Another Year of Many Turkeys
An unusual number have held political office this year. Yet, even after elections (such as those were) we still seem to have a huge flock.
So it’s with great anticipation our “Annual Turkey Leftovers” is back again.
Picking up the History:
Back in 2013. we share the best turkey leftovers recipe we’ve ever found. Our Ode to 13 Coins’ SST Sandwich column from 2013. I don’t remember if Gale, the daytime bartender at the ‘Coin’s place across from the Seattle Times had retired yet, (He did in 2015, or so – g) or not…might have. Great guy and always poured me a “hard-day-for-the-editor-sized drink” back in the day… ‘Coins was kitty-corner from the Seattle Times plant on Fairview back when.
Then (from 2014) came a “gift that keeps on giving” from a reader named John which we’ll get to in due course.
First, my own contribution to “the turkey leftovers science:”
I baked the bird (2018) in a turkey bag (breast-up) as usual. But upon removing, I turned it breast down while the turkey rested (while I made gravy, etc..more wine, too, while Ure at it…).
Fall-part moist – even Elaine said it was one the best all-time best-ever turkeys she’s ever had. Better than baked breast-down…Just 10-15 min, breast down while resting in its juices before carving…amazing! (I adjusted steam holes accordingly to the end of the bag preserve juices! Don’t want liquid gravy basics leaking out.) 10-points for food science!
Ode to 13 Coins: The SST Sandwich
The one best way to use-up whatever is left in the way of turkey is based on a “sandwich” which used to be served by 13 Coins, a 24-hour restaurant in Seattle, catawampus from the Seattle Times building. This served as a kind of Mecca for the broadcasters, writers, and theatrical types who made Seattle a happin’ place from the 1960;s, 1970’s and 80’s. Still is, come to think of it. (Resaurant’s now down on Pioneer Square with one across from the airport, too.)
‘Coins is still one of the top 5 late night food joints in the country and with good reason: If you sit at the counter, you can watch the flaming cooking of your meal on the big gas stoves (and gas-fired broiler ) of the sort most people can only dream of having at home.
It was here that the SST Sandwich was developed – at about the same time Boeing was building a mock-up of what might have been an American supersonic transport to complete with the Concorde. I always wondered if the selection of turkey as its main ingredient was so much a matter of taste or an aeronautical or economic assessment…
By far, the SST is the best use of turkey I’ve ever seen – and to my palate it is almost as good as fresh roasted turkey with all the fixin’s. Maybe better, too, since if you can find precooked turkey in a deli, there’s little kitchen mess. Anyone can make good food in an unlimited kitchen with clean up staff. When it’s me and/or Elaine and KitchenAid, it’s a different equation.
The inventor of the SST used a Béchamel sauce (white sauce) but for those of us who scored higher in the laziness department, a can of Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup (regular, not fat-free – what’s the point, right?) works almost as well as a substitute.
In the original SST, if memory serves, the toast points had the crust cut -off, but again, this seemed like additional work that could be dispensed-with. An optional point is you’re trying to recapture the flavor of the original dish.
Buttering the toast points? That’s up to you and your cardiologist. The sandwich was on dry toast points. I made up for the lack of fat with their thumb-sized fries. OMG, TDF! Yellow potatoes with a spritz of Johnny’s Dock or Lawry’s seasoning salt. A very lightly spiced ketchup on the site. (Coins may an American Logs structure out of 13 thumb-thick fries as a side.)
Oh…and fresh Parmesan from the Pike Place Market is nice, too. But over the years I’ve used everything from Kraft “sprinkle cheese” to hand shaved Parmesan and various mixes and I couldn’t tell much difference.
The Update Recipe (for T2020)
You begin with a hot skillet. Edge of smoking but not quite.
Into this, you pour about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and fire (or the electric-hell equivalent) until just smoking a bit again.
Add one cup (roughly) of freshly sliced mushrooms. Shake, toss, and worry it a bit.
Sauté and throw on a flammable liquid. Tequila? Brandy? Whatever’s handy. Nothing sweet. A dry white wine is acceptable. Flambe it a bit.
Flame longer if you have an audience; Food as theater is good. If you are cooking over gas, this is easy. Electric? Not so much. Don’t set the kitchen afire.
If you’ve got a range hood, like 13 Coins, a second splash of whatever burns good (from the bar) with the oil, adds additional flavor, too. Brandy was the lazy man’s choice – as I could never get white wine can flame. Certainly not on an electric range. Maybe with ox-acetylene…hmmm….wait! Outdoor BBQ side burn will do swell.
When the flames die down, (the alcohol burns off if you use high enough heat) you toss in a cup, or more, of turkey. This has been sliced into 3/4-inch cubes.
This is all tossed around in the sizzling pan so the flavors get acquainted with one-another. Flame again (third time) if using gas. Mostly ‘cuz it’s fun. Showy and entertaining.
Next comes the Béchamel sauce, or – if doing this at home – that can (11 oz.) of regular (condensed) Campbell’s cream of mushroom. NOT FAT FREE!
Reduce heat to a simmer while you get:
* Toast points arranged a shallow baking/serving dish, 3-slices for me, thanks. No point getting healthy this weekend.
* Two or three…OK…FOUR! (long and lean) strips of crispy bacon are made. Pressed so they don’t shrink too much. You do have a bacon press?
* 1/3 cup (or so) of fresh-grated Parmesan (or you could use an Italian three-cheese mix with little difference) and you fire up your broiler.
A few tablespoons of the cheese goes into the happily bubbling sauce. Right before moving to the next step. Which is?
With the toast points on the bottom of the shallow baking/serving dish, you pour the hot turkey/mushroom sauce (which should be reasonably thick and not runny or you’ve used too much liquid somewhere) over the toast points.
