Saturday, February 4, 2012

Restaurant-Style Reuben with Homemade Thousand Island

I have ordered a Reuben on every possible occasion that all-you-can-eat salad bar wasn't an option since I was probably 10. The best I've had is at the Fitger's Brewhouse in Duluth. Is that why I live here? Maybe.

I've been trying to make Reubens at home for roughly 14 and a half years and I've finally made one that I would consider restaurant-style. The kind that's warm through, not dry, tastes of the grill, is both gooey and juicy and just a bit greasy.

This sandwich is amazing with pastrami and ham, mustard and different types of cheese. I'll spell out how to make a straight-up traditional Reuben, and you play with the flavors however you like!

The secret to making a good Reuben is to grill everything separately, assemble, then melt your cheese under the broiler. I also whipped up a Thousand Island dressing that is better than any I've had at a restaurant. If the secret's in the sauce, then the spoiler is it's gotta be homemade! It only takes a minute and it's totally worth it!

Reuben Sandwich for 1

Butter for the skillet
2 slices dark rye or pumpernickel bread (best to buy unsliced so you can slice it nice and thick)
Thinly sliced corned beef (1/4 to 1/2 lb)
1/2 to 2/3 cups sauerkraut, drained
(and rinsed if desired)
One or two handfuls shredded Swiss or Gruyere cheese
Thousand Island dressing (recipe below)

Heat a skillet a notch over medium for a few minutes, then melt a couple pats of butter in the pan. Place two slices of rye or pumpernickel bread in the pan for 30 seconds, then flip the bread over. Toast the second side for a couple minutes, or until it's browning nicely. Remove to a baking sheet in a slightly warm oven, crispy side down.

Place your desired amount of thinly sliced corned beef into the skillet and toss with tongs until it is warmed through and darkening in some spots. Remove to a corner of the baking sheet in the oven.

Place your desired amount of sauerkraut into the skillet and toss for a few minutes so some liquid has a chance to evaporate and the kraut is hot. Remove to another corner of the baking sheet and remove the baking sheet from the oven.

Turn on the broiler.

Set aside the top crust of bread.  On the baking sheet, place one side of toast crispy side down, then mound your corned beef on the toast. Spread a handful of sauerkraut over the beef, then place a handful of Swiss cheese on the kraut. Press the mound of cheese with your palm gently to spread it out a bit. Place the open faced sandwich under the broiler in the center of the oven until the cheese is melted.

Spread the soft side of the top crust with Thousand Island and place it on the top, crispy side up. Serve with additional dressing for dipping.

Thousand Island Dressing

Using a fork or small whisk, mix all together in a bowl:
1/2 cup plus a few tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon vinegar (white, rice or red wine is good)
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons sweet and spicy relish
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Pinch of salt, garlic powder, onion powder

Refrigerate until ready to use.  Use within a day or two.

Thanks for checking out my blog - Enjoy your day!

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