This is not your ordinary turkey melt! This sandwich is stuffed with smoked turkey, Muenster cheese,
Caramelized onions and a spicy pumpkin mayo! You may never have ordinary again!
Last week I had the opportunity of a lifetime. Myself and eight other bloggers were treated to a dairy adventure sponsored by the American Dairy Association Mideast. Our hosts from the Dairy Association were absolutely wonderful! They are extremely passionate about the dairy-farming community, the product and the education of every day people like you and me and our children. I learned so much from each of these ladies and I cannot wait to tell you more about that in my next post!
One of our first stops on the tour was a small dairy farm just outside of Cleveland, OH. Richman Farms is a farm with 80 head of dairy cattle that range from Holstein to Jersey cows. They know their cows by name and many of them they even show.
The cow’s comfort, care and nutrition is of the utmost importance. The Indoe family, (the owners) have a feed specialist whose sole job is to make sure the cows consume the proper blend of vitamins and minerals each day.
What amazed me as I watched (and milked) the cows, is how perfectly routine each milking is for them. They line up outside the milk room, when the door opens, one cow walks in, gets milked and when she’s finished she leaves on her own and goes back to eating. It’s a perfectly run system.
Our second dairy farm was Andreas Dairy Farm. This family owned and operated dairy farm milks 1550+ head of Holstein cows 3 times a day! That’s a whole lot of milking! This farm employs 35 people from their own community.
Father and son team, Dan and Matt Andreas along with Dan’s wife Lois will tell you that the comfort of their cows is their number one priority. And it shows. I was extremely impressed by the cleanliness and the spaciousness of their freestall cow barn (pictured below). The Andreas’s spend a considerable amount of time and effort in ensuring their cows are comfortable, cool, rested, and fed quality feed daily. If the cows are happy, it will show in their quality of milk. Andreas Farm has a strong tradition of high quality milk.
In between farms we had the pleasure of touring Pearl Valley Cheese. Pearl Valley Cheese is also family owned and operated and has been passed down through four generations of cheese makers! Their milk is delivered straight from Eastern Ohio Diary Farmers. It’s quality, fresh milk with no added hormones.
Since Pearl Valley has a strong Swiss heritage, they naturally produce quite a bit of Swiss cheese as well as Colby, Muenster, Pepper Jack. They distribute and sell many other varieties as well. As we were given a personal tour from Sally Ellis, owner of Pearl Valley Cheese and her family, their love for their heritage and tradition came through in every step of the way. From the time the milk is delivered all the way to the cheese shop, Pearl Valley Cheese takes extreme pride in what they do!
I’ll take a pound of everything please!
What I walked away with from touring two dairy farms and one cheese facility is that quality dairy is their priority. The farms may be different sizes but the love and care for their animals is extremely important to each farm. Each family owned business, be it a dairy farm or a cheesemaker, has a strong sense of community, they are passionate about their industry, they honor tradition and have an intense sense of self and pride. I walked away inspired, honored, educated and…
This turkey melt sandwich is in honor of my dairy adventure. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to use some honest to goodness, creamy Pearl Valley Muenster Cheese (I hope I did them proud!).
This sandwich is deluxe with a capital “D”. I combined smoked turkey, thick slices of Muenster cheese, caramelized onions and some spicy pumpkin mayo. The combination is beautiful. Each component works perfectly together. You’ll want to save this recipe for your Thanksgiving leftovers! Trust me!
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- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoon sugar
- 2 large onions, sliced
- 8 Slices Italian Loaf bread
- 4 slices smoked turkey
- 4 slices Muenster cheese
- ¼ cup Mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoon pumpkin puree
- 1/8 teaspoon ground chipotle chili powder
- pinch of paprika
- pinch of salt
- 8 teaspoons butter
- To prepare the onions, melt butter in olive oil, swirling to combine. Add sliced onions, salt and pepper, cooking for about 2 minutes or until the onions begin to soften. Stir in sugar. Continue cooking onions for 20 minutes. Be sure to stir often to prevent the onions from burning. Remove onions from heat and set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, pumpkin, chili powder, paprika and salt.
- Heat a griddle pan over medium heat. Butter the bottoms of 4 slices of bread and place on griddle pan, buttered side down. Top each slice of bread with turkey, cheese, 1 tablespoon of pumpkin mayo, 1-2 tablespoons (eye ball this) of caramelized onions and remaining slice of bread. Butter tops of each sandwich.
- Cook sandwich on each side 3-5 minutes or until golden brown.