Thursday, March 12, 2009

Heather's Sausage, Pepper and Onion Panini


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

Ingredients:

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
1/2 onion
1 t. dried basil
2 t. white wine vinegar
salt
pepper
prepared spicy mustard

Directions:

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.

Lean Smoked Turkey Sausage.

Cut the bell peppers and onions into strips.

Cut the Turkey Smoked Sausage into thin slices.

Sprinkle sausage with salt, pepper and basil.

Cook over medium heat until the sausage is heated through and browned on the edges.

Transfer sausage to a bowl.

Using the same pan, sprinkle the bell peppers and onions with salt and pepper and cook over medium heat.

Cook until bell peppers and onions are softened to the point that you desire.

Return sausage to the pan and reheat through.

Unwrap the bread of your choice, I have selected a fresh store bought loaf of Wheat French Bread.

Cut the bread into four equal pieces.

Using your fingers, remove the excess center part of the bread.

To ensure a crispy sandwich, toast the bread slightly before assembling the panini.

Spread both sides of the bread for each panini with the spicy mustard.

Working with two paninis at a time, top the bottom slices of the bread with the sausage, pepper and onion mixture.

Top each panini with a slice of cheese.

Cover each panini with the top slice of bread.

Place paninis on a preheated grill press or into a preheated pan set to medium heat.

Press down with top of press, or if pan cooking with another pan or tin-foil covered brick.

Cook until the cheese has melted and the outside of the panini is crispy.

Remove and serve.

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.

-Heather

2 comments:

Terri said...

Thanks for posting this! It looks like a very 'weeone' friendly recipe! I'm going to add it to our menu this week.

By the way - is that a Cuisinart Griddler with the removable plates? How do you like it??? I've been drooling over them!

Josie said...

Looks tasty to me - using the turkey sausage is a great idea. I will have to try this out on my grill.

Also - I read your post about roasted broccoli and was thinking - maybe the original recipe intended for you to leave the broccoli in bigger clumps so it wouldn't cook as quickly? I always roast broccoli at about 450 degrees for probably 15 minutes, and it comes out great :)