This article was originally featured in The 30 Second Wine Advisor's FoodLetter on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2005.

Ultimate turkey sandwich

Got leftovers? This simple but spectacular sandwich fashioned from the remains of a Thanksgiving dinner is so good, it would be worth roasting a turkey just so you can have one.

I'm traveling this week, visiting family in Florida, so let's keep things short and go straight to the sandwich, which comes down the wire by word of mouth: My friend Karen passed on the recipe with a strong endorsement; she got it from the public-radio program The Splendid Table.

It's deliciously simple: Layer leftover turkey with cranberry sauce and cream cheese, season with a bit of mustard and a dab of mayo, tuck it all between slices of the best white bread you've got, and that's the story. The turkey-and-cranberries make it seasonal, but don't leave any of the ingredients out - not even the mustard, although I was skeptical at first. The sum of the parts adds up to one of the best sandwiches I ever ate. Well, two of them, actually, both for me, to tell the gluttonous truth.

The simple instructions above really suffice as a recipe, but just to keep things tidy, here's a more detailed set of directions.

INGREDIENTS: (Serves two average appetites or one very hungry person)

4 slices good quality white bread
4 tablespoons (60g) cream cheese
4 tablespoons jellied cranberry sauce
4 ounces (120g) sliced, cooked turkey, light or dark
Grainy mustard (I used Gulden's Spicy Brown)


1. Toast the bread, if you like. (I like.) I used Pepperidge Farm oatmeal bread; Karen likes a sunflower-seed bread from Fresh Market. Any good white or even a light rye or wheat bread would do, but I recommend white, and I mean good white bread, not Wonder Bread, please.

2. Spread the cream cheese on two of the pieces of toast. Spread cranberry sauce on each.

3. Put on the turkey slices and dress them with just a little mustard.

4. Spread a little mayonnaise on the remaining slices of toast, and put them on top to finish the sandwiches. Cut in halves, or not, and serve.

WINE MATCH: Frankly, even though wine is my business, I don't usually indulge with a sandwich lunch. This one is so fine, though, I could see it working very nicely indeed with a celebratory bottle of excellent bubbly.