A Kentucky Hot Brown Panini

Happy Hump Day! I’m not sure that Wednesday is quite what it used to be.  It used to represent that we were half way through the work week, but I think many of us work seven days a week now on some level, so maybe we should declare Thursday as Hump Day!  What do you think?

Life seems busier than it has ever been and I think that’s true for most of us these days.  This is also a busy time of year with Mother’s Day and the Kentucky Derby next weekend.  Kids will be out of school soon and there are graduations and summer vacations.  Yikes!  Who has time to cook and clean?  This is when kitchen and housekeeping fairies would come in handy. 😉

These hectic times call for less cooking and more time to enjoy family, friends and free time spent away from the kitchen and more time spent in the great outdoors!

Just for these reasons, I was excited to be able to try the Panini Grill from my friends and neighbors here in Atlanta, Calphalon.  They were also one of our sponsors for last year’s Food Blog Forum in Atlanta.

You can win one of these!

The Panini Grill is not just for making panini sandwiches.  It is also great for cooking burgers, grilling chicken or pork chops without having to turn on your oven or stove.  I appreciate being able to prepare a quick meal without heating up the kitchen more than necessary when it’s hot outside.  I know that you will be excited to be able to win one of these for yourself or for your mother just in time for Mother’s Day!

You might remember that I made this Baked Ham and Farmhouse Cheddar Panini with a Spicy Fig Jam that got a wee bit too crunchy for Mr. Bunkycooks (as in he broke a tooth crunchy), so this time I was very thoughtful about the bread I bought.  I was sure to purchase very soft bread and thankfully, the grill allows the bread to toast without getting too hard.  It left nice grill marks and browned the bread, without making it overly crunchy.

I first made a very healthy sandwich with the grill that was a hit with everyone.  It combined grilled eggplant, freshly roasted red peppers, buffalo mozzarella and homemade pesto.  I used an organic round loaf of white bread for this.  The flavors were delectable together and I would highly recommend that combination.

This veggie panini is perfect for a warm weather supper.

I also made a sandwich that was inspired by our trip to Louisville and the Hot Brown sandwich at the Brown Hotel.  This would be perfect for your Kentucky Derby party or a Mother’s Day brunch.  I made a Hot Brown Panini with a pullman Brioche loaf and a very cheesy Mornay Sauce.  Needless, to say, this won the highest votes from Mr. B!  Who wouldn’t love this combination?

Sweet and buttery brioche bread

I combined freshly roasted turkey breast, thickly sliced hickory smoked bacon, fresh oven-broiled Heirloom tomatoes and Mornay Sauce on slices of this beautiful bread.  You need nothing on the outside to toast the bread since it is already filled with buttery goodness.

Layer all of your ingredients on the brioche slices before placing on the Panini Grill.

We roasted slices of Heirloom tomatoes in the oven with a little salt and pepper for just a few minutes under the broiler.  It gives them a little bit of extra flavor and caramelization.

Cook the sandwich on low first to warm it all the way through, then turn up the heat to toast the bread.

This panini is perfect for your Derby Day party, Mother’s Day or a quick supper.  It’s so good, I think I will have to make a few more! 🙂

There are all sorts of things you will be able to do with your new Panini Grill, so I hope you win!

Here is how you enter the giveaway:


Regretfully, due to the weight and contents, this package can only be shipped to a winner in the U.S.  I apologize to my readers that live outside of the U.S.

Leave me a comment telling me what you you are looking forward to doing with your family or friends this Summer!

Extra Entries:
Here are four additional ways that you can enter.

1. Follow @Calphalon on Twitter and @bunkycooks on Twitter.  Leave a comment here indicating that you are now a follower. If you are already a follower, you can leave a comment saying you are.

2. Tweet about this giveaway. Here is the link to tweet http://tinyurl.com/6g7aff5.  Leave a comment and tell me that you have tweeted it.

3. “Like” Calphalon on Facebook and Bunkycooks on Facebook. Leave a comment here indicating you”like” us. If you already “like” us, you can leave a comment saying you do.

4. Subscribe to Bunkycooks by RSS feed or email. Leave a comment saying you are now a subscriber. If you are already a subscriber, you can leave a comment saying you are.

*** Please be sure to leave separate comments!  I will count one comment as one entry.  Thank you!

The more times you leave a comment, the more chances you have to win! That would be 5 chances total (but, who’s counting?!). I will be using random.org to pick the winner.

This giveaway ends at 5 pm EST on Wednesday May 4th, 2011.

I will notify the winner by email. Please get back to me with your shipping information within 48 hours.

Good Luck!




Kentucky Hot Brown Panini


For panini:

Thick slices of roasted turkey breast (enough for 2 large sandwiches)

4 slices thick hickory smoked bacon, cooked

4 slices Heirloom tomatoes, lightly salted and peppered and broiled in the oven

Mornay Sauce (recipe below)

4 slices thick brioche bread (pullman style, if possible)

For Mornay Sauce:

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 cup whole milk

1/2 cup grated, good sharp cheddar cheese

1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano

Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste

Dash Worcestershire Sauce


For panini:

Preheat Panini Grill. Put the heat on a lower setting at first.

Assemble the sandwich layering the bread, turkey, tomatoes, bacon and finally topping with a little Mornay Sauce and the bread.

When the grill is ready, place sandwiches on the grill for a few minutes until sandwich is warmed throughout. Turn up the heat for a few minutes, checking to make sure the bread is nicely browned and toasted. Remove and serve with additional Mornay Sauce, if desired.

For Mornay Sauce:

In a medium saucepan melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the roux is pale, about 1 minute. Do not allow it to brown. Slowly whisk in the milk and continue to whisk until the sauce thickens and comes to a boil, about 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and whisk in the grated cheeses until they have completely melted. Add salt, freshly ground white pepper and Worcestershire Sauce to taste. Serve immediately.