may have discovered the perfect Sunday after Thanksgiving dinner.  It is a quick, savory open-faced turkey sandwich that can be adapted to many different ingredients you probably have on hand.  The classic and its many variations are described at length on Wikipedia.  It's basically a Welsh Rarebit with a bit of turkey, bacon and tomato.  What could possibly be bad?

This is more a formula than a recipe, but if you don't know how to make a white sauce you probably shouldn't be trying any of my recipes...not because they are so difficult but because they are....inaccurate.  Sorry

Smokin' Hot Brown

For each serving you will need:
1 slice of bread, lightly toasted (I used French bread)
Enough sliced or torn cooked turkey to cover the bread
1/2 - 3/4 cup of sauce...we'll get to it, don't worry
1 slice of crispy bacon, crumbled
Diced tomato or apple

First, the sauce. 
Make a simple white sauce by whisking flour into an equal amount of melted butter over medium heat.  Whisk in milk until it is smooth.  Allow it to barely come to a boil, stirring frequently.  Tonight I added a teaspoon of dijon mustard, shredded sharp cheddar cheese and lots of black pepper but please be sure to check out the variations at the end of this recipe.  You might consider using Swiss, Gruyere or Fontinella cheese (though not for the faint of heart).  A mix of cheese would be outstanding!  I'd also recommend a splash of white wine or Worcestershire sauce.  Of course a grating of nutmeg or a sprinkling of cayenne pepper would not be amiss.

To assemble, layer the toasted bread in the bottom of a baking dish.  Scatter the torn or sliced turkey over the bread.  Spoon generous amounts of the Mornay (that's what you made!) sauce over the bread and turkey.  Toss the pan under the broiler until the top is bubbly and brown.  Garnish with crumbled bacon and diced fresh tomato.  Were I making this for my dear friend Addie King I would most definitely top it with diced apple, and I did this for my sons.  They loved it!

And now for the best part, the variations!
-Add a splash of Worcestershire sauce or white wine to the sauce.
-Whisk grated nutmeg or cayenne pepper into the sauce.
-Use any cheese you like, so long as it melts well.  Gruyere, Swiss or Fontinella (though not for the faint of heart) would be terrific.  A mix of leftover cheeses would be interesting.  If you're a freak who likes Pepper-Jack cheese that might work too.
-Spread mango chutney, pepper jelly or apple butter on the bread before topping with turkey.  I have a Cranberry-Horseradish jam I would love to try on this.)
-Layer cooked spinach or broccoli with the turkey.
-Make it easier for kids (and adults) to eat by cubing the bread before tossing it in the baking dish.  This would make it more like a casserole than a sandwich.
-Make it with smoked turkey or ham...or CRAB! *drool*

1. Three things I must have on my Thanksgiving table: turkey, scalloped oysters, and gravy.

2.I am Christmas shopping while nearly sacked out on the couch.

3. This is my favorite kind of weekend.

4. I am looking forward to decorating my great big old house.

5. Oh, man, thankfully it's Black Friday and I'm at home.

6. I want to perfect the art of pie baking.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to knitting up some Christmas gifts, tomorrow my plans include going out to dinner and Sunday, I want to get ready for three weeks of craziness before Christmas break!
After a lengthy absence I'm back, with a simple, hearty dish. 

While on the way home from a visit with my friend Catherine I texted my husband and asked him to pull something out of the freezer for dinner.  I suggested lamb.  I was so hoping he would grab something perfect for slow cooking.  He did, and this is what I whipped up on a dreary Sunday afternoon.
You will need:

1 lamb roast (I used a small leg of lamb, but a lamb shoulder roast or even lamb shanks would be fine)

6 roasted tomatoes or sun dried tomatoes, in oil or otherwise

1 tablespoon chopped garlic or 4  whole cloves of garlic, peeled

2 teaspoons dried thyme or 3 stems of fresh thyme

1/2 - 1 cup of white wine, sweet or dry, I don't care

Salt and pepper

A sharp grating cheese such as Locatelli, Pecorino Romano, Asiago or Parmesan

1 pound of dry orrechiette or similar shaped pasta

You should:

Toss the roast in a pan with a heavy lid.  Scatter the tomatoes around it, smear it with garlic, thyme, salt and pepper.  Douse the lot with the white wine.  Clamp on the lid and throw it in a low oven (300 degrees) for 3-4 hours.  Turn it around here and there, checking to see if it's starting to fall apart on you.

It should look like this.  Pull out the roast and allow it to cool enough so that you can shred it easily.  Deglaze the lovely stuff in the bottom (the "fond") with water or chicken broth over heat.  At this point I take a moment to mash around the tomatoes and pick out the tomato skins (gag).  I used a stick blender to puree what was left into a gorgeous, rich, velvety red sauce.

Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning.  Take a moment.  This is a rich dish, does it need a little acid?  A splash of balsamic vinegar, wine or sharp cheese might do the trick.  I opted for fine shred of Locatelli. 

Cook your pasta in salted water, adding it to the sauce over the heat when nearly al dente.  Add the shredded meat, stirring to heat it thoroughly.  Tear up the parsley and scatter it over the top.  Gild the lily with a drizzle of olive oil and some sharp, grated cheese.