Life is full of firsts.
In the mail today I received a cheque for $ 25 from Presto - Ontario's new automated fare payment system - in response to a 'pithy' e-mail I fired off when I felt their instructions for activation were less than satisfactory.
Similarly, for the first time in the history of the DeQuetteville clan we ran out of turkey BEFORE I was sick of eating the damn stuff. In fairness to the deceased - lest jokes be made about his tiny size - size being a sensitive topic, you know - we had purchased a small turkey on purpose - there was no need to try and cope with a 25 pound gobbler in a vacation rental kitchen. This was silly though - 1 dinner, a set of sandwiches, some leftovers packed up for mom, a batch of turkey soup, and one dinner for us and we're out.
I have not used any of the recipes I collect throughout the year and file away in the 'ways to use leftover turkey' file.
Such are the activities of the food obsessed, people.
This recipe was conveniently delivered into my e-mail box this afternoon. It looked so brilliant that I actually went out and purchased MORE turkey so I could make these sandwiches to go with the turkey soup tonight.
The good folks of Fine Cooking had this to say about these rather adult 'grilled cheeses':
No, this isn't the grilled cheese of your childhood—it's better. Brie stands in for Cheddar and the turkey and pear are a nod to fresh fall flavors. Don't have turkey? Chicken will work just fine. If you have a panini maker, this sandwich is a great excuse to use it.
This is what Jerry has to say - do NOT forgo an opportunity to make these amazing grilled sandwiches. If you have a wee turkey you should open a can of Spam for the aunt you don't much care for thereby saving some of the precious turkey for YOU to enjoy after the relatives have departed. Whatever your technique DO save some turkey so you can whip up a batch of these - you won't regret it.
The only thing I did differently was NOT to utter the bread - I find that a hot panini press provides a crispy toasted sandwich just fine as it is. Mind you, with all of the brie on these why they hell did I care about cutting out a smidgen of butter?
Grilled Pear, Turkey, and Brie Panini
One-half ripe pear, cored and thinly sliced
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1-1/2 cups (about 8 oz.) shredded cooked turkey or chicken
1-1/2 tsp. lightly chopped fresh thyme leaves
Eight 1/2- to 3/4-inch-thick slices artisan-style whole-grain sandwich bread
2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
8 oz. Brie, sliced
4 tsp. unsalted butter, softened
In a small bowl, toss the pear slices with the lemon juice. Heat a large skillet or griddle over low heat.
Meanwhile, toss the turkey and thyme in a medium bowl. Spread each bread slice with mustard. Arrange half of the Brie on four slices of the bread. Layer the pears over the Brie. Mound the turkey mixture on top of the pears, layer on the remaining Brie, and top with the remaining bread slices mustard side down.
Lightly spread the tops of the sandwiches with half of the butter and set them, buttered side down, in the heated skillet (if necessary, cook the sandwiches in two batches). Set a large heavy skillet right on top of the sandwiches and put 2 lb. of weights (canned goods work well) in the empty skillet. Cook the sandwiches until golden brown on one side, about 4 minutes.
Remove the weights, butter the sandwich tops, and turn the sandwiches over. Replace the skillet and weights and continue to cook until the second side is golden brown and the cheese is oozy, about 4 minutes longer. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve.