I am not the type to go out and buy an expensive kitchen gadget like an almost $200 Cuisinart Griddler, however when I found one at Costco for only $70, it was quite a different story! I had used my Mom's over the Christmas holiday and fell in love with the paninis it made, so I splurged and got one for myself and one for my best friend Christy for Christmas. Since then I have been on a quest to create as many different panini combinations as I can. Heather's Sausage, Pepper and Onion Panini is my latest experiment, and I must say, it turned out very well!
Heather's Sausage, Pepper and Onion Panini
1 package Turkey Smoked Sausage
Bread or sandwich rolls (4 servings worth)
4 pieces of reduced fat swiss cheese
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 green pepper
1 t. dried basil
2 t. white wine vinegar
prepared spicy mustard
Cut the bell peppers and onions into strips.
Cut the Turkey Smoked Sausage into thin slices.
Heat a large pan over medium heat, add the sausage, sprinkle with salt, pepper and basil. Cook until the sausage is heated through and brown around the edges. Remove and place into a bowl.
Add the bell peppers, onions and vinegar to the same pan over medium heat, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until slightly wilted. Return the sausage to the pan to reheat through.
In the meantime slice the bread and remove the excess middle part of the bread, you can leave it if you desire, but I find it to be too "bready." Toast the pieces of bread slightly and coat each side with spicy mustard.
Working two paninis at a time, cover the bottom piece of bread with a fourth of the sausage, pepper and onion mixture. Top each with a slice of cheese and then the cover with the top piece of bread.
Using a panini press: Cook until cheese is melted and the outside of the bread is crispy.
Using a pan: Heat over medium heat, add the paninis and press down with another pan or a brick covered in tin foil. Flip half way through.
Using the same pan, sprinkle the bell peppers and onions with salt and pepper and cook over medium heat.
Working with two paninis at a time, top the bottom slices of the bread with the sausage, pepper and onion mixture.Even before I got my fancy griddler I loved making pressed sandwiches. All you need is a heavy pan or a brick covered in tin-foil to press down on the top of the sandwich. I have been making paninis this way for years. I was absolutely pleased with the way my Heather's Sausage, Pepper and Onion Panini turned out. Turkey Smoked Sausage, especially the Jenny-O brand is really tasty, I don't miss the full fat version at all. The combination of the turkey sausage, peppers and onions is always a winner for me, weather it is paired with eggs for breakfast or cooked with potatoes for dinner. These flavors were enhanced even further with swiss cheese added and pressed between two pieces of good bread. I am anxious to experiment with new ingredients, but my Heather's Sausage, Pepper and Onion Panini will be made again very soon.