Carved Turkey with Kabocha Spread and Ancho-Bell Pepper-Cranberry Chutney
Chef and sandwich expert Judy Han of the Mendocino Farms empire advises using an artisan bread that has a nice chew on the outside but is soft inside for a turkey sandwich so as not to overpower turkey’s delicate texture. She uses her ancho-bell-pepper-cranberry chutney to cut the rich savoriness of the turkey. Along with an airy puree of kabocha and creme fraiche, Han spreads it on a stack of roasted turkey, applewood smoked bacon and romaine on Dolce Forno buckwheat bread. “Different but still reflective of American food memories.”
From the story: The turkey sandwich reinvented
Place the roasted bell peppers, dried ancho chiles and sugar in a medium, heavy-bottom sauce pan. Simmer uncovered over low heat until the chiles are very soft and most of the liquid is evaporated, about 1 hour, 15 minutes. Stir in the balsamic vinegar, remove from heat and cool.
In a blender, or with a hand-held blender, puree the ancho-pepper mixture. (This makes 1 cup ancho-pepper puree, more than is needed for the chutney. It will keep in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 2 weeks.) Fold one-fourth cup of the puree (add more to taste) into the cranberry sauce. This makes more chutney than is needed for two sandwiches; keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Roasted kabocha squash spread
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the kabocha cut side down on a cutting board and cut away the thick skin with a knife (or also use a peeler for harder-to-cut spots). Cut the squash into about half-inch strips and toss them with the oil, brown sugar and salt.
Place the squash on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast in the oven until the squash is soft and caramelized, about 35 minutes.
In a food processor, puree the squash until smooth, adding a bit of water if necessary. Cool the puree and fold it into the creme fraiche. This makes about 1 1/2 cups spread, more than is needed for this recipe. It will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days.
Turkey sandwich assembly
Spread a generous layer of roasted kabocha spread on one side of two slices of bread and a layer of ancho-bell-pepper-cranberry chutney on one side of the remaining slices of bread. Put several slices of turkey breast on top of the chutney. Divide the bacon between the two sandwiches, placing it on top of the turkey. Top with the romaine and invert the bread slices with the kabocha spread over the rest of the sandwiches. Serve immediately.
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