Turkey Cheesesteak With Wisconsin Cheddar — The Weekender

By: Marisa McClellan

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Turkey Cheesesteak With Wisconsin Cheddar

When it comes to consuming Thanksgiving leftovers, my parents are of two fairly divergent schools of thought. My mother likes to enjoy replicas of the original meal for a night or two after the event, after which she gracefully transitions to open-faced turkey sandwiches and, eventually, a large pot of soup.

My father’s approach is a bit messier. As soon as the Thanksgiving dishes are washed, he begins to anticipate a full week of a dish we’ve taken to calling “Mo’s Turkey Mash.” He layers diced turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, any remaining green beans and puréed squash in a serving bowl, adds a generous pour of gravy and microwaves the whole thing until suitably warm. Then he works it with a soupspoon until it reaches a homogenous distribution. Then it’s ready to eat.

As far as leftovers go for me, I have a limited capacity to eat the exact same thing over and over again. I like a replay of Thanksgiving for lunch on Friday, but then I’m ready to start reimagining the leftovers into something wholly different. Some years, I’ve opted for a creation I like to call “Turkey Pot Shepherd’s Pie.” It’s essentially the insides of a pot pie, topped with mashed potatoes instead of a pastry crust. Other times, I’ve done a thick turkey chili with the leftover meat.

Turkey Cheesesteak With Wisconsin Cheddar

This time around, I’m opting for a version of Jeff Mauro’s Turkey Cheesesteak (I do live in Philadelphia, after all). To make this sandwich, you finely chop the meat, heat it up on a griddle or in a cast iron skillet, top it with some sharp cheddar and tuck the whole thing in a roll (the recipe calls for a hot dog bun, but here in Philly, that’s sacrilege). Makes for a super simple Weekender.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

- If you didn’t cook the Thanksgiving meal this year, just pop by your local deli and pick up a pound of quality sliced turkey.

- The original recipe calls for you to top the sandwiches with diced carrots and red onions. Philadelphians know that fresh vegetables really shouldn’t go anywhere near a cheesesteak. Opt for grilled onions for something more authentic.

- Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

Marisa McClellan is a food writer and canning teacher who lives in Center City Philadelphia. Find more of her food (all cooked up in her 80-square-foot kitchen) at her blog, Food in Jars. Her first cookbook, Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year Round,  is now available.

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