Thanksgiving Sliders

There’s certainly something cliche about posting pictures of the Thanksgiving meal on Thanksgiving Day. Everyone does it, and everyone’s food looks roughly the same. There are minor differences, some unique sides, and the occasional odd way of dressing the turkey, but overall, well, it’s turkey, stuffing, a barrage of vegetables turned into unhealthy casseroles, and a parade of carbohydrates, pecans, and brown sugar.

That doesn’t mean it’s not awesome. I shamelessly love the foods we associate with a holiday I question every year. I also shamelessly love the combination of flexibility and tradition associated with Thanksgiving leftovers. That’s where Thanksgiving sliders came from.

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Thanksgiving sliders. Left: Ham and Pineapple; Right: Turkey and Cranberry.

Allow me to get out of the way right now the fact I’m not a photographer (no shit, right?). I hope that changes as this blog progresses, but until it does, just come here for the food not the photos.

These were simple and practical, but the end result was weirdly sophisticated and had the kind of flavor combos that work in the most interesting sandwich shops (you know the ones? They somehow toe the line between traditional and experimental without putting their stock too much into either camp).

Want the full list of toppings and a very important warning? Keep reading.

I don’t think this post really qualifies as a “recipe post,” but I can run down the list of ingredients I needed to make these work as well as a bit of commentary on the end result and if changes or variations might have been worth a try.

This seems tedious, but I highly recommend making the turkey slider first and then the brie. The turkey combo will be fine if it cools some during assembly of the ham slider, but the other way around will not be as pleasant. Truthfully, it would have been best to make them kind of simultaneously. Assembly takes seconds, but heating the meat and melting the cheese takes a couple minutes. Time this at your own risk.

Ham and Pineapple Thanksgiving Leftover Slider
Spiral cut ham (right?)
Pineapple (cooked with the ham)
Brie (you could probably use another cheese, but why would you?)
Lettuce (or green of choice)
Horseradish (oh, just a dab. Really.)
Publix Deli white dinner roll (If you don’t know Publix, you will learn about them here)

Assembly is simple.

  1. Heat the ham in a pan (or a microwave. I see you, college students).
  2. Dress the roll (put the horseradish on). I have a weird thing about sauces, spreads, and the rest of my sandwich. There should never be contact between condiments and meat or cheese. (Oh, I know it’s weird; wait until I tell you about my M&M eating habits.) Therefore, the horseradish goes on the top of the bun. That’s it. Nowhere else.
  3. Place the brie on top of the ham and let it melt. I did this by keeping the ham in the pan, putting the brie on when it was hot, removing the pan from the heat, placing a lid over the top, and watching the brie turn to liquid love. You could just as easily stick it in the mic for a couple seconds.
  4. Place the ham and brie combo onto the bottom portion of the bun and drop the (warm or cold) pineapple on top.
  5. Place the leaf of lettuce (or other green) on top of the pineapple and add the bun top.
  6. Eat it while it’s warm.

Notes and Takeaways: I promise you, a dab of horseradish goes a long way, and if you don’t like it, I get that. Use mayo, dijon mustard, or no spread at all, and you should be fine. I only went with the horseradish as a pointed attempt at combining flavor and functionality, as this little guy might have been too dry without a spread.

Turkey and Cranberry Thanksgiving Leftover Slider
Turkey (yep. I told you this was hard)
Publix Deli Cranberry cheddar (yes, again)
Homemade cranberry relish (ours had orange and walnuts)
Lettuce (REALLY wish I’d had kale for this one)
Publix Deli whole wheat dinner rolls (you only think the Publix part isn’t important. I’ll write about them soon.)

  1. Heat the turkey¬†or not (it’s fine either way. I heated it)
  2. Place a slice or two of the cranberry cheddar on top of the turkey. While the brie should melt, this is actually better if it’s not melted
  3. Put a spoonful of cranberry relish on top of the cheese
  4. Add your lettuce or kale (you lucky dog).
  5. Bun it.
  6. Eat it.

Notes and Takeaways: The cheese is not necessary to this, but the tartness of the cheddar was a great contrast to the herbed flavor of the turkey and the sweetness of the cranberry relish. I recommend it. Also, this one is messy. I should have strained the relish a bit so it was more berry and nut than juice.

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Eating the turkey slider is not a pretty ordeal. Also, that pointy thing at the top of the plate? I don’t know what that is. It was in my cranberry relish, and that freaks me out.

Fair warning: I was stuffed after eating these and didn’t eat dinner until 10 PM. They were really great, though, and if you have holiday company, they’re quick and easy to assemble so they’d be excellent¬†for weekend brunch and for getting rid of leftovers without eating the exact same thing over and over (two birds, one stone).

What does your family do with leftovers to keep them interesting enough to keep eating?

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