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Strawberry, Turkey and Brie Grilled Cheese

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My mouth started watering when I spied this panini on Ann’s blog, Cooking Healthy for Me.  Sweet, salty and spicy flavors all in one sandwich. The contrast in colors and texture was tantalizing to both the eyes and the palate.  This is my first month participating in the Crazy Cooking Challenge…and our theme was Grilled Cheese.

I adore the classic grilled cheese: crisp buttery toast with hot, gooey cheese in every bite….mmmmmm.  I’ve been on the lookout for a new, blog-worthy option since joining the challenge…and Ann’s photos and description were most tempting. I printed off a copy of the recipe.

My sister, Maddy, was here for a visit and we whipped these up one day for lunch. In agreement, we decided this was the best lunch either of us had eaten in months. The unusual mix of ingredients tasted incredible. If you have a panini press, go ahead and go that route, but simply sauteing in a fry pan created an amazing, out of the ordinary, grilled cheese sandwich.

Strawberry, Turkey and Brie Grilled Cheese

8 ounces brie, rind removed, and sliced into ½ inch thick slices
8 slices bread (I used ciabatta)
8 ounces sliced smoked turkey (I used 8 slices)
8 fresh basil leaves, rolled and sliced into thin slices (chiffonade)
½ cup sliced strawberries
2 tablespoons pepper jelly
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Whole or halved strawberries for garnish, optional
Layer 4 bread slices evenly with turkey, basil leaves, strawberries and brie.
Spread 1 ½ teaspoons pepper jelly on one side of each of the remaining 4 bread slices.  Place bread slices, face down on top of brie.  Brush sandwiches with melted butter.
Cook sandwiches, in batches in a preheated Panini press 2 to 3 minutes or till golden brown…or sauté in fry pan until golden brown.  Garnish, if desired.
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