Admittedly, I am totally late to the panini press party. But I'm smitten with mine.
After purchasing one on a bit of a whim, then barely using it, I've suddenly discovered the many and often unexpected ways to use it to make my weeknight cooking faster, easy and less messy.
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, for example, cooked so quickly and so well, there was no time for them to dry out. Bacon crisped up perfectly in no time. French toast on the panini press totally rocked. And don't even get me started about the hash browns.
AP Photo - - Panini Press Turkey Medallions with Mushrooms and Asparagus.
AP Photo - - Pressed Hash Browns.
So for this recipe, I decided to do the entire meal on the press meat and a veggie side.
For the meat, I opted for turkey tenderloins sliced into thin medallions. If you'd rather do chicken, just get thinly sliced chicken breasts or slice regular breasts into cutlets. A quick Asian-style marinade effortlessly added tons of flavor and the medallions cooked in no time on the press.
For the side, I went with sliced portobello mushrooms and asparagus, both of which have the heft to stand up to the high heat of the press.
For crispiest hash browns, use panini press
To make their hash browns so satisfyingly ultra-crisp, most restaurants resort to deep-frying. But you can pull it off at home with far less mess and fat. This version uses a panini press to produce easy, fast and incredibly crispy has browns.
To make the recipe even easier, substitute frozen shredded potatoes. To do this, arrange 1/2 cup mounds of frozen shredded potatoes on the press, then close the cover and cook until lightly browned. Open the press and add another 1/2 cup of frozen shredded potatoes to each, then repeat cooking until very crisp. This two-step method is important, as frozen shredded potatoes compress more than fresh during cooking.
Pressed Hash Browns
Start to finish: 10 minutes. Serves 4.
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled
1 tablespoon butter, melted
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Start with a cold panini press or countertop grill.
Using a box grater, grate the potatoes directly onto the grill in 4 piles. Gently shape the mounds into flattish rounds.
Drizzle each mound with a bit of the butter, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Close the panini press or grill and turn on. Cook until crispy and browned, about 6 to 7 minutes. Serve immediately.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 171 calories; 27 calories from fat (16 percent of total calories); 3 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 8 mg cholesterol; 33 g carbohydrate; 4 g protein; 2 g fiber; 70 mg sodium.
Panini Press Turkey Medallions with Mushrooms and Asparagus
Start to finish: 45 minutes (15 minutes active). Serves 4.
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
Ground black pepper
1-1/4 pounds turkey tenderloin, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 bunch asparagus, bottoms trimmed, halved crosswise
2 large portobello mushrooms, cut into thick slices
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic powder, ginger and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Add the turkey rounds, turning to coat each. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a second medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, hoisin and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Add the asparagus and mushrooms, then toss to coat evenly. Set aside until the meat is ready.
Heat the oven to 200 F.
Once the meat has marinated, heat a panini press or other countertop grill (if your press has temperature settings, use high).
Arrange the turkey rounds on the panini press, close it and cook for 3 1/2 minutes, or until browned on both sides. Transfer the rounds to an oven-safe platter, sprinkle with sesame seeds, then place in the oven to keep warm.
Arrange the asparagus and mushrooms on the panini press, close it and cook for 3 minutes, or until the vegetables are nicely seared and just tender. Sprinkle them with the salt, then cook for another minute. Serve the vegetables with the turkey medallions.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 346 calories; 141 calories from fat (41 percent of total calories); 16 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 56 mg cholesterol; 14 g carbohydrate; 39 g protein; 3 g fiber; 1,137 mg sodium.