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Before restaurant chains there were truck stops

Hot turkey sandwiches and mashed potatoes have been a truck stop staple for generations.
November 02, 2005 - This open-faced turkey sandwich was my favorite meal when I was young and my parents were driving someplace to visit.

My dad used to launch these impromptu vacations by saying "lets take a trip around the flag.''

The town I grew up in had a square downtown with a fountain and a flagpole on a little island in the middle of the street. Sometimes his trip around the flag was nothing more than to drive to that area, circle the square with all the other motorists and then stop for some ice cream before going home to sit on the porch and "Watch the cars go by.''

We didn't have a television back then.

Other times we would all pile into the car and wind up at Cedar Point. Once we wound up in St. Louis and I got to see a ballgame in old Sportsman's Park.

When he wanted to take a trip around the flag we never knew where we might end up and we never had time to pack anything. We bought clothes and food as we went. Frequently we would stop at a grocery store and make bologna sandwiches along the way. Other times we stopped at truck stops and I was able to order these turkey sandwiches which I have reconstructed from memory.

Mostly I make this meal from leftover turkey, but if you want that roadside fare without the holiday fixings just get sliced turkey from the deli.

Hot Turkey Sandwiches

pound turkey

3 tablespoons chopped sage

stick of butter

3 green onions, sliced

2 tablespoons flour

1 can chicken broth

1/3 cup cream Sherry

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

8 slices toasted sourdough bread

Sprinkle turkey with half of sage, salt and pepper. Melt butter over medium-high heat in a heavy skillet. Add turkey and saute two minutes to brown lightly. Add green onions and saute one minute. Remove turkey from skillet and tent with foil.

Sprinkle flour in skillet and stir for a minute to prevent lumps. Gradually add Sherry and chicken broth whisking constantly. Bring heat to high and boil, still whisking constantly.

After a couple of minutes you will see the sauce take on a gravy consistency. Add the rest of the sage and reduce heat to low. Return turkey to pan with any accumulated juices and simmer for a minute or two to heat again.

Place a slice of sourdough on a cutting board and top with turkey. Top that with a second slice of bread and cut in half on the diagonal. Place a scoop of mashed potatoes in the center of a serving plate.

Spoon or ladle the pan gravy over the sliced sandwich and mashed potatoes, top with a sage leaf and serve.

Add a salad and you have a feast.

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