This here is my favourite warm sandwich. It has bold flavours that complement each other well. It has sauerkraut. Enough said. I have a thing for sauerkraut. And Pickles. And things fermented in vinegar solutions. What more can I say? I’m really not going to convert any of you sauerkraut haters out there, so I won’t even try. All I can say is that I sometimes warm it up in a frying pan with some sliced onion and salt and pepper and call it a side dish. That is my love for this condiment/veg/whatever it is considered.
My first encounter with a Reuban sandwich was in my Mom’s kitchen. I call it my Mom’s kitchen because she cooks, except when Dad makes breakfast or tomatoes and macaroni, but Mom still cleans up, so it’s definitely hers. You won’t believe what she used to do when we were kids. No it was not some weird dance or something, it is something way more unbelievable. She would wake up before work and cook supper for the evening and then go for a walk and then go to work for the rest of the day. I’m talking, waking up at like 5am to cook supper before any of us would even be awake. Then she would have enough time to get her exercise in. Is my child expecting this from me too?! Mom you set a ridiculous precedent – just saying.
Anyways, on days when she slept in (like never) or couldn’t think of something to make…(Ok, let me go on a side bar here – remember when your Mom or Dad asked what you wanted for dinner and all you ever said was “I don’t know”? I didn’t realize then that when someone asks you that it means that they can’t think of anything and are desperate for some input. So, now you know, so give some input people! Those of us in charge of dinner are desperately seeking some sort of creative suggestion. Help!)
Ok back from the side bar, when Mom just wanted to throw something together at the actual dinner time slot (and Dad put in a suggestion), we would have Reubans. This was not a disappointment in our house. We were pumped! (Ok, maybe not little J.) We would start an assembly line. Rye toast, corned beef, sauerkraut, swiss cheese, rye toast, microwave, sandwich bliss.
Then, at a restaurant one day, I saw it on the menu! I was shocked since I thought that it was a Simpson household invention. To my delight, other people had found out about it and were serving it in restaurants! Now, I have wizened to the fact that the Reuban was not invented by my parents, but rather was a famous sandwich from the days of yore. No matter, it still tastes awesome and now I can even get someone else to make it for me.
You can seriously pile on the ingredients here to resemble a Montreal smoked meat sandwich or just keep it simple so you can eat more than one, wink, wink. I usually go heavy on the sauerkraut, but highlight any of the ingredients that make your skirt fly up. Lots of Reuban “recipes” call for some sort of sauce. I say, omit the sauce and let your mouth focus on the already bold flavours. There’s no need to slather on the sauce.
2 slices of good quality rye bread
3 deli sliced corned beef (can substitute with pastrami or montreal smoked meat)
1/3 cup sauerkraut (I like Bicks)
1 or more deli slices of swiss cheese
Ok, start with putting the bread in the toaster. While the bread is toasting, pour the sauerkraut into a sieve and drain it a little. Really wet sauerkraut makes for a soggy sandwich. When the toast pops, butter it or not. I butter for the record. Now start the piling. Meat, sauerkraut, swiss and then the top toast. Place on a plate and microwave for 1 minute on high. Since I am sans microwave, I put it in the oven and the cheese melted just fine. Slice in half and sink your teeth into the strong flavours and let the sauerkraut juice run down your chin!