Back when the #SaferAtHome thing was new (or novel, if you will. Get it?), I called up a couple of friends on Zoom whom I hadn’t seen in a month. They told me about some YouTube channel called the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen, where those lucky geniuses get my dream job, which is to make and taste and try and challenge themselves with food every day!

I watched 100 episodes with wide eyes and unclenched jaw, learning, absorbing, buying more kitchen gadgets because THAT SPATULA HAS TO WORK SO MUCH BETTER.

While all of the chefs are unique and have their own quirks, some of the chefs have a niche that they’ve turned into a sideshow. Carla Lalli Music (what a fun name!) does this back-to-back thing where she talks another person (celeb, singer, drag race winner) through making a dish in about 20 minutes without either of them being able to see what the other is doing. Claire Saffitz painstakingly recreates foods (think pop tarts, ramen packets, tater tots) in a gourmet way (it IS Bon Appétit, after all). And, Brad Leone has “It’s Alive!”, a show where he ferments, pickles, and otherwise ages foods (miso garlic paste, giardiniera, etc).

After seeing his giardiniera video, I bought the equipment and got cookin’ (or waiting, really). After I had the finished product, I wasn’t sure what to do with it. I don’t eat red meat, even if it’s been processed, smoked, or cured to the point of being shaped into a tube. But, I *do* have the occasional turkey deli-meat sandwich. So I made this for dinner and dubbed it the Hot Turkey Leone.

Ingredient prep featuring the finished giardiniera

Grab your turkey slices and heat a skillet to medium. Pile the turkey loosely onto itself, making the piles roughly the size of the bread you’re using.

Piles o turkey

Since the turkey is cooked, and this step is really all about the cheese, you can put your cheese on top of the piles shortly after this assembly. Then, add 1/4 c water to the pan and cover. This helps everything stay moist and helps the cheese melt quickly.

Mozz, ched, jack. Whatever you like.

While the cheese is melting, prepare your bread. Toast it if you want, but the mayo is not optional.

Don’t tell Brad, but I did scoop out some of the bread. It was too much even after I did that. Cover the lid with your giardiniera and shredded lettuce.

Scooped evidence in view
Why didn’t I move it before this picture?!

Carefully shimmy the turkeycheese onto a spatula and then over onto your bread bottoms.

It’s easiest to put the bottom on the top, upside down, and right-side-up it for serving. Eat alone or with your favorite potato-based side.