I love Wednesdays.
The middle day of the work week is called Sandwich Wednesday here at Glover Gardens, because the Grill-Meister is doing the cooking that night and he’s probably making a panini. Sometimes, it’s a different type of sandwich, but it’s almost always something between a couple of pieces of bread. He takes requests, prefers them even, and I usually glance one or two of his panini cookbooks on Wednesday mornings before work to decide what sounds good. (I know, I know, I’m a lucky woman!)
Last Wednesday, it was cold and we needed comfort food, and no cookbook-glancing was required. Tom had made a version of a patty melt a few months ago using ground turkey, and a repeat of that triumph was just what we needed. Warming and hearty with deep, rich flavors, this sandwich is perfect for a damp winter evening.
Here’s how he does it.
Glover Gardens Turkey Patty Melt Panini
Makes 4 Paninis
- 4 tbsp butter, separated
- 1 small red onion, quartered and thinly sliced
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 1 tbsp Zippy Sicilian (click here for the recipe) or your favorite zesty spice mix
- 1/2 lb. fontina cheese, sliced
- 8 slices of hearty bread
- Dijon mustard (optional)
Melt two tablespoons of the butter in a medium skillet, then add the onion, red pepper flakes and salt and saute at medium heat until the onions are soft. Set them aside in a small dish, reserving the pan.
Form the ground turkey into four patties (square or round, as you prefer) sized to be slightly larger than your bread. Season both sides of the patties with the Zippy Sicilian or your preferred spice mix, then saute them at medium heat in the same skillet you used for the onions until the patties are done to medium, about 4 minutes per side.
Heat the panini maker to medium-low. Spread one side of each bread slice with butter. Place on a work surface, buttered side down, and assemble the sandwiches by spreading Dijon on a slice of bread, then adding a layer of Fontina cheese slices, 1/4 of the grilled onions, a turkey patty and another layer of cheese, topping with a second slice of bread, buttered side on the outside of the sandwich. Repeat for all four sandwiches. Add the sandwiches to the panini maker and lower the lid, pressing down slightly, and cook until the bread is brown and crusty and the cheese is melting down the sides, about ten minutes.
Serve warm with a side salad or a cup of soup for a very satisfying meal.
If you want a bigger sandwich or use large slices of bread, make only three patties instead of four. We use Dave’s Good Seed bread, the thin sliced kind, that is small and square as shown in the picture above.
A variation of this sandwich the Grill-Meister makes sometimes includes sauteing sliced mushrooms along with the onions. That’s also really good, but the sandwich doesn’t need it. One of the appealing things about it is its simplicity.
You can make this sandwich like a grilled cheese if you don’t have a panini maker. Just press down with a spatula before and after turning the sandwich to compress it a little.
So, Can He Top It?
I’m thinking of what to request for tomorrow… maybe something with goat cheese, grilled bell peppers and sun-dried tomatoes… or a tuna nicoise sandwich… or a caesar salad with chicken stuffed into a pita pocket… or a caprese panini… the possibilities are endless and I am “spoiled for choice”. I love Wednesdays!
What sandwich would you request if it was Sandwich Wednesday at your house?
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