Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The End Of The Turkey O'Toole? Recipe!

I am a huge sandwich fan (I contend it is the Fourth Greatest Invention Of All Time).

So I was very saddened to read that one of my all-time favorite sandwiches, the Turkey O'Toole, is on its way towards extinction. Bennigan's, creator of said sandwich, closed 160 stores nationwide yesterday, reducing the availability of the Turkey O'Toole by 50%.

What makes the Turkey O'Toole special (otherwise an ordinary hot turkey & swiss with honey mustard) is the Pretzel Roll.

For years on Long Island my friends and I used to go to Bennigan's every Thursday night for dinner. We chose Bennigan's mostly because they tolerated our nonsense, but also partially because they were one of the few restaurants that served Dr. Pepper. Otherwise, their food was rather lousy and the place kind of dingy. Over the years the restaurants have gotten even worse. They didn't have any Bennigan's nearby for the three years my wife and I lived in Greensboro, so any time we took a road trip a pitstop at Bennigan's for a Turkey O'Toole was a necessity. Every trip it seemed like the retstaurants had gone more and more downhill. Seemed like it had been ages since the carpet had been replaced (or even cleaned), and it was just... depressing. I guess with the Irish theme they had trouble competing with the trendy T.G.I.Fridays or the "healthy" fare at Applebees.

So I guess I saw this day coming. The day Bennigan's shut their corporate-owned stores, leaving open only the franchisees. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before they go by teh wayside as well. So, if you have a Bennigan's nearby that's still open, hurry up now and get yourself a Turkey O'Toole while you still can.

After that, you'll have to make your own. Luckily, my wife recently figured out how to make a pretzel roll. Here's the recipe:

Ingredients for Pretzel Roll:

* 1 1/3 cups warm water
* 2 tablespoons warm milk
* 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
* 1/3 cup light brown sugar
* 2 tablespoons butter, melted
* 4 cups all-purpose flour
* kosher salt or pretzel salt
* 2 quarts cold water
* 1/2 cup baking soda

1. In a KitchenAid mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix a 1/3 cup of the warm
water with the yeast and let stand until foamy.
2. Add the remaining cup of warm water along with milk, sugar & melted
butter and swirl to dissolve the sugar. Add flour and mix at med-low speed. Remove dough from mixer once it forms a nice a firm, pliable dough ball. Add more flour if necessary.
3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured table and knead for 2 minutes. Roll into a 2 foot long log and cut into 12 even pieces. Cover dough with plastic and a damp cloth and let sit for 10 minutes.
4. Form dough into knots/rolls and arrange on a lightly floured surface about an inch apart and cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Let the pretzels rest for an additional 30 minutes.
5. Preheat the oven to 425°. Lightly oil 2 baking sheets.
6. In a large stockpot, bring the cold water to a rolling boil and add baking soda. *THIS IS KEY!*
7. Drop two rolls into the boiling water and boil for no more then 30 seconds, turning once. Carefully remove with tongs or slotted spoon and hold above pot and let drain. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Repeat with the remaining rolls.
8. Arrange rolls on the oiled baking sheets and bake on the upper and middle racks of the oven
for about 8-10 minutes, or until browned all over.
9. Let rolls cool on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes, then transfer them to a rack.

10.Assemble Turkey O'Toole:

Hot Turkey slices
1 slice swiss cheese
1 tbsp Dijon honey mustard

11. Serve warm with French fries!


Anonymous said...

Bless you! I was really sad about Bennigans closing its doors. I worked at one in college and became addicted to the Turkey O'Toole. Now I can make my own.

I also agree that Dr. Pepper needs to be served in more places. It is the only soft drink that I like!

Anonymous said...

I cannot say THANK YOU enough. Our Bennigans closed almost a year ago. I have been very hungry for my favorite sandwich. I just happened to look it up and found a recipe. I am going to try making it this weekend.