The Leftoverwich: Turkey, Cranberry and Brie Panini / by Chelsea Zwieg

The best part of Thanksgiving is that you never really have to be sad it's over. Because when does it really end? If you're family is anything like mine, the turkey-cranberry-mashed potato-stuffing-pie regiment lasts at least another week because it's hard to make anything else when you open the refrigerator and are hit in the head with leftover turkey while a tupperware of potatoes falls on your toe as a jar of cranberry sauce rolls away across the kitchen. Leftovers is where it's at.   


But leftovers does not mean you have to eat cold dry turkey for every meal from now until Christmas. The magic of Thanksgiving food is that it tastes better when it's all mixed up. I love a little gravy getting mixed into my vegetables and cranberry sauce sneaking over to the potatoes. Everyone gets along. And it's from that friendship that this sandwich was born.

It combines turkey and cranberry sauce held together by melty, gooey brie. Now I know that brie is not always on the Thanksgiving leftover list (unless you did that melty brie appetizer thing, in which case you're one step ahead) but if you pick some up at the store while you're buying your last minute groceries, you won't be sorry. Sometimes all leftovers need is one new ingredient and they're transformed into a whole new meal. It's Thanksgiving dinner in a grilled cheese sandwich, which is a win all around because Thanksgiving dinner takes hours to make and this sandwich takes 5 minutes, tops.

And 5 minutes might be all the time you have if you're planning to join the masses stampeding into Best Buy. But please, don't do that. If Thanksgiving leftovers can play nice together so can we. I plan to skip the madness and make another sandwich. 


Turkey, Cranberry and Brie Panini

Makes 1 sandwich

| Ingredients

  • 2 slices of your favorite bread (I used sourdough) 
  • 3 slices turkey
  • 3 tbsp. cranberry sauce (ideally leftover from Thanksgiving, but if you want to make some this is an easy recipe) 
  • 2 oz. Brie cheese

| Instructions

  • Preheat panini press or sandwich grill.
  • Spread Brie in an even layer on one slice of bread. On the opposite slice layer turkey and top with cranberry sauce. Top with the Brie slice. 
  • Place sandwich on grill and heat until the turkey is warm and the cheese is melty, about 2 minutes.
  • If you want to make this on the stove instead of a panini press, spread 1/2 tbsp. of butter over the outer-facing sides of the bread and toast in a skillet over medium-low heat, about 2-3 minutes per side.