Grilling a Great Reuben Sandwich
The bread is the basis for the sandwich. A good deli rye is preferred, although some folks like sourdough or pumpernickel. Find a bakery in your area that knows how to make rye bread. If you have a Jewish delicatessen or bakery, that would be the first place to look. Some groceries have good bakeries. Check there. If those ideas fail, try some Pepperidge Farm Jewish Rye. It is a good choice. Many stores carry this bread.
Choose some nice, aged Swiss cheese at your grocery's deli. If you want a lighter flavor, Lorraine Swiss is tasty. If you don't like Swiss, go for some Provolone or Muenster. You will need enough cheese to completely cover one side of the bread.
Don't use cheap corned beef. If you are not cooking it and slicing it thin, then buy good pre-cooked corned beef. My favorite corned beef is Manny's. It is already cooked and deli sliced. Don't let the slice fool you. It is a full-flavored corned beef. Manny’s Cafeteria and Delicatessen has been a respected Chicago institution since 1942. People no longer have to go to Chicago to have their choice corned beef. They are selling this cooked and sliced corned beef through Costco stores in the Midwest. If you can’t get your hands on some of Manny’s tender corned beef, use your favorite brand.
The sauerkraut is important. I love the Aldi brand of sauerkraut. It's called Deutsche Kuche, and it is sold in a jar. Claussen also sells fresh sauerkraut in the cooler section of the grocery. Some stores place it right by the refrigerated pickles. One of the things that I loathe about some Reuben sandwiches is when the wet sauerkraut is piled onto the sandwich and promptly soaks through the bread. I have a fix for that! I'll let you know in a minute how to cure soggy Reuben sandwiches.
With prime ingredients, please, please, pretty please, don't use a cheap, bottled Thousand Island Dressing. This dressing is easy and inexpensive to make.
Thousand Island Dressing Recipe
Ingredients and method:
In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup of mayonnaise, ¼ cup of catsup, 1-2 tablespoons of pickle relish, and one grated hard-boiled egg. When you spray the measuring cup with non-stick spray, the mayo and catsup fall right out of the cup. Refrigerate the completed dressing, covered, directly after making the dressing. Consume this dressing within one day of making it. It does not freeze well.
Grilling the Reuben Sandwich Instructions:
*Now that the ingredients are gathered, bread, cheese, corned beef, sauerkraut, and dressing, it is time to assemble the sandwich. You can grill it in butter, olive oil, or with non-stick cooking spray. Oil each piece of bread on one side.
*Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat. Place one piece of bread, oiled side down into the warm skillet.
*Cover that slice of bread with cheese.
*Cover the cheese with corned beef.
*Cover the corned beef with the second piece of bread—oiled side up.
*Turn the heat to low and place a lid on the pan. Continue checking the bottom slice of bread to make sure that it is not burning. Remove the lid and flip the sandwich over, when the bottom slice of bread is your desired brown color.
*Remove the sandwich from the pan and place it on a plate.
*Add the sauerkraut to the pan on medium heat, and stir it until the liquid evaporates. (Isn't this a great idea?)
*Remove the piece of bread from on top of the corned beef. Scoop the heated, dried sauerkraut onto the corned beef.
*Add the Thousand Island Dressing to the bread that will go next to the sauerkraut.
*Grab some napkins and enjoy your sandwich!
When I mention stores or products by brand name, these are the ones that I use. I have not received free products from the manufacturers, nor have I been paid to mention the products or stores by name.
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