How to Make the Best Smoked Turkey Salad on the Planet

I had the pleasure of knowing Louis Szathmary when his Chicago restaurant The Bakery was in full swing. It’s no longer there and that is Chicago’s loss. The restaurant was indeed a former bakery and Louis didn’t do a lot to change the atmosphere. You could dine alongside one of the old ovens if you wished.

I used to brag to Louis of my growing cookbook collection, then at about 500 books. He always congratulated me on having such a fine collection and, from time to time I would tell him it was now up to 700 or even 1000 cookbooks and he always was very gracious in his praise. Then Louis died and left his cookbook collection to Johnson and Wales University. It was over 6000 cookbooks! That typified Louis, not much to say but his actions and incredible cooking spoke for him.

This is his recipe for Smoked Turkey Salad. It’s a trifle complicated with some interesting flavors but it is by far the best Smoked Turkey Salad I have ever tasted. Make it as Louis did and don’t change a thing.

This recipe will make four main dish servings:

– One and a half cups of cooked potatoes, diced. (Louis sometimes used white beans instead but I like potatoes better.
– 1 cup smoked turkey, your own or from the deli, skinned and cut into 1/4 to 1/2 inch cubes (save the scraps from the skinning and cutting)
– 1/2 cup carrots, scraped, cubed, blanched, drained and chilled
– 1/4 cup sweet pickle, chopped
– 1/4 cup onion, chopped
– 1/2 cup celery, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
– 1/2 cup apple cut into 1/2 inch dice (don’t bother peeling)
– 1/2 cup mayonnaise
– 1/4 cup sour cream
– 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
– 1 teaspoon Dusselforf or other brown mustard
– 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
– 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
– 1 teaspoon soy sauce
– 1 tablespoon sugar
– 1 teaspoon anchovy paste

Chop the pickles and onions by hand to avoid losing too much liquid. Chill all ingredients separately.

Take the scraps of turkey, place them in a food processor or blender with some of the mayonnaise and process until a smooth paste. If there are not enough scraps used a few cubes of turkey. Scrape the processor and combine contents with remaining mayonnaise, sour cream, mustards, Worcestershire, Tabasco, soy sauce, sugar and anchovy paste. Mix well and fold in the carrots, apple, potatoes (or white beans) pickles, onions and cubed turkey.

This should be a rather moist mixture so, if necessary, add more mayonnaise and sour cream. Serve at once or cover and chill until needed or overnight.

BOLA TANGKAS