"A real treat was to go to Howard Johnson and eat a hot turkey sandwich with mashed potatoes, gravy, and cranberry sauce. When you're 8 years old and it's not even Thanksgiving, that's ultimate luxury," says Shirley Kerins, curator of the Huntington Herb Garden in San Marino, California.
3/4 pound Yukon gold potatoes
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 pound boned, skinned turkey breast slices (about 1/4 in. thick)
Salt and pepper
About 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salad oil
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 tablespoon soy sauce
4 teaspoons cornstarch
About 2 tablespoons hot nonfat milk
2 slices (about 2 oz. total) white bread
3 to 4 tablespoons canned cranberry sauce
How to Make It
In a 2- to 3-quart pan over high heat, bring 3 cups water to a boil.
Meanwhile, peel potatoes and cut into 1-inch chunks. Add to boiling water, cover, and simmer over medium heat until potatoes are very tender when pierced, about 15 minutes. Drain potatoes, return to pan, cover, and keep warm.
As potatoes cook, rub thyme over turkey slices and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper, then coat with flour, shaking off excess.
Place a 10- to 12-inch nonstick frying pan over high heat. When pan is hot, add oil and tilt to coat bottom. Add turkey, without crowding, and brown lightly, turning once, 3 to 4 minutes per batch. Meat should be white in center (cut to test). Transfer turkey to a platter as cooked and keep warm.
Mix broth, sherry, soy sauce, and cornstarch; add to frying pan. Stir over high heat until boiling, about 1 minute. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Mash potatoes and add enough milk to make them creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Place a slice of bread on each plate and top each slice with half the turkey. Mound potatoes equally on meat, pour gravy over the sandwich, and accompany with a dollop of the cranberry sauce.