Turkey Cranberry Monte Cristo

In past years when Shane and I have had our mini Thanksgiving, I’ve cooked an entire turkey for just the two of us. In a way it works out perfectly – he prefers white meat and I would much rather eat the dark meat, so we each get exactly what we want. That said, no matter how small a turkey I try to find, a whole turkey is still a TON of food for two people. Leftovers are inevitable, and usually we end up having so much I freeze some of it so we don’t have to eat turkey for 2 weeks straight :)

This year I decided to keep things more manageable and bought a turkey breast rather than the whole bird. I was seriously bummed to miss out on the dark meat, but on the plus side, the breast was definitely easier to cook and though it still fed us for many, many days, we didn’t get completely sick of turkey before Thanksgiving even arrived!

Turkey Cranberry Monte Cristo

With the leftovers we did have, I tried and quickly became obsessed with these Turkey Cranberry Monte Cristo sandwiches. If you’ve never had a Monte Cristo (I hadn’t prior to making these), it’s traditionally a ham and cheese sandwich that’s essentially served on french toast – part breakfast, part lunch, and completely awesome :) Rather than ham and cheese, this Thanksgiving leftovers Monte Cristo is stuffed with turkey, cranberry sauce, Gruyère, and arugula; the combination is out-of-this-world good! I baked a loaf of my favorite challah bread recently, and used it to make these sandwiches, but store-bought would be fine too! Just be sure to use a bread you’d typically use for french toast.

Turkey Cranberry Monte Cristo

As much as I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner in a few days, I think I’m equally excited for the leftovers just so I can make another one of these Turkey Cranberry Monte Cristo sandwiches!

Turkey Cranberry Monte Cristo
adapted from Paula Deen

8 slices challah bread
1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
8 slices leftover turkey breast
1/2 cup cranberry sauce
1 cup baby arugula leaves
3 large eggs
1/3 cup milk (low-fat is fine)
pinch nutmeg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Place 4 slices of the bread on your work surface. Top each of the slices with 2 tablespoons of the Gruyère, then 2 slices of turkey and 2 tablespoons of cranberry sauce. Divide the arugula evenly among the bread, about 1/4 cup for each sandwich. Finally, top the arugula with 2 tablespoons of Gruyère per sandwich. Top the sandwiches with the remaining pieces of bread, pressing down slightly to compact.

In a wide, shallow dish (like a pie plate), use a fork to beat together the eggs, milk, and nutmeg. Set a large skillet over medium-low to medium heat and add the butter. While you wait for it to melt, dip the sandwiches in the egg mixture, coating each side.

Place the sandwiches in the skillet and cook for a few minutes on each side, until the bread is golden brown and the cheese has melted. Remove from pan, and dust with confectioners’ sugar if desired before serving.

Makes 4 sandwiches