Monday, November 21, 2016

Turkey Bacon Avocado Paninis

It has been one of those kind of weeks.

Last Monday, a familiar but most unwelcome acquaintance set up shop in my house- the common cold. And ugh, it has been anything but fun. I've been running the gambit from sore throat to fever to head fog to a lost voice. Truly, by the end of the day Saturday, the hubby and I were communicating by text. I'm normally a very quiet person, but found the sensation of not being able to talk very unpleasant. Not cool when you are trying to watch Oregon football! 😑 Luckily, I'm on the mend. My voice is back and with only a nasty cough left, I'm pretty much over the hump.

Good thing too, because I'm doing the Thanksgiving shopping today πŸ™€

There's hardly anything I like less than holiday shopping. If I could just curl up in a ball on my couch with a mug full of spiked egg nog whispering to myself "Go to your happy place" for the whole holiday season, well, that sounds likes something I could handle. I was hoping to get out early today, but then spent most of the night coughing and not exactly sleeping. I exhaustedly fell asleep after the hubby left for work soooooooo- 

I'm probably not getting out early.

That's ok. Flexibility is a trait I admire and hope to display more of at sometime in the future. Because I'll be getting out later, I'll be fighting more crowds. Which could lead to some crankiness due to my health factor being less than 100% and let's face it- it's me. I'd be cranky anyway. Needless to say, I'm not going to feel like cooking much when I get home and I'm definitely going to feel like comfort food. 

For me, sandwiches are one of my ultimate comfort foods. I order sandwiches when I'm sick, when I'm hungover, when I'm healthy, and just because I love sandwiches, gosh darn it. They're easy. Fast. They're tasty. You can slather in them in melted cheese, crispy bacon, creamy avocado and just lose yourself in sandwich heaven. 

Ohhhhhhh. Yeaahhhhhhhhhh. 

Did I mention fast and easy, and perfect for after a long day of fighting holiday shoppers? Let's talk paninis!

First of all, you can fry your bacon up just like normal. I chose to bake mine. I love baking bacon for sandwiches because it bakes up flat. Which makes it perfect for sandwiches. 

It also makes for much easier cleanup πŸ˜€ Everyone loves an easy cleanup, especially during the holiday season. At any rate, I bake my bacon on a foil-covered pan at 400ΒΊ for 15-20 minutes. Works like charm! 

I made a garlic aioli for the sandwiches, which I liked. However, the hubby said-

Too much garlic. Duly. Noted.

I have adjusted the recipe accordingly 😁

I used my leftover Buttermilk Brined Turkey Tenderloin, which I simply sliced a little bit thinner for the sandwiches. 

The few other items you will need? Tomato and avocado (duh). And finally, you'll need cheese! What's a hot sandwich without melty cheese? 

Not a lot, if you ask me πŸ˜‚

I cannot believe this is the first panini recipe I'm sharing. The hubby got a panini press for Christmas last year, and we've made quite a few sandwiches on it. We didn't use it much over the summer, but it's that time of the year for hot sandwiches again. I suspect it'll remain on the counter for much of the winter. 

Don't have a panini press? That's ok! You don't actually need one. Sure, they are handy and give the bread nice looking lines. But you can get a hot pressed sandwich without one. The trick I've always heard was to put the sandwich in a fry pan and then place an item on top of the sandwich to weigh it down. An aluminum-foil covered brick is a common item you'll see being used to weigh down the sandwich. 

I realize I'm being vague about that whole process, so I've included how-to tips for DIY panini's:

Another tip for panini's- don't use regular, floppy bread. You'll need a sturdy type of bread to stand up to the cooking process. I used a thick Sourdough bread. 

Panini's can be piled quite high because you are going to be pressing them down! 

In fact, they are about half as thick when they get done cooking. Oh, that cheese! 😍

I'm thinking this sounds like the perfect comfort food for a sick girl and will most likely be on my menu tonight. And hey, it would also be a great recipe to make with all that a leftover turkey you'll have from Thanksgiving. It'll definitely be on my leftover menu πŸ˜€

I hope everyone had a great weekend! 

Ingredients (makes 2 sandwiches):

4 slices of bacon, uncooked
1/4 cup mayo
1/2 to 1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
4 slices of sturdy bread (I used Sourdough)
6-8 ounces of turkey breast (I used Buttermilk Brined Turkey Tenderloin)
1/2 avocado, thinly sliced
1 plum tomato, thinly sliced
2 slices of mozzarella cheese


1. Preheat oven to 400ΒΊ. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place bacon strips on baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until bacon is crispy, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat, set aside.
2. In a small bowl, combine mayo and garlic. Mix until well combined.
3. Preheat a panini press to 350ΒΊ. Brush olive oil onto one side of bread, then flip bread over on a clean surface. Spread 1 tbsp of garlic mayo onto opposite side of bread. Layer 3-4 ounces of turkey on sandwich, followed by 2 bacon strips, avocado slices, tomato slices, and last, a slice of cheese. Spread another tbsp of mayo onto bread and place bread on top of sandwich. Brush olive oil onto top of bread. Place sandwich on panini press, adjust the press height, and cook for 4 minutes. Prepare 2nd sandwich while 1st one is cooking. Remove panini from press and set aside. Cook 2nd sandwich. 
4. Slice sandwiches in half and serve immediately!

*Don't have a panini press? See tips listed earlier in this post for pressing your sandwich!

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  1. I think I have died and gone to heaven just reading this! YUM!!! I'm glad you are on the mend. Be good to yourself and don't push yourself too hard. Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Thanks Debbie! I'm almost 100% now, just a tiny remnant of a cough left. Turkey Day wasn't too hard on me πŸ˜‚

      Happy Thanksgiving Debbie! πŸ¦ƒ

  2. This is one of my most favorite sandwiches although I'm never made it into a panini. I will! The only think I add is bean sprouts! YUM!!

    1. Oooh, I love bean sprouts. Sounds like great addition! πŸ‘πŸ»

      I hope you had a great holiday Kelli! πŸ˜€

  3. That is a sandwich that would bring a smile to my face any day, but especially if I wasn't feeling well!
    Hope you are feeling better and had a great Thanksgiving with lots of yumminess!
    And a little fun from the greatest sandwich lover of all:

    1. LOL! I love that clip! "I said you could have A bite!" πŸ˜‚


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