Roast Turkey and Cappy Ham Sandwich with Supreme Sauce
THERE ARE CERTAIN SURPRISES IN my deli-slash-almost-bodega across the street, located in the heart of Yorkville in Manhattan’s probably most homogenous Upper East Side. One surprise is that it carries and sells grits. That may not come as a shock to many of you, but an alarmingly large number of UES residents have shamelessly admitted that they have never, ever, eaten grits. Some of them still have never even heard of them! Growing up in Harlem and Morningside Heights with two older generations of Cheeseboros and Coles who all grew up in the South, I was probably fed Grandma’s grits before I had ever tried Gerber’s baby food.

So it is quite refreshing that I can enjoy a quick and convenient comfort food fix in a few steps in a “Yankee” city where grits don’t appear on 90% of restaurant or diner menus, and even tempt the uninitiated with a more “urbane” representation and a more country dish mainstay, such as seen here.

The second neighborhood deli/bodega surprise is that they offer, year-round, fresh, homemade roast turkey breast (along with the prepackaged, ready-to-slice type). And they seem to do a lot of turnover with it since it is always fresh when I enjoy it thick-sliced in a sandwich.

Turkey itself might be one of the more common “comfort” foods, and unlike others like, burgers, hot dogs, fried chicken, and macaroni and cheese, it has yet to lend itself to or inspire any fancy, foodie re-interpretations, reinventions, or de-constructions. Which is why a turkey sandwich wouldn’t necessarily merit a post on any food blog, much less my own.

However, having over the summer witnessed an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives—where a sandwich shopped proudly hawked the superiority of their roast turkey sandwich because of the addition of something the called “Awesome Sauce”—I have been long prompted to add my own teeny, tiny flair to an otherwise very ubiquitously traditional lunch staple.

This “Awesome Sauce” is devised of the exact same ingredients of what I’ve been calling my Go To Sandwich Dressing since my early 20s: mayonnaise, cider vinegar, and black pepper. Heck, as many of my friends have discovered over the last few decades—and have simulated—I keep and use cider vinegar as my “go-to” item for a very many recipes!

However, since this televised “Awesome Sauce” has stolen my thunder, I challenged myself to “step it up”, so to speak, with a new and, if possible, improved “Go To Dressing”, even updating its name to “Super Sauce”. And I would use my new concoction, and some Capicola ham, to “Super”-fy my new default roast turkey sandwich!


I started with the staples of my “old” sauce—mayo, cider vinegar, and pepper—and decided to just touch it up with a little squirt of yellow mustard and a teaspoon of lemon juice, then giving it all a good stir until it became smooth and creamy.



Looking and smelling wonderful, I spooned a healthy amount on rye bread—unfortunately un-seeded, since I had to borrow it from the kitchen of the restaurant downstairs from me—, then topped it with some Romaine lettuce, the Cappy ham, the thick slices of roast turkey, and another “Super Sauce”-ed slice of rye.







I sliced it into halves and proceeded to take hearty, healthy bites, and surprised myself with how the addition of two ingredients—the mustard added some “kick”, the lemon juice added some “brightness”—made that much of a difference. The Cappy is slightly spiced, but the meat is fatty and sweet, which added some nice flavors, without, at all, interfering with the homey, comfy taste and texture of the thick turkey slices.




After scarfing this “sammy” down with a bag of potato chips—Deep River Brand Sweet Maui Onion Kettle Cooked Potato Chips, if you must know—and an apple juice, I had to reconvince myself that my new “Super Sauce” recipe was perfect as is, since I probably would have been overzealous enough to add some honey, which, it turns out, I thought I had, but didn’t.

What I did have was leftover turkey and ham, and maybem if you’re lucky, I’ll do something different and “post”-worthy with them in the very near future.

Until then….

Bun Apple Tea!


Roast Turkey and Cappy Ham Sandwich with Supreme Sauce