THE Post Thanksgiving Day Sandwich

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I know…everyone has their particular way of going about a post-Thanksgiving leftover turkey sandwich.  I’ve known people who put every single thing they ate including pie between two pieces of bread.  This is our favorite, though.  Fairly simple, it is rye bread, turkey, swiss cheese, lettuce, and a homemade sauce akin to Thousand Island dressing but potentially SO much better.

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This is a bit of a “what’s in the icebox” recipe.  Do NOT decide not to make it because you don’t have one of these things, and feel free to substitute others (black olives, sweet pickles or pickle relish, and of all things chopped hard-boiled egg are a few known additions I’ve not seen fit to add here, but you are welcome).  The essential base items are mayonnaise and bottled chili sauce.  Beyond that, something pickled — I went with salad olives and capers; maybe a little mustard (we like Creole for some kick) and some freshness…green onions, parsley, and because we had it and had caliente-lovers, a red jalapeno.  The magic ingredient for post-Thanksgiving?…a little ground cloves.

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Trim and cut into moderate pieces 2-3 green onions, a seeded jalapeno ,and a small handful of parsley leaves  Give those a quick grind in your food processor — I’m using a hand-cranked one and had to work a bit…if you’re using electric, don’t pulse too long…you want some remaining granularity.

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Add the olives (about 1/2 – 3/4 cup), capers (few heaping tablespoons), and a couple healthy dashes of ground cloves,  Pulse this, scraping down the sides of the container as necessary, until fairly finely and uniformly chopped, but not purely pureed.

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Add about 1 cup mayonnaise, 1/3-1/2 cup chili sauce, and a healthy tablespoon of mustard, and pulse until a nice, creamy, but textured sauce.  Taste, and add salt, pepper, or hot sauce like Tobasco or Crystal until you’re happy (if you had a jalapeno you probably won’t need hot sauce).

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Assemble the sandwich.  Place one piece of rye bread (don’t compromise…rye is critical to how good this is) on a plate and add a generous lettuce leaf, slices of turkey meat, swiss cheese, and a generous portion of sauce.  You are going to eat this open faced with a fork…don’t skimp on sauce!  Here I will also confess that my personally preferred order is bread-turkey-sauce-cheese-lettuce in order to maximize the amount of sauce I can get on this thing and have runoff soak into the bread.  In the pictures I wanted the sauce to show, so on the top it went.  Play with it!  I have a cousin who toasts the rye and melts the cheese over the turkey before adding the lettuce and sauce.  Probably good, but for me would be messing with tradition.

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If you have secreted away in the very back of the icebox where nobody would find it the leftover cranberry relish from Thanksgiving dinner, this would be the time to deploy it.  It is SO overwhelmingly delicious when it inadvertently gets mixed up with the runoff from the sandwich.  Inadvertently…of course.

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