Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Elusive Leftover Sandwich

Okay. As much as I love the holidays and the food and the eating, it can get a bit stressful at times. So many people invade your home, all needing to sit somewhere and drink something and eat everything. Don't get me wrong; it's not like I help a lot or make myself useful or anything. Usually during the Christmas, I'm laying on the couch or skulking around on the second level of whatever house the party is in, pretending to be in the bathroom or entertaining children so that I can get out of washing dishes. Yes, it's a tough job, this laziness, but you gotta work at it. At not working. Hmm...let me think that one over.

In the meantime, you can think this one over: The Elusive Leftovers Sandwich. This is, without a doubt, my favorite part of the holidays. Well, it's at least comparable to receiving a gift basket filled with food and booze. Apparently in Ireland, this is called a hamper. That's what the Irishwoman looking over my shoulder tells me. Who knew?! Anyhow, due to the aforementioned stress of the holidays, I really tend to hold out for the day after Christmas. You sleep late, you stay in your pajamas all day, and maybe you even watch some sports. Look, I said maybe. Don't judge; the football game is sometimes entertaining. Anyhow, you do all of these things, and all of a sudden the most amazing thing happens. You get hungry. You look in the fridge, Your eyes begin to survey the tupperware containers full of leftovers, and very slowly, your brain starts to put things together. You imagine layers in certain orders, different textures, colors, tastes...Your mouth waters and you cut the crap and you get to work. That's how it goes. I am no-nonsense when it comes to The Leftovers Sandwich, and you had better be too. Jerks

So, you're going to need some leftovers. And a toaster over. And a non-stupid brain, because if you know what's good for you, you're going to want this sandwich. I don't have pictures of the first couple of steps (because I was too excited and eager to make this sandwich, duh), but I'm sure you can figure it out. Get some bread - this is a nice sourdough - and slice it into some slices. Then layer your leftover turkey on the bread, and top it with a healthy (read: gigantic) serving of bread stuffing. Now you have an important choice to make: cheese or no cheese? I'll be honest; if you say no cheese, I'll be judging you immediately. Use cheese, guys. I chose some havarti, leftover from the salami and cheese tray we had yesterday. Put this half of the sandwich in the toaster oven for a few minutes. The two on the left have followed my directions; the one on the right used gouda cheese. I'm not complaining.

Allow the cheese to melt without getting too melty. You know, somewhere in between. Look, if you don't understand me now, you probably never will.

Here's where the magic happens: places one or two layers of crunchy potato chips on top of the melted cheese. Krunchers work the best, but really, any chip will do. I tend to stick with regular, unflavored chips for The Leftovers Sandwich, only because there are so many other flavors in the damn sandwich. But if you're adding a potato chip layer to any other sandwich, you can really do amazing things with flavored chips. My favorite is sour cream and onion on a cold turkey sandwich, preferably with provolone, guacamole, lettuce, and tomatoes. It is ridiculous. Seriously, put potato chips in your sandwich once in awhile. You'll thank me later. Hopefully with a chip-filled sandwich.

Now hopefully while the sandwiches were in the toaster oven, you remembered to put a bowl of gravy in the microwave to warm up. Yeah, I know I didn't tell you to do that yet. But I can't do everything for you, man! You've got to figure out some things on your own once in awhile. One thing I will do for you at this moment: show you some gravy-pouring action shots. Holy crap, look at that gravy pour!

Okay, put that half of the sandwich aside and get out your other piece of bread. Spread a thin layer of cranberry sauce on this side. I say thin because I'm not a huge fan of cranberry sauce, but it adds a good flavor. Plus, it's fruit, and that means health, and you could probably use some of that, the way you eat. Ya hoss.

You could probably guess the next step, but here it is anyhow: put that one piece of bread on top of the rest of the sandwich to make the final package. Push down on it so the gravy oozes out.

Cut it in half so you can enjoy it without being overwhelmed. The goodness of this sandwich is a lot, I know.

Sides are a really good idea. I chose macaroni and cheese and brussel sprouts. I know, a vegetable - surprising, right? Well, I like most foods that cause gas, so you can all eat it. Literally.

Speaking of health, here's an acceptable alternative to The Leftover Sandwich: The Open-Faced Leftover Sandwich With Sides of Salad-Based Foods. You get a little less carbs and more vegetables. I know, it's hard not to judge, but do your best. There is still a side of macaroni and cheese on that plate. All is not lost.
And there you have it! The Leftovers Sandwich. It's useful, resourceful, non-wasteful, and delicious. And usually I'm only one of those things. Must be a Christmas miracle.