Leftover Turkey Panini: Turkey Cuban Panini

by on November 26, 2009

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I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

My second of three panini ideas to use up that leftover turkey – Turkey Cuban Panini –  was actually inspired by Bobby Flay, my off-and-on chef crush. I had the chance to meet him about seven years ago on a visit to Mesa Grill in New York City. When he came out onto the floor in his chef whites with his name embroidered on the chest I was definitely reduced to giggling schoolgirl status. I remember he asked me where I liked to eat in Los Angeles (I was living there at the time) and I quickly debated in my head whether to try and impress him with a fine dining-type place or just go with a neighborhood favorite. I went with the latter, The Gardens of Taxco in West Hollywood. If he ever did go, I’m sure he got a kick of out of “the best moleeeeeee in towwwwwnnn…” (folks who’ve been there know what I’m referring to :-)).

These days I imagine it’s a bit harder to run into Bobby at Mesa Grill, with five more restaurants now open, the TV shows, cookbooks, product lines…and a recent partnership with Best Foods (east of the Rockies you know it as Hellmann’s). His Turkey Cuban sandwich recipe was actually one he created for Best Foods – I first saw it in a magazine ad, but you can also find it here. In addition to leftover turkey he also parlayed leftover cranberry sauce into a cranberry-Dijon mayonnaise condiment, which I thought was creative. I usually find the roast pork to be one of the best parts of a traditional Cuban sandwich, but I have to say that turkey does make a good substitute. And between the cranberry-Dijon mayo, ham and pickles the sandwiches are definitely not lacking in flavor.

Since Bobby’s recipe was for a mayonnaise company, you can believe mayo featured rather prominently in it – even spread on the outside of the sandwich! In my version, I opted to leave that step out and still enjoyed the panini immensely.

Turkey Cuban Panini

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy:

>Ready to buy a panini press? Check out my Panini Press Buying Guide for the features to look for.

>Want more panini recipes? See my Recipe Index for a list of all recipes on Panini Happy.

>Traveling to a new city soon? Browse Panini Happy’s Great American Sandwich Guide to find the best sandwiches across the country!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Natashya November 27, 2009 at 7:09 am

Sounds yummy, how wonderful to have met Bobby Flay!
.-= Natashya´s last blog ..Further Adventures in Cheese – Mascarpone =-.


2 Kevin November 28, 2009 at 5:20 am

Great leftover turkey panini! The mayo, cranberry and turkey flavour combo is so good and then you add salt ham…mmm…


3 nina November 28, 2009 at 5:31 am

I only saw him on Iron Chef, but I’ll be happy just to eat one of his paninnis!!


4 Ingrid July 20, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Turkey panini….sounds great right now!


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