Toy Box Turkey Sandwich

Yes we are still an Urban Farm, not just a Bible study site. I teach at a Christian School in Everett, Washington so I post what I have time for. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Bible study, it is my passion, but I am an Urban farmer with no time to post this year. I just happen to have Veterans Day off, so here is a little bit of what we do on the farm.

Toy Box Turkey Sandwich.

Toy Box Turkey Sandwich.

When Jason, my youngest, was three, we used to sing the Peanut Butter Sandwich song. (first you take the peanuts and you smoosh um, ya moosh um ya smoosh um moosh um smoosh um to make PEAnut, peaNUT peanut butter and jelly...)

So, this isn’t Peanut Butter and Jelly, but like the pre-school peanut-butter and jelly song, there are a whole lot of steps to perfection.

Gonna braise some onions

Gonna braise some onions

 Step 1, start the onions. (first you take the onions and you slice um, you slice um ….) The secret to delicious braised onions is low heat and time. I used one huge onion and one regular size onion because that is what I had; sliced them fairly thick and set them into a pan with a bit of butter and olive oil. No fuss, just toss the onions into the fry pan. You want the temperature to be so low that it takes a while for the butter to melt. At this point the only seasoning they get is salt from the butter. All I want is for them to sweat.

Add a splash of wine.... not to the sandwich, to the cook. Tomatoes, basil, parsley, spinach (red and green) and french parsley fresh from the garden.

Add a splash of wine…. not to the sandwich, to the cook. Tomatoes, basil, parsley, spinach (red and green) and french parsley fresh from the garden.

Step 2 Run out to the garden. At least that is what we do at the Toy Box. You may have to go to the grocery store. I am going to gather a couple of tomatoes (I still have a few ripe tomatoes in the green house as of November 11th, 2015, which are nowhere as good and the tomatoes of August, but they are mine, and still better then what I get at the store!), I also want spinach leaves, parsley, chrivel (French parsley) and the basil that is thriving in the greenhouse. It is November and a little medicinal Merlot will warm you right up.

We spend so little on food that we can afford an occasional indulgence, which usually comes from the local TJ's

We spend so little on food that we can afford an occasional indulgence, which usually comes from the local TJ’s

True confession time, we do not do much grocery shopping, but we do occasionally go to Trader Joe’s for things we cannot grow for ourselves. Rolls, organic cream cheese and mozzarella all come from TJ’s. Pretty sure that is where the wine came from…. mean while take a peek at the onions, maybe give them a stir. OH, the turkey comes from TJ’s too.

Pound a turkey tenderloin to less then a half an inch in thickness.

Pound a turkey tenderloin to less then a half an inch in thickness.

Step 3 The Turkey. We love turkey. Turkey is why we are not vegetarians. Ok, turkey and grass fed beef are the reasons we are not vegetarians… and lamb, we recently gave up pork and discovered lamb… but I digress.

Pound a turkey “tenderloin” to about one-half inch or less. You can do this!

Pounded turkey tenderloin ready to fry.

Pounded turkey tenderloin ready to fry.

We spread olive oil and chopped parsley in a dish. The pounded turkey is dropped into the dish, then flipped over. The seasonings change from time to time, but we usually at least have fresh parsley. Lavender buds from The Toy Box are another favorite seasoning. This week we skipped the lavender. The  turkey can marinate in the oil while the pan heats up.

Purple Haze Lavender Pepper from Sequim Washington

Purple Haze Lavender Pepper from Sequim Washington

When this sandwich was made, our Chris had recently been to Washington’s Olympic peninsula, home of Purple Haze Lavender. Sequim, Washington is where Ray and I fell in love with lavender. We grow plenty of different lavenders at the Toy Box. We make our own herbs d’Provence, lavender sugar, and a lavender coco that we adore, but there are lots of lavender products that we still go to Sequim (or Whidbey and San Juan Island) to buy. Purple Haze Lavender Pepper is one of those products. We sprinkled the fresh lavender pepper he brought home on the turkey. Shop local, eat local, get in some camping and kayaking while you are there.

Both the onions and the turkey are turning golden. Now is the time to start stirring the onions.

Both the onions and the turkey are turning golden. Now is the time to start stirring the onions.

If all the stars have aligned, your onions should be turning golden about the time your turkey is almost done. This is when I add a handful of chopped parsley to the onions. Even though this sandwich takes some time, it is a laid back lunch…. until this point, now you need to be ready to work faster! The rolls need to be split and put under the broiler to toast, Once they are toasted, I add a slice of mozzarella to the top half and put it back under the broiler to melt. When the turkey is crispy and golden-brown it can go on a clean plate with a foil tent while you rush to make the cream cheese dressing and prep the veggies.

Veggies and cream cheese spread ready.

Veggies and cream cheese spread ready.

Step 4 Prep the veggies and make the cream cheese spread. Tomatoes get sliced, spinach rinsed if it needs it. Basil is julienned and the chervil is chopped. For the cream cheese spread I like two parts cream cheese to one part mayonnaise. My guys love garlic salt (from our clam dip days) so I sprinkle the spread with garlic salt, chopped chives, chervil (french parsley) and pepper. After mixing this together, it is spread on the bottom toasted bun. If it seems too thick for you, add a little lemon juice or the liquid (flavored vinegar) from the pepperoncini until it is just the right thickness for you.

Almost ready

Almost ready

The Finish – put it all together Spread the cream cheese on the hot toasted bun, add a pile of caramelized onions, sprinkle on fresh sliced (julienne) basil and sliced pepperoncini peppers (or any pickled thing you like). Top that with crisp spinach leaves and a slice of tomato (any order, whoops)

Top the vegetables with turkey cut into bun size squares, cover with the melted mozzarella bun and…. try to enjoy one before they are all gone.  You may need that knife to hold off the guys who have been smelling the turkey and onions.

Too much trouble? Nope Toy Box Turkey Sandwiches.

Too much trouble? Nope Toy Box Turkey Sandwiches.

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Filed under Everyday Adventure, Fresh from the garden, Urban Farm

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