You wouldn’t be as special if you came around more than once or twice a year, but regardless, Leftover Holiday Grilled Cheese Sandwich: you will be missed.

Unless I pretend there is wild turkey in this sandwich, this is not a wild game recipe, but an ode to one of my favorite things about the holidays: the Leftover Holiday Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Do we need yet another meal of heavy, calorie-laden food? No. Could we make a healthy turkey soup with all those leftovers? We could. Could we turn the cranberries into a vinaigrette of sorts to lightly drizzle on a salad? Uh huh. But do we do these things? We do not. And do you know why? Because nothing hits the spot quite like turning your holiday leftovers (Thanksgiving and sometimes Christmas) into a grilled cheese sandwich.

This sandwich is so elusive I was only able to grab a quick photo with my phone before I turned around and it was gone in a bittersweet instant. For those of you who are as of yet unaware of this delectable post holiday morsel of awesomeness, it doesn’t really need a recipe. The process goes like this:

Heat a pan no higher than medium.

Butter one side each of two pieces of bread.

Layer, in no particular order, on the unbuttered sides of the bread turkey, cranberry sauce, and whatever leftover fancy cheese you have laying around. I prefer the melting qualities of Brie, but whatever fancy cheese you have will work.

Cook the sandwich like a normal grilled cheese, until both sides are crispy and the cheese is melted. Keeping the heat at medium or lower will ensure that your cheese will melt before the bread burns.

The gooey-ness of the fancy cheese embedded with the cranberry sauce, all melded together with the turkey (which is extra awesome if you’re using smoked turkey, btw, but good with regular roasted turkey too) creates and explosion in your mouth that is almost better than the holiday meal was in the first place. If you’re lucky, your cranberry sauce was homemade and has a couple of walnuts or pecans in it. Eating this sandwich wouldn’t be the same if you made it in July, but nonetheless I’d like to go ahead and  bid farewell. Leftover Holiday Grilled Cheese Sandwich, you will be missed. We had good times this holiday season, but all good things must come to an end and it is here that we must say Adieu, until next year anyway.

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