Spicy Barbecue Steak Panini with Crispy Onions

Spicy Barbecue Steak Panini with Crispy Onions
Spicy Barbecue Steak Panini with Crispy Onions

Pre-heat Panini grill to high

Candy/deep-fry thermometer

Vegetable oil

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tbsp salt

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

½ tsp paprika

1 large onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings

2 hoagie buns, split

1 tbsp butter, melted

1 tbsp mayonnaise

4-oz leftover grilled steak, thinly sliced (about 6 slices)

2-oz smoked Cheddar cheese, thinly sliced

1/3 cup chipotle barbecue sauce

1. In a deep, heavy skillet, heat about 2 inches of oil over high heat until it registers 375›F on thermometer

2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine flour, salt, pepper and paprika. Add onion and toss to lightly coat, shaking off and discarding excess flour. Carefully transfer onion rings to the hot oil and fry, turning once, until golden brown and crispy, 3 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and keep warm.

3. Place buns, cut side down, on a work surface and brush crusts with butter. Turn buns over and spread mayonnaise over bottom halves. Evenly layer with steak, cheese and 1 cup of fried onions. Drizzle with barbecue sauce. Cover with top halves and press gently to pack.

4. Place sandwiches in grill, close the top plate and cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve immediately, with the remaining fried onions on the side.

o Beef combines beautifully with the flavor of spicy barbecue sauce and sweet grilled onions to make a satisfying picnic meal.

o These sandwiches travel well and remain fresh all the way to your picnic destination.

o You can grill and assemble these sandwiches at home or grill the steak and bread right at the picnic site.

o There are endless options for this recipe. It's your decision whether you want your barbecue sauce to add sweetness, tang or heat. As a Texan, I love the flavor of chipotle barbecue sauce, but feel free to use your favorite barbecue sauce with this picnic panini.

o This recipe is great with or without onions. You can use grilled or raw onions or substitute with homemade fried onions.

o Don't want to grill steak at the park? Leftover steak is amazing the next day on these easy grilled sandwiches! Deli roast beef is a wonderful alternative, easy and convenient!

o Many lean beef cuts work great for this recipe. Examples are Sirloin, New York Strip, Tenderloin or Flank Steak. These cuts pack in nutrients like iron, zinc and protein while keeping the amazing steak flavor. Best of all, they are also low in calories.

o Round out your picnic meal with a fruit salad, veggie strips or vegetables for the grill. Pair your protein-packed lean steak with whole grains, fruits and vegetables to get all of the components necessary for a picnic meal.

o Remember when using a Panini grill be careful not to over stuff your Panini as the wonderful ingredients will have the tendency to ooze out. Slice beef and additional ingredients thinly.

o The beauty of Panini is you can craft each recipe to your palette; opportunities are endless. The traditional Panini bread is ciabatta but feel free to use your favorite bread. Cheese is another example of how to get creative. Jalapeno-jack would be fabulous in this recipe. A flavored mayonnaise is a nice addition.