Friday, June 26, 2015

Turkey Club Panini

Yesterday was one of those days!  I felt like I ran a marathon all before noon. It started out on a high note when I finished my early morning workout.  It quickly went down hill when I tried to start my car. Turned the key.  Nothing. Turned the key again.  Still nothing.  My first thought was a wash-your-mouth-out worthy obscenity not fit to be written in a family-friendly blog. My second thought was "It's gotta be the battery."  But there was no one around to help me jump it.  As luck would have it, the men in my life are out of town camping.  So I was on my own and in a bit of a pickle...

With my husband's truck at home, I wasn't completely stranded but I did have to get home...somehow.  After having already exercised for an hour, I walked the quarter mile back home with the muggy temp hovering near 90 degrees.  By this time, I'm really pooped!  

My sister offered to help me "jump" the battery but we felt rather skittish about the whole process. First if all, it's not a task we do each day (or ever).  Second, I'm not sure the application of basic auto mechanic skills is in our female DNA.  We are very capable, modern-day women but definitely lean more to the girly-girl versus grease monkey side of the spectrum. I'm not too proud to admit when I need help.  I just didn't want to blow up the whole battery!  I'm embarrassed to say that we had to consult my car manual just to find the lever to pop the hood.  After looking at my battery, we discovered it was completely corroded around one of the terminals.  Not good.  I decided it was high time to call in the cavalry - well, not really - I called a local mehanic who came to the rescue. The team at Cinco Auto were the heros of my day. I was back in the saddle again in no time.
What does this story have to do with Turkey Club Paninis? Not a darn thing!  But I needed to vent and wanted to share a super easy recipe I prepared for dinner last night after my fiasco of a morning. When you have a day like I had, this can be your go-to recipe.

My Breville Panini Press from Williams-Sonoma

 In my opinion, there are two critical elements required for making an excellent panini sandwich - a panini press grill and an artisan style bread.  The picture above shows my actual panini grill which is made by Breville.  It was given to me as a gift a few years ago and I love it!  Not only is it great for making panini sandwiches, it works great for grilling meats and veggies too. I often grill chicken breasts and salmon fillets on my panini. Invest in a good quality grill because you will end up using it often.  

I discovered this asiago artisan style bread in the bakery at my local HEB grocery store.  It is to die for delicious!  Look in the bakery section of your local store or somewhere like Panera Bread.  I make croutons out of the small end pieces which aren't big enough for sandwiches.  These croutons are especially yummy as a topping on tomato-basil soup (La Madeleine Country French Cafe sells their tomato-basil soup in jars at our local HEB grocery).  Once you eat it, you will never go back to the condensed tomato soup in the can that you mix with water.  

So here are a couple of options for panini press grills - a stove top version and the electronic version like mine.  Staub and Le Creuset both make high quality stovetop panini pans.  The picture below shows the newest version of Breville's panini for the home cook.  Remember, you get what you pay for in terms of quality. Williams-Sonoma, Sur La Table, Crate & Barrel, and even Amazon have this brand in stock.  Macy's current everyday value price on the Breville is $69.98.

So this recipe is more about "assembly" versus actual cooking.  The panini grill does all the work.


  • Artisan bread
  • Spreadable light butter (such as Challenge Butter)
  • Deli turkey (such as Boar's Head Mesquite Smoked Turkey)
  • Sliced cheese (colby-jack and baby swiss or other preferred cheese)
  • Bacon, crisped in microwave, 2 slices per sandwich 
  • Veggies (optional)


Cook bacon in microwave.  Turn on panini griddle to heat up.  I set between 350-375 degrees. 

Butter one side of each slice of bread.

Prep other ingredients including turkey and cheese.  I cut large slices of turkey into 3 smaller pieces so they fit on bread.  I cut cheese slices in half.

Place buttered side of bread onto panini press.  Add slice of cheese, 2 small turkey pieces, 2 pieces of bacon, another piece of cheese, 2 more pieces of turkey, and another piece of cheese.  

Top with other bread slice then pull down panini press to grill.

  Cook until golden brown and cheese is melted.

Ready to enjoy all the yummy goodness!

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