Last week, Michelle from Nom Nom Paleo posted Food 52′s version of a Thanksgivukkah sandwich (without actual bread of course) on her Facebook page and needless to say, I had to wipe the drool off my keyboard. This recipe’s very much inspired by that photo, but I resolved to make one of my own in my signature stupid-easy style. The result is stripped down a bit in terms of complexity but still huge on flavor.
What we’ve got here are sweet potato “buns” serving as the bread of the sandwich, layered with super yummy cranberry apple sauce, roasted peppered turkey breast and some shaved Brussels sprouts with bacon. I served it with the pan juices on the side…fancy gravy not necessary.
You could certainly make the components separately and use for any application you’d like or put it all together and make your own “sandwich” to savor the flavors of Thanksgiving before the holiday actually hits.
The sweet potato buns were inspired by Melissa from The Clothes Make the Girl‘s BBQ Beef “Waffle” Sandwich (p 116) in her killer new book, Well Fed 2. Sadly, I’ve got no waffle iron, so I tweaked the ingredients a bit and made them in potato pancake / bun form.
For the Peppered Roasted Turkey Breast
- Use any leftover turkey or chicken OR
- Roast a turkey breast in the oven. I added a lot of black pepper and a sprinkle of salt but feel free to season as you’d like. I roasted a small 2 lb (1 kg) turkey breast in the oven on 350°F (175°C) for about 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 165°F (75°C) for the internal temp.
For the Cranberry Apple Sauce
- 10 oz (300 g) fresh cranberries
- 2 cups chopped apples, any kind
- 1 large orange, zest and juice
- 3 – 4 large dried figs, chopped
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- In a pot over medium heat, combine all the ingredients. Use a microplane grater to remove the orange zest and add that. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer over medium-low heat until the cranberries pop and the apples soften.
- This keeps for several days so you can make it ahead!
For the Sweet Potato “Buns” (makes about 8)
- 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and grated
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 Tablespoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons coconut flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- Ghee or coconut oil for cooking
- Peel and grate the sweet potatoes (by hand using a box grater or using a food processor with a grating disk). I grated them by hand…great way to work on your biceps! Put in a large colander and sprinkle with the salt. Let sit for about 10 minutes.
- Squeeze the moisture out of the sweet potatoes. Now is not the time to be wimpy…really squeeze hard!
- Put the sweet potatoes in a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
- In a large skillet over medium-low heat, add a large spoonful of fat (I used ghee because it tastes yummy). To make a bun: fill a 1/3 cup measure with the sweet potato mixture…you want it sort of packed down. Turn this out into the pan and flatten a bit with the back of a fork. [If you flatten it too much the bun will be pretty fragile.] Cook 3-4 minutes on one side, until nicely browned, then flip and do the same on the other.
- Tip: cool these on a cooling rack so they don’t get soggy on the bottom.
For the Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
- 1 lb (500 g) Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
- 4 oz (~125 g) bacon, chopped
- 1 large onion, diced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Splash of balsamic vinegar, optional
- Thinly slice the raw Brussels sprouts. This takes a few minutes so put on your favorite song and sing along! I usually slice them in half and then in half again. If they’re too thick, they will never ever cook, and that’s super annoying!
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add the chopped bacon and render it down until it’s brown and crispy. Do not get rid of the bacon fat.
- Instead, add the onion to the bacon / bacon fat and cook until it’s translucent, a few minutes.
- Add the raw sliced Brussels sprouts and cook over medium heat for about 8-10 minutes until they soften. You’ll have to stir them frequently so they all get happy and soft.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and a splash of balsamic vinegar.
Assemble your sandwich and pat yourself on the back because you just leveled up.