Wednesday, February 20, 2013

One Sandwich, Two Textures.

I was telling people about Sweet Cravings in Moab, and how they should try the "Adventure Inn" panini. Now Moab is one hour away from me, and as much as I would love to just hop in the car, drive down there and grab a meal at Sweet Cravings; it's not always possible. However, I did have some turkey tenderloins in the freezer and knew that roasting them up to slice up for sandwiches later on wouldn't be something to cry about.

  Throwing together a quick Sweet Onion Relish wouldn't be too much of a bother either.  Ok, so now I had a game plan and as soon as the turkey was defrosted and the relish ready, the creation could begin.

I have to admit that I didn't want to make an exact replica of the Adventure Inn panini; didn't want to deal with cranberry sauce, jalapeno jelly and cream cheese.  I wanted a much simpler version to put together, where my biggest decision would be to toast the bread or not.  I had a soft roll that I could use to make a panini, but I also had soft croissants that would hold together nicely without the toasting.  No, I don't like to toast croissants as the process seems to make them become too crumbly and fall apart. 

  The decision was made for me when I spied my Calphalon Panini press that I had gotten a while back...the panini won.

  Preheating the oven to 350F; I lined a small roasting pan with aluminum foil and sprayed the rack with nonstick cooking spray. The turkey tenderloins (about 3/4 lb each) were boneless, skinless and trimmed of any excess fat; a simple sprinkling of salt and ground black pepper was done to both sides. Tenderloins on the rack and into the oven, they roasted for 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reached 160F.  I did turn them over once during the roasting process, so each side would brown.
 Before slicing the turkey up, I let it rest for 15 lets make that panini!

Slicing the roll open, I spread some mayonnaise on the outside of each side; the mayonnaise would give the bread crunch after toasting without being greasy.  The turkey was sliced up, 5 pieces each 1/4" thick; Swiss cheese and sweet onion relish ready for adding.  I put my stove top burner on medium heat, put the panini pan on the burner and let it heat up.  This pan does heat up quickly, so make sure you have everything ready to go or you risk burning the roll side closest to the burner.  Yes, I'm talking from experience.

  Roll on the pan, 2 slices of Swiss cheese, turkey slices fanned out along the roll, a generous helping of sweet onion relish before being topped with another 2 slices of Swiss cheese and the other side of the roll.

 Place the press on top of the sandwich and begin pressing down slightly; don't slam down hard immediately, or the insides will just come gushing out. Let it cook for one minute before flipping the sandwich over and begin pressing down again. Since the cheese is now melted, the sandwich will press together more easily and you can apply more pressure; one minute on the pan and then to the plate it can go.

 There you have it, the Turkey Sweet Onion Panini; tender slices of turkey, smooth Swiss cheese and a sweet, yet tangy onion relish.
 Did I make a cold version of the sandwich, you bet I did! On a croissant and it was just as delicious as the hot version. One type of sandwich, done up two ways and all you have to do is make the decision of which one to try out first. Enjoy!

Mary Cokenour

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