Latke Panini with Apple, Spinach, Sage and Brie

Cracked a little when removed from pan ...
flavor not affected.
Isn't it fun when you discover something unique in a most unusual place?  I was trying to dream up a Chanukah-style grilled sandwich to demo at a Holiday Panini program at the local library, when a serendipitous bit of Googling led me to a "latke press sandwich" in the last place I would have guessed ...  a Seattle food truck.  With a few changes to streamline the ingredients and a few guesses at  quantities, I had my recipe!

Latkes, for those not in the know, are potato pancakes.  Because they are fried, they are a traditional savory Chanukah treat.  Normally I prefer thin and crispy home-made served with applesauce on the side.  But for this recipe, you need a thicker and slightly larger latke to have a chance at it not falling apart when you pick it up.  Which led me to an interesting discovery:  the Try-n-Save store-brand hash-brown (I think I set a record for the most hyphens in one sentence ... but I digress) patties were exactly like the kosher brand of oversized latkes. At half the price (since I was spending the library's money), store-brand won.

As you can tell in the above photo, taken in my own kitchen, you can make the panini in a regular frying pan.  Which reminds me, just keep looking at the above photo.  At the demo in the library's kitchen, we were too busy scarfing up paninis to take any photos.

Latke Panini with Apple, Spinach, Sage and Brie
Based on a menu item at Napkin Friends
Yield: 1 panini
Note:  If you don't have a panini press, place a frying pan over medium heat.  Place panini in center of pan; press down with a spatula or small saucepan.  Cook 2-3 minutes or until bottom patty is golden brown.  Gently flip panini; press and repeat another 2-3 minutes or until golden brown and cheese starts to melt.

2 store-bought hash-brown patties
2 thin slices brie, each sliced across the width to create 4 squares
2-3 baby spinach leaves, torn
1 sage leaf, chopped (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
1-2 thin slices from a small red onion, lightly chopped
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
4 thin slices from a red or green apple
olive oil cooking spray

Bake patties 1 minute less than directed on package directions or until the patties just start turning golden brown.  Remove from oven; set aside until cool enough to handle.

Heat panini press to 400F. 

Top one of the patties with 2 brie squares, followed by spinach, sage, red onion, balsamic vinegar,  apple slices and remaining brie.   Top with remaining patty.

Transfer panini to press; close cover; cook for 2-4 minutes or until top has nicely browned grill marks. 

Serve hot.


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