On a hot summer day, slaving over a stove is not appealing. And somedays, it is even too hot outside to stand in front of the grill. At times like this, having a George Foreman grill and pretending it is a panini press is the best plan.
George was put to work on Rachael Ray's Smoked Turkey Panini. This one was included in the weekly menu planner from Every Day with Rachael Ray. If you have ever seen any Gordon Ramsay shows (I have a crush on him), you know that he is always emphasizing simple recipes with great ingredients. This recipe is a good example of that - get really good ingredients because there aren't that many of them.
I only made one change to this recipe - I used sourdough bread instead of a loaf of Italian bread. I made that change in accordance with my dwindling adherence to the South Beach Diet (my husband and I call it Phase 4). The South Beach Diet advises that sourdough is a bit better for you than regular white bread because your body has to burn more calories to digest the acidity in the bread. And, sourdough is my favorite bread anyways. I also bought a salad in a bag and called it a (hot) day. Here's the recipe with my comments in brackets.
Smoked Turkey Panini
From Every Day with Rachael Ray
MAKES 4 SANDWICHES
PREP TIME 10 min; COOK TIME 25 min
4 tablespoons unsalted butter [I don't know why I should use unsalted (other than the obvious lack of salt). I just do as I'm told.]
2 Granny Smith apples—peeled, quartered, cored and thinly sliced [Rachael quarters the apple after peeling it, then cuts the core out by cutting it out lengthwise on an angle (the same way she cores pineapple and other fruit).]
1 loaf Italian bread, cut into 4 equal pieces, then each in half lengthwise
1/2 pound smoked Gouda cheese, grated [I was too lazy to grate mine, but it probably would have made it melt faster, so it you have the energy, get grating.]
1/2 pound thinly sliced deli smoked turkey
1. In a grill pan over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Cook the apples until just softened, about 5 minutes. Remove the apples from the pan and reserve; don't clean the pan. [It was a little tough to put butter on the George Foreman (since part of it is vertical), so I just used the bottom to grill the apples. For the sammies, I just rubbed the butter on both sides of the grill and got the sammy on there ASAP, before the butter ran down.]
2. Top each of the 4 bread bottoms with one-fourth of the cheese, turkey and cooked apples, and the bread tops.
3. Melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter in the grill pan over medium heat. Add 1 sandwich and place a heavy pan on top of it to press it down. Grill for 3 minutes, pressing down occasionally, then turn over and continue cooking until the bread is toasted and the cheese has melted, about 2 minutes more. Grill the remaining sandwiches, adding another 1/2 tablespoon of butter each time before grilling.