Turkey Melt with Hot “Slaw” Relish (serves 2)

Last night, we dined very happily on these sandwiches. I have been in a use-up-everything-in-the-kitchen mode for the past week (find out why on the 24th!), and had started to reach the dregs. I found myself with 1/2 a red onion, a couple of stalks of celery, and some turkey cutlets that I had salvaged from frost-bite.

Turkey Melt with Hot "Slaw"

I also had a nice loaf of french bread tucked away in the freezer, which was the clincher to making up my mind as to what to do with this haphazard pile of ingredients; make sandwiches!

I turned the onion and celery into a slaw, adding a nice kick with a big dollop of chile relish. This chile relish I speak of has helped me out many a time when I want to add a little zing to a dish. The one I used is from the Patak company which makes killer jarred Indian condiments. The ingredients include chile peppers, ginger, mustard, and fenugreek, all good stuff.

This would have been even easier if I had leftover turkey on hand. Chicken would also work just as well. Frying the whole sandwich in oil added lovely flavor to the filling, and a crispness to the bread.

It was really fun making sandwiches to order, slapping them on a plate, and sliding them down the line. Do I see a sandwich shop in my future!


You will need: 4 (or more) tbs extra-virgin olive oil, 4 turkey cutlets (or, leftover cooked sliced turkey breast; enough for 2 sandwiches), 1 small red onion, small dice, 1 celery rib, including leaves, small dice, 4 tbs sour cream, 2 tbs chile relish (can be found in ethnic section of supermarket), OR, 1 tbs strong mustard, OR, 1 tbs sriracha sauce, slices of strong cheddar cheese (enough for two sandwiches), 1 avocado, quartered, and sliced, 1 cup fresh cilantro.

1 – If your turkey is not cooked, put a saute pan on high heat and add 3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil. Season turkey cutlets with salt and pepper and sear on both sides. Turn heat down to low, and add about a 1/2 cup of water. Cover pan and cook until tender (about 7 minutes). Remove to a plate and cover with foil to keep moist. When it is cool enough to handle, cut meat into thick slices.

Build your sandwich

2 – Make the relish; in a small bowl combine the diced onion, celery, sour cream and whichever hot condiment you choose from the list of ingredients. Combine, and taste for addition of salt and pepper.

3 – Put saute pan on medium heat and add 2 tbs of extra-virgin oil. When it gets hot, place a slice of bread into pan and add a layer of cheese, turkey, cilantro, relish, avocado,  and another layer of cheese. Top with another slice of bread. Turn over carefully when bread has browned and cook on the other side, pressing down gently with a flat spatula. You may need to add more oil and/or adjust the heat as you go. Repeat until everyone has a sandwich.

This was a nice change for dinner

I served these with more greens and some delicious pickles.

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