks
3 -5 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2-2 1/4 cups olive oil or salad oil or a mixture of each oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon prepared Dijon mustard
1/3 cup fresh sage, chopped

Do this in your food processor or with an immersion blender or in your blender.  The hand mixer will piss you off.  If you actually want to whisk this mayo, go for it.  You are a rock star.  If you have grocery store eggs, please coddle them first (click here for the how to).  If you trust your eggs, make your own choice there.  

Place egg yolks in processor and process for 30 seconds.  Add the lemon juice, salt, and mustard and process again for 5-10 seconds.  With the attachment in place with the small hole in the bottom of the feed tube, turn machine on and add oil to the feed tube so that it dribbles slowly into the egg mixture.  It should begin to thicken.  When it has reached your desired consistency, add sage and pulse to incorporate.  If it is too thick, thin it out with more lemon juice or some white wine vinegar. 

Also feel free to add that chopped sage to some Hellman's and skip all that crap above.  I really, really, really love homemade mayo.  Either way.   

Lightly toast the baguette slices.  Spread sage mayo generously over both slices.  Arrange arugula on one side.  Layer turkey, Swiss, and top with cranberry chutney.  Salt and Pepper to taste.  Feel free to dunk your sandwich in the sage mayo as you go.  We're all friends here.  Enjoy.

Turkey and Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread
Walnut Bread (or a soft honey whole wheat) cut into 1 1/2" Slices
Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread
Baby Spinach
Bacon cooked crisp
Pickled Onions (If you can find them they send this sandwich right over the edge)

For Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread
Feel free to use the above cranberry chutney recipe or whatever you have leftover or the following relish recipe.

3 cups Fresh Cranberries
1 Cup Sugar
Zest from one Orange
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup Orange Juice
Dash Salt

Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.  Reduce to a simmer and allow berries to burst.  Cook until thickened, another 10-15 minutes.  Cool Completely,

1/2 cup cranberry relish
8 ounces Cream Cheese, softened

Combine ingredients in food processor and process until well combines.

Spread Cranberry Cream Cheese spread on bread and layer on the other ingredients.  Salt and pepper the turkey.  Enjoy.

The coming weeks bring blah, blah, blah, the Great House Trimming (that will inevitably take two weeks), and a couple of truly fabulous events including an annual Christmas fondue evening with some BFF's and a college reunion/sing a long/Christmas Merry Making party that I am PUMPED about hosting with a great friend of mine.  I am planning on a house FULL of guests and so much catching up and laughter and SINGING and I cannot wait.  I will keep you posted on all things holiday and try to get over myself.  Or, you know, actually take control of some things making me twitch (that's just crazy talk.  I know, I know).  I'll let you know how that works out.  In the meantime, over the river and all that jazz.  Stop by if you have time this weekend.  We can toast the season together.  Otis and I will be watching for you.


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