I love Thanksgiving leftovers almost as much as I love Thanksgiving dinner. I thought about making pocket pies or a Shepard's Pie out of the leftovers, both of which would have been great for a toddler, but those required more work than my still full, tryptophan-muddied brain could handle. Oh, and M wakes up at 5 am when we're away from home. Without fail.
So, this year, we made Thanksgiving grilled cheeses and they were AMAZING. I really wanted everything to stick together because my pet peeve with next-day sandwiches is how crumbly they can be. And for M that would mean a full sandwich on the kitchen floor. These employ turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and, most importantly, cold gravy to keep everything from drying out (thank you, Ross Geller).
Thanksgiving grilled cheese
For each sandwich:
1 oz turkey, shredded
1/4 cup stuffing
1/4 cup mashed potatoes
2 Tbsp cold gravy, divided
2 thick slices of bread
2-3 tsp mayonnaise
1-1.5 oz cheese (I used cheddar and Jarlsburg, which was what we had leftover from appetizers)
1/8 cup cranberry sauce
In a small bowl, combine the shredded turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and 1 Tbsp gravy. Mash together. You want this to be wet, almost like a paste. If you have leftover creamed spinach, creamed kale, or green bean casserole, feel free to throw these in at this step. If you do, hold off on adding any gravy until after adding the wet veggies because you may not need it.
Heat your frying pan over a medium-low flame. Spread mayo on one side of each bread slice. If you haven't started using mayo in place of butter for grilled cheeses, prepare to be converted. When the pan is hot, add the bread slices, mayo side down. Split the other 1 Tbsp of gravy and spread on BOTH slices of the bread. Add cranberry sauce to one slice and place the cheese on top of the fruit. You want a thick layer of grated or very thinly shaved cheese. On the other bread slice, place dollops of the turkey, potato, stuffing, and gravy mixture and spread out. Cover the pan with a lid and let the cheese melt, checking periodically to make sure that the bread isn't burning. When the cheese is melted, carefully place the turkey, potato, stuffing, and gravy coated slice on top of the melted cheese and press down slightly.