If you’re using two pieces of bacon, they are placed in an “X” or, if three pieces, as parallels with a 1/2-inch inch between them. Four pieces? Ure on Ure own…
Sprinkle that short-ton of grated cheese (not in the sauce) all over it. If you anticipated by pre-heating the broiler, green star. Put the pan under the broiler long enough for the added cheese to melt and just brown things lightly in a few places.
Serve with 13-Coins style fries and a glass of whatever suites you. This is maybe the hardest decision of the weekend. My buddy Chet favored the Chardonnay (“with a light buttery, not too oakey finish”). Wife Elaine’s more the dry champagne type. Me? Half-gallon of Sutter Home White Zin (ice cold) is fine.
Here lately, on the north side of 70, I seem to be doing cranberry juice more, which works just dandy, too. It’s better for the liver, the FAA, and primary care physician confessional.
A word bout the fries (and why a 13-Coins visit is always on our Seattle agenda although we haven’t had time the past couple of visits): the Fries are to die for.
There’s some additional detail to getting the fries right: they are not those wimpy little prefab things like the “arches” use. Or you can buy in the frozen section. You know the sort: mashed potatoes from a square pastry nozzle.
A proper grown-up whole potato (Yukon Gold, large) is whacked into coarse slices about the size of your thumb (bigger if you’re dainty, I hold my thumb up when Elaine is slicing, but stay out of range). About 3/4’s of an inch to a full inch.
Cold rinse a couple of times then pat dry. Water and deep fryers…well, figure it out. The ‘taters get deep-fried in the usual way (which takes longer because of their large size). You want them golden brown.
We toss ’em in the air fryer nowadays. I’m sure the Biden Administration will outlaw anything deep-fried, shortly.
It’s a sacrilege to do so, but I will ask for ketchup and the staff doesn’t (usually) seem offended by this epicurean gaffe.
No, I don’t get any spiffs or deals for my semi-annual review of the SST. In fact, I don’t know if it’s even on the menu anymore. Or if anyone is getting themm with Washington Gov. Jay Lockin in charge.
It wasn’t on the menu last time we were in Seattle. But the kitchen was able to make one though I don’t know if they still can. (Reports welcome on this point.) Ask for the SST off the ‘secret menu.’
Best “Sandwich” Ever!
Weather at this time of the year in the Northwest is usually crappy: Gray, cold, and rainy more often than not. Which may have something to do with why Seattle has some really great places to eat.
Other cities do, as well, but even San Francisco (last time we were there) seems to have gone “touristy” and “institutional/commercial” even at Ghirardelli and the wharf, last time through. I keep thinking about going back to see if anything’s at good as the food at Bertolucci’s in South San Francisco. Color me skeptical. Bertolucci’s was fab.
The main thing about great restaurants is they were usually started (or perfected) by great restaurateurs. Families who somehow got the balance between hospitality, beverage, taste, performance, and consistency. For me, the Ward family’s (13 Coins and el Gaucho back in the day), (Victor) Rossellini’s, and Ivar Haglund’s seafood joint -Ivar’s – were the family names in Seattle. Lemonsakis and Gasparetti, were top-flight too…there were lots of good hangouts. Ruby Chow’s before she got into politics.
Every city has such places.…it takes a little looking around to scout them out. Most people don’t focus on the search…too much hurry, too little time, yada, yada. But like investing in in a great partner, or stocks, finding a great restaurateur’s prize is the GI tract equivalent of finding Apple or Microsoft stock before the IPO..
Along the way, be sure and ask questions and steal cooking ideas you can bring home, too. Like this one. You never know when you’ll have some leftovers that can be turned into real treats.
Or have to write a column about turkey leftovers that not plain stupid.
Award-winning chef daughter says I got the genealogy of the SST wrong. It’s taughtg to young cheffette’s as based on the “Hot Brown” and is popular ‘back east.’ (Remember, even Spokane is ‘back east’ from Seattle.)
Sure enough, you can find a damn-fine Hot Brown at (where else?) the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. Hell of a lot shorter-drive for us than Seattle. 874 miles vs. 1,900. But fewer Indian Casinos – which we enjoy, too. Choices, huh?
This year, we have been reduced to making our own. We trust the SST/Hot Brown will be in the vanguard of sanity returning after lock-ins.
The Hot Brown looks almost like the SST, but with fewer aircraft fasteners and a cheese-change. I still think White Zin will fuel either nicely. Maybe with a Kentucky local beverage as the warm-up.
A Thanksgiving (2014) Gift from Reader John K
Want some money? Free? The real deal here. I didn’t have time yesterday to ask his permission to use his name, but a reader of ours, John, the wealth manager up in Nashville who sent me a dandy email that could be worth your time to read: (Pay attention Andy!)
To assist you in helping others and so you and your family may also find new wealth, enter your last name and or company name in the following Search engine to see unclaimed property. I conduct searches in support of Estate settlements, but you do not have to be dead to have unclaimed property. I have helped others find property of deceased relatives and forgotten security deposits from college. If you can provide proof of your name connected to the address (if it shows one), wa la, you’re in the money/property.
If the person is deceased, letters Testamentary, would also be required. Be aware the states often misspell names, so be on the lookout for property under similar spellings. If you can see the address, that usually helps verify the connection. If a person is deceased or you can’t remember all your past addresses, run a free credit report which shows all prior addresses (living and deceased people).
The first site seems more effective and the second site is quicker, but less accurate.
Best of luck!
I ran this money-search on all our relatives, which I do every so often. No dough for them. But maybe that will mean more for you?
Write when you run out of leftovers. Say “Hi!” to the unelected turkey.