Wednesday, February 20, 2008

For the Love of Sierra Turkey

Have you been to a Panera? Did you love it? Did you vow to go back every chance you could? No? Hmm. Then you must not have had a Sierra Turkey Sandwich, because, surely, all those who have had the Sierra Turkey Sandwich have experienced Panera Love, or at least Sierra Turkey Love.

I first discovered Panera when I was in college. I can't remember the first time I went though. My most vivid memories of it are going after I met Adam. (Adam is my fiancé, the only person I cook for, whom I've previously referred to by dumb names like Mr. Man because he didn't want me to use his real name. But I am now using his real name, so now you know it, and the next time you meet an Adam, just know that it's probably the very same one I'm referring to here, because Adam is such a rare name.) So anyway, Adam likes to assert his individuality by pretending to disdain popular businesses (you'll never get him to admit that he likes Starbucks coffee, but he does), so whenever I wanted to go to Panera, I would have to drag him. However, it only took a single visit there with me and only one bite of my sandwich before he, too, was overpowered by Sierra Turkey Love. Now whenever we go, he will refuse to order his own Sierra Turkey, but then he'll try to take half of mine. And I will oblige, because I'm that giving of a person.

You see, the Sierra Turkey is a simple yet wonderful blend of focaccia, turkey, field greens, and chipotle mayonnaise. I don't know what it is about these ingredients, but when they come together, it's delicious. There's a Panera within walking distance of where I live, but, to indulge my preferred hermit-like state, I had to learn how to make these at home. And the good news is that it's super easy, especially if you have a bread machine.

The Focaccia*
originally from Bread Machine Focaccia

1 cup lukewarm water
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus coarse salt for garnish
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, plus extra leaves for garnish
3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

Add water, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, garlic, 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary, flour, and yeast to pan of bread machine. Select dough cycle.

When dough is finished, use floured hands to shape dough into a circle on a 12-inch pizza pan. Use your fingertips to dimple the surface of the dough. Brush with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and scatter evenly with rosemary leaves and a pinch or two of coarse salt. Cover with plastic wrap and preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Bake for 20 minutes in preheated oven. Allow to cool on wire rack before cutting and serving.

*Adam was thoughtful enough to point out that this recipe isn’t just like Panera’s, because Panera uses Asiago focaccia for the Sierra Turkey. I tried modifying this same recipe by adding a quarter cup of grated Asiago to the dough and a few extra shavings to the top. I wasn’t happy with the result though. I couldn’t really taste the Asiago, and I thought that the small amount I’d added had dried out the bread. So no Asiago focaccia this time, and I continue my search for a recipe. If you know a good one, do share!

The Chipotle Mayo
originally from Chipotle Mayonnaise

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 chipotle pepper in adobo, seeds removed and roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon dried crushed oregano

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl or, for a smoother result, blend in food processor.

The Sandwich

For two sandwiches, cut the focaccia in quarters and set aside two quarters for later. Cut the remaining two quarters in half through the middle so that you have four pieces, and spread the inside of each piece with a couple tablespoons of chipotle mayo. Layer the bottom pieces with greens (baby lettuces are good here, but I use arugula) and top that with about 1/4 lb. of turkey per sandwich. This part is really important, because the turkey can make or break the sandwich. Use the best, juiciest turkey you can get--I use Black Forest smoked turkey, thinly sliced. Finally, place the tops on the sandwiches, and, because this is how they do it at Panera, serve with kettle chips. I have a penchant for Grandma Utz's, just because they're the best.

10 comments:

chiff0nade said...

As most bloggers know, I am a PROFESSIONAL CHEF who attended Peter Kump's Culinary School in my home town of Brooklyn.

Of course, I had to leave NY because of legal issues and move to Clearwater (my daughter has some drug problems, you understand).

But I met a GREAT guy who simply LOVES turkey sandwiches:

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=6922230917297691531&postID=2434694493486868095

Of course, they are picking on him now just like they did me.

But as soon as he gets out, I am going to make him a Sierra Turkey sandwich just as you pictured.

Thanks for the idea. And, GREETINGS from Clearwater!

chiff0nade said...

I'm sorry, but I messed up the above posted comment (I shouldn't post when i'm smokin'). The link to my boyfriend's troubles above was wrong. Sorry!
-------------------------------

As most bloggers know, I am a PROFESSIONAL CHEF who attended Peter Kump's Culinary School in my home town of Brooklyn.

Of course, I had to leave NY because of legal issues and move to Clearwater (my daughter has some drug problems, you understand).

But I met a GREAT guy who simply LOVES turkey sandwiches:

http://suncoastpinellas.tbo.com/content/2008/feb/20/man-airport-had-box-cutter-hidden-book/

Of course, they are picking on him now just like they did me.

But as soon as he gets out, I am going to make him a Sierra Turkey sandwich just as you pictured.

Thanks for the idea. And, GREETINGS from Clearwater!

Kevin said...

That sandwich looks good and the mayo sounds nice and tasty.

Deborah Dowd said...

I am not fond of Panera, but mainly because when I pat to go out to eat I want someone to come to my table, and Panera is too much like a fast food experience for me, but this turkey sandwich sounds delicious. I never would have thought of making foccacia bread in my bread machine, but now, thanks to you, I will give it a try!

kristina said...

I remembered seeing this sandwich on your blog a while back and gave it a try this weekend. Delicious! Definitely my new fave at Panera. Unfortunately I don't have a bread machine. Oh, the gadgets I would have if my kitchen were bigger!

MrsQriist said...

Before Panera changed their foccacia and got rid of all the flavored versions (and before I moved to a state with NO PANERA!!!), I always ordered my Sierra Turkey on the rosemary onion focaccia (sp?) anyway :) Thanks for the recipe! Now I just need a bread machine...

denim aprons said...

the sandwich appears to be a food of a 5 star hotel. very classy to be looked at.

peny113 said...

Wow! Mouthwatering and looks so delicious. Thanks for the recipe. I'm excited to try this, eh. :)

Truly
Peny@littman stethoscope

Karen Chamberlin said...

I love the sierra turkey sandwich even though it has an entire days worth of calories. I think you forgot an ingredient...thinly sliced red onion.

Anonymous said...

Great recipe! just forgot the red onion!