Happy National Sandwich Day!! I was so excited to make a sandwich for dinner tonight, first off sandwiches are so versatile and they are also super easy to make. A few years ago Matt got me a Panini press for an anniversary present along with my pasta machine, they are both two things that I love to use. I have made many sandwiches and other glorious foods with my panini press, I love the beautiful grill marks that are left on the bread and the even melt on the cheese in the sandwiches.
Do you have a favorite cheese, bread or filling that you use for sandwiches? I have more then I could probably name on here that I love. Here in Calgary there is a sandwich chain named Chachi's, this place just blows your mind with their flavors. One that I love is their "Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese" sandwich, it is exactly as it sounds, pulled pork with mac and cheese on top. That sandwich is just a KAPOW of flavor in your mouth. They also have this Vanilla Bourbon lemonade that is to die for as well, no worries it is just bourbon flavor not the actual alcohol. If you are ever near a Chachi's you need to eat there, need too!
Something that I loved at Chachi's as well is you can buy their homemade potato chips, they are the thick kind as well that I love. Tonight I decided to pair the sandwich with homemade chips, they were also fairly simple and you can season with just salt or you can play around with flavors.
One thing about living on the prairies, especially during the colder months is that going into town for a good sandwich or if a craving hits and you want some chips is not always a feasible option. There have been times where we have white out conditions out here on the ranch, or the snow drifts were pretty high that we had to wait for a tractor to plow through. There are also days when a chinook hits and warms everything up but as soon as night hits the road turns into an ice rink and you just don't risk your life for a bag of chips.
Here is where learning how to make them comes in handy, or it's dangerous for my waistline, at least they are homemade right? That takes away the calorie count haha, I will keep telling myself that! I just loved the perfect brownness and crispiness to them, they were perfect!
There are a few steps to making the chips but as long as you get the starch out by soaking the slices for an hour they turn out great. They are worth it, and make a perfect little treat and side for your panini.
The panini press I have is from Hamilton Beach, it works great and has a lock on it so you can really press down and get those great grill marks and it secures it in place so you don't have to stand there and hold it down. See doesn't that just look like it is trapping all the amazing heat and juices inside the sandwich and letting it totally melt all the cheese evenly. I know you can smell that sandwich through the computer...
There is an art to making sandwiches, food in general I find is a form of art, but sandwiches, everyone has their own way of compiling them. I like to watch how people compile their sandwiches, I feel it tells something about the person, or I am just a weirdo who observes people in a creepy way... nah right? Maybe? Let's just go with I am an observant person, that makes me feel better, less that I am a creeper.
When I put mine together there has to be the right amount of mayo or it throws everything off! Too little and the sandwich is dry, too much and it is a soggy gross mess, there is a fine balance of mayo to bread to toppings ratio. It also has to be spread evenly, there is nothing worse then opening your sandwich from a well known chain or a burger, and the mayo is a big glob on one end, or it's leaked out all over the wrapping. That is a no no and a fail! So people right mayo etiquette is a must to learn.
Roasted Red Pepper, Turkey Panini
1 Jar of Roasted Red Pepper in Oil
3 Rectangle Ciabatta Buns
1 Cup of Fresh Spinach
6 Slices of Gruyere Cheese
1.2 Cup of Mayo
1 Tablespoon of Garlic Powder
1 - 300 Gram Container of Sliced Turkey Breast
1 Large Beef Steak Tomato
4 Large Red Potatoes, skin peeled off
Pink Himalayan Salt
Oil for Deep Frying
For the Potato Chips
In a food processor set to a slicing setting, take your potatoes and one at a time place them into the food processor and push them through. You want the slices to be fairly thin, around 3 mm (millimeters) thick.
In a large bowl place the potato slices in, fill the bowl up with water, swish the potatoes around and drain the water. The water will look cloudy which is the starch being washed out of the potatoes. Fill the bowl back up with water and allow to sit for up to an hour. Drain and then dry the potatoes on a clean dish towel, you want as much excess water to drain off as possible.
In a large deep pot or in a deep fryer add your canola oil, or desired oil. Heat up the oil till it is 375F. Drop a handful of potatoes into the pot or basket of the deep fryer at a time. Fry them for about 5 minutes or until golden brown, remove and place the potatoes onto a paper towel lined baking sheet or a newspaper lined baking sheet. This allows the excess grease to be soaked up. Sprinkle with salt right away.
Repeat with the rest of the potatoes, then serve with the sandwich.
For the Sandwich
In a small bowl mix the mayo and garlic powder, cover and place in the fridge for an hour. Slice the tomato.
Cut the bread width wise, but do not open it up all the way. Spread the mayo on each side, evenly spread it to cover the whole bread. Layer the cheese on one side, the meat on the other, then add the other toppings. Close the sandwich up.
Plug the Panini press in, allow it to come up to the right heat. Place the sandwich in the center and press the top down, tighten up the lock to lock it in place. Cook for about 5 minutes, unlock the press, check on the sandwich. If it needs more time cook it for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Once done, slice in half with a serrated bread knife, with a toothpick place one slice of roasted red pepper on top of the sandwich for decoration and enjoy with a side of your homemade chips!
You won't regret making this sandwich, it hit the right spot on this day to remember sandwiches!
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