by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez / Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Open-Faced Hot Turkey Sandwich (aka Turkey Manhattan)
In my mind, open-faced sandwiches piled high with warm roast beef or turkey and a mound of creamy mashed potatoes that are drowning in complimentary gravy conjur up the formica table tops and vinyl seats of diners past. Sustenance in the middle of a long road trip or after a night soaked in alcohol. Comfort on a plate in my little booth of the ever-bustling diner. Waitresses in comfy shoes and pony tails with pens tucked behind their ears, a coffee carafe attached to one hand, and a knack for calling every one "Hon". I can't make a turkey or roast beef without finishing off the leftover meat inside one of these sandwiches.
They're also great for restaurant workers who are on their feet all day long cooking food or bringing it out to the guests. In the midst of lunch prep, I used to make huge hotel pans lined with stacks of bread. There always seemed to be leftover prime rib or turkey breast in the cooler that I could slice and throw into a pot of broth to warm up. Maybe I had to make the mashed potatoes, but no biggie. While everything was heating up, I'd bring a ladle into the cooler to extract some stock from the five gallon buckets that went in last night before closing to make a rich gravy. And just in before family meal (employee meal), when everybody's station is stocked and set up, I'd pile up the meat down the line of stacked bread, scoop on some mashers and smother the whole thing in gravy. Sustenance, quiet chewing and contemplation in anticipation of the lunch rush.
Some people call these sandwiches Turkey (or Roast Beef) Manhattans and they put the meat between the slices of bread, cut then on the diagonal and form them into a V on the plate. Then put the scoop of mashed potatoes in the middle of the V and then pour gravy over everything. I don't make them that way, but I'm sure they're just as good. Although, I don't know why they're called Manhattans since I'm pretty sure they originated somewhere here in the Midwest and New Yorkers probably wouldn't know what you were talking about if you tried to order one there. So, call 'em what you like, just be prepared for some bone-sticking comfort food!
Heat up the turkey, potatoes, and gravy. Lay two slices of bread on a plate. Place as much warm turkey on top of the bread as you want in your sandwich. Place a big scoop of warm mashed potatoes on top of the turkey. Smother the whole thing in warm gravy. Eat with a knife and fork.
|Remaining turkey broth from bottom of roaster after being refrigerated.|
Michiana-based food, drink, and travel writer with a fondness for garlic, freshly baked bread, stinky cheese, single malt Scotch, and Mexican food—who believes that immersing herself in different cultures one bite at a time is the best path to enlightenment.