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second love

Recipe: reuben sandwich

My first (food) love is sushi.

My second (food) love is a sandwich. It’s a beautiful thing, really. Totally flexible yet wholly satisfying and comforting. Sandwiches can be cold, hot, both, crunchy, mushy, gooey, spicy, tangy, sweet, open, closed, stacked, dainty, behemoth, you name it. I love me a Good Sandwich.

Oh, but a little business before I go on about my love affair with The Sandwich. Thank you to the person(s) who nominated this blog for the Death by Chocolate competition on Culinate. I am flattered, to say the least. Unfortunately, because of my treatment, I am unable to travel and feel it isn’t appropriate for me to enter. Not to mention, the entries are by some of my absolute favorite food bloggers like: Peabody, Bea, Helene, Anita, Jaden, and Meeta… just to name a few! I encourage you all to go and look, drool, and vote.

Thanks also to all of you for your kind words of support. I think my tastebuds are somewhat recovered (had an infection to boot). I’ve just accepted that my fooding will be boned until treatment ends in several months. So, no worries. I shall still attempt to cook and hopefully post. Things just have a way of improving or sucking very quickly here and I have to go with the flow day to day. Stick with me on this. We’ll go places, I promise. xxoo

I’ll admit that I’m not much a sweet sandwich fan. I will take salty over sweet any day. Despite my love of making sweets, I don’t dig on them too much. Take a taste for quality control, distribute. But once I make a beautiful sandwich, I’m not as magnanimous as all that. I covet a good sandwich be it grilled cheese, a BLT (the B, the B!), roasted eggplant, cucumber, Philly cheese steak, In-n-Out Burger (oh yes, ohhhhh yes), Green Bomber, Oporto, Chicken Diablo… The list is frighteningly and delightfully long. The beauty of the sandwich is how remarkably versatile it is, like no other.

chopped leftover corned beef

The Reuben is one of my favorite sandwiches. Although traditionally prepared with rye bread, I can’t help but substitute some good old sourdough because we rarely ever have rye bread on hand in our house and neither of us is a huge fan. But rye aside, this time around I had a corned beef brisket instead of sliced deli meat in the fridge. I should have shredded the brisket while it was hot, but wound up slicing and chopping it when it was cold. I really love piling thinly sliced deli corned beef on a sandwich, but I have to avoid deli meats for a while. The point is… start with some good corned beef.

those would be lunch fixins

Round up some bread, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, Russian dressing, and butter to accompany the corned beef. I like to squeeze out the sauerkraut otherwise I wind up with a super soggy sammy and that makes for a sad lunch. Now, to do it right, you’ve got to butter the bread. I typically butter the outside face because my waistline doesn’t really need the inside face buttered too. Ha – that’s your healthy step right there.

onto the grill pan

Set the buttered face down on a pan over medium heat. Layer cheese, corned beef, and then set the other slice, buttered side out, on top. You want the bread to turn golden and the cheese to melt at the same time. High heat will burn your bread before the cheese has begun to melt, so just be patient.

when it’s ready, flip the sandwich

Flip the sandwich and cook until the other side achieves the same golden crunchiness. Watch it carefully, it gets there much faster than the first side. Some folks like to dump a pile of sauerkraut on the pan and dry it out or brown it up. I can go either way there. This time I removed the sandwich from the pan and dressed it with sauerkraut and Russian dressing.

dress it while it’s hot

I prefer to slice my Reuben into two or three sections. It helps control the amount of oozage from the dressing and feels like I’m eating multiple small sandwiches, which is a concept that elicits great joy for me.

delicious reuben – the love affair rages on

Reuben Sandwich
[print recipe]

2 slices of bread (rye or otherwise – nothing flimsy, okay?)
corned beef (slices, shredded, chopped, you pick)
Swiss cheese
sauerkraut, drained
Russian dressing or 1000 Island if you must

Butter the outside faces of the bread. Heat a pan over medium flame. Set a slice of bread buttered-side down on the pan. Layer with cheese and then corned beef. Set the other slice on top, buttered-side up. Monitor that the cheese melts at the same rate that the bread turns golden and crisp. Flip the sandwich and brown the other side. Remove from heat. Open the sandwich meat-side. Layer sauerkraut and dressing. Close sandwich, slice. Serve.

20 nibbles at “second love”

  1. Sarah says:

    That looks so yummy…I want a rueben for dinner tonight now!

  2. Maryann says:

    One of my favorite sandwiches! And thanks for not saying “sammies” or “samiches”.
    (I’m not as grumpy as I sound haha)

  3. StickyGooeyCreamyChewy says:

    Sushi is my first love too, but I can’t resist a good sandwich! Reubens are my husband’s favorite. They’re always on our menu the day after St. Patrick’s Day (leftover corned beef). Yours looks terrific! Using sourdough is a great idea. I’m not crazy about rye either. Now, if I could only find a good recipe for Russian dressing. I can never seem to find it at the market. :(

    Take care.

