Saturday, July 21, 2012

Smoked Turkey Club Panini

I LOVE Paninis!  Just had to get that out.  I don't actually own a panini maker, I use my mini George Foreman grill to make the sandwiches. The original recipe calls for mayo on the sandwich but I replaced it with cream cheese due to our egg/mustard allergy. Serve for lunch or dinner with a side of homemade fries and/or fresh fruit.



Smoked Turkey Club Panini
From Egg Free Bakery, slightly adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

8-12 slices bacon
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, rinsed, patted dry and minced
3 tbsp cream cheese, softened
8 slices thick-cut crusty bread
1/2 pound thinly sliced deli Swiss cheese
1/2 pound thinly sliced deli smoked turkey
3 cups baby spinach

Cook bacon until crisp. You can use a skillet or use the microwave, placing the bacon in a single layer on a paper-towel lined plate, cover with paper towels and microwave for about 5 minutes (repeating the process if all the bacon doesn’t fit the first round). Lightly spread butter over one side of each bread. Lay the butter-sides down on a cutting board or work area. Mix minced tomatoes and cream cheese together in a small bowl.  Spread each slice of bread with the minced sun dried tomatoes. Layer half of the swiss cheese on 4 slices of bread then top with turkey, bacon, spinach and remaining cheese. Top with remaining bread, butter side up. Cook the sandwiches on a panini press, skillet or grill pan heated on medium heat for one minute prior to cooking. I use an indoor grill pan for my paninis but a skillet would work just as well. I place 2-3 sandwiches (depending on the size of the sandwich) in the grill pan and weigh the sandwiches down with a heavy pot (you can also use a foil-covered brick or similar object). Cook the sandwiches for about 4-5 minutes per side, until they are golden brown and the cheese is melted. Repeat with remaining sandwiches. Serve immediately. Makes 4 sandwiches

*Make Ahead Tip- I cook the bacon ahead of time.  You can even mix the cream cheese mixture ahead of time and store it in the fridge making these even quicker to assemble come meal time.

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