My Blue Kitchen

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Reuben Sandwich

The Reuben is a hot American sandwich made with corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss Cheese, Russian dressing and served on Rye bread.  The origin still has not been nailed down.  Some say Omaha, Nebraska, and others say New York City.  I’m sure we can all agree on one thing, though – this is an excellent sandwich!  In this recipe we have a gluten free option and we make our own Russian dressing.  Yes, you can buy the bottled crap, but I really hope you don’t.  This tastes so much better, is better for you, and is simple to make. Before I had to go gluten free, I ate Reubens all the time.  However, there is no gluten free Rye bread because rye flour is wheat and it’s on the no-no list.  I do have a recipe to make my own gluten free “Rye” using Teff flour and Caraway seeds, but, I haven’t perfected it yet and it’s still too hot to bake.  Suddenly, I stumbled upon an idea.  Since I’m going to butter my bread before I grill it, why not flavor the butter to make it taste like rye?  So here goes.  I’m going to try this hopefully brilliant idea and share it with you.

The Stuff You Need:

For each sandwich:

2 slices Rye Bread – or – gluten free bread*

Butter to spread on both sides of the bread

4 ounces sliced Corned Beef

2 or 3 ounces Sauerkraut

2 slices Swiss Cheese, about 1 ounce

For the dressing; enough for 2 sandwiches:

1/2 cup Mayonnaise

3 teaspoons Ketchup

1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

1 Tablespoon Dill Pickle, finely chopped

1 Tablespoon Onion, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon Lemon juice or Pickle juice

1/8 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

Salt & Pepper, to taste

For Caraway Butter, per sandwich:

1 Tablespoon Butter

1/4 teaspoon Caraway seed

How To Do This:

  1. Prepare your dressing first so the flavors have time to mingle.  Store in the fridge until ready to use.
  2. If using Caraway butter, prepare it a little in advance, in order to maximize flavor.**
  3. Put your sliced Corned Beef in a small pan with a little water in it and warm on low heat.
  4. Warm up your sauerkraut on the stove on low heat, or in the microwave for just 45 seconds to a minute.***
  5. Put a skillet or griddle on medium heat.
  6. Butter both sides of the bread for each sandwich.
  7. Place the bread into the skillet or on the griddle in 2-slice stacks.  When the first side has browned, flip over the stack.
  8. When both of the outer sides of the bread have been browned, transfer your bread stacks to a large cutting board.
  9. Carefully separate the bread slices and arrange them on the cutting board with the browned sides facing up and the uncooked sides down.
  10. Spread the dressing on both of the browned sides of the bread.  Use a fork to lift your meat and kraut to the sandwich, leaving behind as much liquid as possible.  Arrange corned beef, sauerkraut, and Swiss Cheese on one slice of bread and top the whole thing with the second slice, dressed side down.
  11. Return the sandwiches to the skillet or griddle, browning each side.  It’s tricky flipping these things over when fully loaded, so be careful.
  12. Remove from heat when done.  Slice in half and serve.****


*If using gluten free bread, prepare caraway butter.  You can use a butter substitute like Olivio, if you wish.

**You could crush the Caraway seeds a little bit to release even more flavor.  Simply mix softened butter together with the seeds.  When you are ready to start grilling the sandwiches, coat both sides of the bread with the Caraway butter and you are ready to go.  Another way to maximize flavor is to lightly toast the caraway seeds in a hot pan.  The heat releases the oils in the seed and, BOOM!  More flavor.

***The idea with steps 3 and 4 is to take the chill off these items so the inside of your sandwich wont be cold and the cheese will melt efficiently before the bread burns.

****I like a simple pickle and chips with these but feel free to expand on that.  Fries or potato salad would be great too.

Leftover dressing will keep in the fridge for several days.

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