  4. peabody says:

    My dad is on a plane now trying to get there as fast as he can. He always wants these and my mom and I always want Monte Cristos…so he loses out. :)
    I do love me a good sandwich.

  5. Christine says:

    Jen – your reuben sandwich is looking mighty darn good! Thank you for squeezing the sauerkraut – it does make a world of difference. Your sandwich is also making me crave the pastrami sandwiches at The Hat in Pasadena. Did you ever have them? Oh, and don’t get me started with In N’ Out….I’ve had major In N Out withdrawal lately. The last time I had their burgers was when we ate there right after our wedding ceremony last year – in my wedding gown and all :)

  6. steamy kitchen says:

    i can’t remember the last time I had a real Reuben Sandwich that looked this tasty!

  7. Tartelette says:

    The first sandwich I had when I landed in the US was at a NY deli and it was a Reuben! It has been my favorite ever since….You make me hungry again and I just had dinner!
    I keep thinking about you everyday Jen and wish that everything gets easier as the days go by. Keep strong.

  8. Vicki says:

    That looks so good! I had a roast beef, peperoncini and Muenster sandwich tonight, toasted like yours. Mmm…

  9. Kevin says:

    That reuben sandwich looks so good!!

  10. manggy says:

    I’m glad your taste is recovering! (I thought I would have to advise that you pump up the salt and spices on everything :) There will be plenty of time to travel in a few months (hopefully for me too, heh)

    I’ve never had a Reuben before. I think I was traumatized by my last fried sandwich (although this is more of grilled, isn’t it), a Monte Cristo. But yours makes me really curious, I’ll have to look for deli corned beef :)

  11. Rosa says:

    OMG, those sandwiches are decadent! Extremely tempting and scrumptious!



  12. Curt says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen a recipe for a Reuben spelled out, but I’ve not had lunch yet, and I wasn’t going to have it, but now I find I have to go get a sandwich… Great looking sandwich!

  13. Hélène says:

    This is exactly how I make mine. So good!

  14. nicisme says:

    Dear Jen, glad to hear your tastebuds are a little better. We’re all rooting for you!
    Take care, Nic

  15. jenyu says:

    Sarah – they’re addictive!

    Maryann – actually, I did refer to them as a sammy at one point ;)

    SGCC – Yeah, the Russian dressing isn’t always available and sometimes I have to use 1000 Island. Thanks sweetie.

    Peabody – where is he? We have a guest room all ready for him as well as a chair at the table :)

    Christine – ha ha, you know The Hat?! Wow, my ex-beau (the Crier) took me there for a pastrami sandwich once. Loved the sandwich, ditched the dude ;) I am totally impressed that you got an In-N-Out burger in your wedding dress. Woohoo girlfriend! I hope someone had the sense to take a picture, because THAT is classic. xxoo

    Steamy Kitchen – ah lady, you flatter me. You can cook ANYTHING ;)

    Tartelette – oh, a Reuben in a NY deli is like the ultimate! *sigh* :) Thanks for your sweet thoughts, Helene. You are such a dear. xxoo

    Vicki – yum, your sandwich sounds great! When I can stomach spicy foods again, I will certainly give that one a try!

    Kevin – thanks!

    Mark – oh, thanks sweetie. You should talk to Peabody about the MC sandwich because it’s her fave! I find it incredible that certain foods are so hard for you to find when you make amazingly beautiful food at home. Give the sandwich a try, I sincerely hope you love it as much as I do :)

    Rosa – thank you, love.

    Curt – yeah, sandwiches don’t lend themselves to recipes because they seem like such no brainers :) I hope you found one!

    Helene – yay!!

    Nic – such a sweetheart! Thank you! xxoo

  16. Judy says:

    Reubens are my favorite, but it can be difficult to find one with tender meat. Luckily, there’s a deli here in town that makes a mile-high reuben with tender meat that is to die for. I always order it. And, this past summer, when I was vacationing in southern Oregon, I ran into a fellow who makes his own pastrami and corned beef. Now, that reuben was a treat as well. I’ll keep thinking good thoughts for you.

  17. Hiro says:

    that rueben sandwich just made my mouth water……

  18. jenyu says:

    Judy – a mile high?!?! *squeal* That sounds SO GOOD :) thanks for your good thoughts!!

    Hiro – hee hee.

  19. No Fast Food Fridays: The Sandwich Edition | Simple Scratch Cooking says:

    […] Reuben Sandwich — Use Real Butter […]

  20. CopyKat Recipes says:

    I think this sandwich is a classic. Whenever I check out a new deli, this is always a sandwich that I want to try. Your sandwich looks scrumptous. I look forward to trying your recipe very soon!

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