Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Thanksgiving Leftovers and a Gift Suggestion

In a kitchen, a long time ago; alright, it was only twelve years ago, but that is a little over a decade.  Roy had been working the oil fields with his cousin, and for the holiday season, they had received a very nice bonus.  While he went off to purchase new video games for his PC, I decided to finally buy new cookware that I have wanted for a long time...Calphalon.  This cookware is made in the USA (website:, has a variety of styles, and is long lasting and high quality.


The Calphalon company was founded in 1963 by Ronald Kasperzak in Perrysburg, Ohio.  He wanted to make a cookware product that was heavy duty, easy to handle and clean, up to the standards of any professional chef, but affordable by the public.  Calphalon is lightweight, nonstick and the handles stay cool to the touch.  How many of us have burned ourselves on pot handles or needed a forklift to take an overly heavy skillet off the stovetop?  Recipes can be cooked at lower temperature settings as the heavy gauge metals used in the cookware distributes heat evenly and more quickly.  Not only does this save gas or electric, depending on your stove type, but it saves on cooking time.


No more using nonstick cooking sprays as they have a chemical within them that makes the cookware remain sticky and discolors.  Basically, you do not need to use any oils or butter to keep food from sticking; they can be primarily used for flavor enhancement if needed.  Cleanup is hot, soapy water and a simple sponge; no scratchy pads, harsh cleansers, and most certainly do NOT put the cookware into the dish washer.

Is Calphalon expensive?  Yes and no.  Most definitely yes if you are on a very tight budget, but sales and clearance sales can be found just about anywhere nowadays, especially online.  No, if you want a product that will last for years and you are tired of throwing out pans that only last 6 months to a year because they were cheap to buy and made even more cheaply.  If you have a passion for cooking and want cookware that expresses that passion, choose Calphalon.

Now that I have given you a great suggestion for gift giving, how about an idea about what to do with those turkey leftovers, and using a panini press from Calphalon.


Back on January 30, 2019, my article, “Ode to the Odiferous Onion”, appeared in the San Juan Record, and included a recipe for Sweet Onion Relish.  Time to find that recipe (also can be found on my food blog, of course), slice up some turkey and Swiss cheese, and split open a nice Kaiser, or sub, roll.  Now, while I used mayonnaise to give the exterior of the roll a light crunch, butter can be used instead; or a plant-based product if that is what is preferred in your household.


Slicing a roll open, spread some mayonnaise on each exterior side; the mayonnaise would give the bread crunch after toasting without being greasy.  For each sandwich made, slice five pieces of turkey, about 1/4" thick; Swiss cheese and sweet onion relish ready for adding.   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 am talking from experience.

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


Place the press on top of the sandwich and begin pressing down slightly; do not 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.  What a tasty way to enjoy those Thanksgiving turkey leftovers!

Mary Cokenour