Chef Ryan

Cajun Chef Ryan

Feeling & sharing a world of cooking ~ more than your average Cajun



 



Reuben Sandwich

January 8th, 2011 · 11 Comments

It was 1974, I was thirteen, and we were in Pensacola, on a typical family vacation in the Florida panhandle. Each year we would make several extended summer weekend trips to Navarre Beach, Santa Rosa Island, and other coastal Florida beach cities such as Panama City, Destin, Fort Walton,and Pensacola. And at just four to five hours drive time from New Orleans, the Pensacola area was our favorite weekend getaway to paradise.

Florida
Florida

On one of our summer trips we spent the day in old downtown Pensacola and ate lunch at the Bean and Leaf, a quiet little coffee, tea, and sandwich joint. I ordered the Reuben Sandwich and this was quite an adventure for a 13-year old, I fell in love and it has been a happy marriage ever since. I am not sure if this restaurant still exists, several Internet searches found one location on Bayou Blvd in Pensacola, FL, but it cannot be confirmed.

Corned Beef Sliced
Corned Beef Sliced

The classic Reuben starts with rye bread, buttered on one side and then grilled on the flat top or hot skillet, then a dollop of Thousand Island dressing is smeared on the exposed side and several slices of corned beef are added to this, the quantity of slices is entirely up to the maker, but in this case we are portioning four ounces per sandwich. I have seen some where the meat is piled so high and thick it could be more than a pound of the thinly sliced morsels. Then the drained sauerkraut is gently arranged evenly over the corned beef and then Swiss cheese gets topped, finished with one more slice of rye bread that has been smeared with Thousand Island dressing on the inside and buttered on the outside.

Once the bottom slice is nice and toasted the whole sandwich is flipped and the other side is toasted. Once the toasting is nice and browned and the Swiss cheese is melted the sandwich is done.

There are variations of course in the way the Reuben sandwich is prepared, some use pastrami, some use other dressings such as a horseradish based sauce, others use various other soft and medium flavored cheeses. Here is an example of one that we ate at one of the deli shops at the Terminal Market in Philadelphia, PA on our trip on May of 2010.

Grilled Reuben Sandwich
Grilled Reuben Sandwich

The Step-By-Step

Step 1. Butter one side each slice of rye bread, then place the buttered side down on the hot flat top or heated skillet.

Rye Bread Grilling
Rye Bread Grilling

Step 2. Spread ½ tbsp of the Thousand island dressing onto each of the top sides of rye bread.

Rye Bread 1000 Isle Spread.
Rye Bread 1000 Isle Spread

Step 3. Add four ounces of the corned beef evenly on each of the rye bread slices.

Corned Beef Added to Rye Bread
Corned Beef Added to Rye Bread

Step 4. Evenly and gently add ¼ cup of the sauerkraut on top of each sandwich and the corned beef slices.

Sauerkraut on top of each sandwich and the corned beef slices
Sauerkraut on top of each sandwich and the corned beef slices

Step 5. Add one slice of Swiss cheese to each sandwich.

Add one slice of Swiss cheese to each sandwich
Add one slice of Swiss cheese to each sandwich

Step 6. Spread ½ tbsp of the Thousand island dressing onto one side of each of the remaining slices of rye bread. Then place the slices with the dressed sides down. Then butter the top sides of the remaining rye bread.

Toasting the Reuben
Toasting the Reuben

Step 7. When the bottom rye bread is nice and grilled, use a flat spatula to flip the sandwich and grill the other side. The sandwich is done when both sides are grilled nicely to golden brown and the cheese has melted.

Reuben Grilled Both Sides
Reuben Grilled Both Sides

What you will need…

Ingredients
8 Slices Rye bread
2 Tbsp Butter
4 Tbsp Thousand Island dressing
1 Lb. Corned beef, cooked, sliced thin
1 Cup Sauerkraut, drained
4 Slices Swiss cheese
Procedure Steps:
1. Butter one side each slice of rye bread, then place the buttered side down on the hot flat top or heated skillet.
2. Spread ½ tbsp of the Thousand island dressing onto each of the top sides of rye bread.
3. Add four ounces of the corned beef evenly on each of the rye bread slices.
4. Evenly and gently add ¼ cup of the sauerkraut on top of each sandwich and the corned beef slices.
5. Add one slice of Swiss cheese to each sandwich.
6. Spread ½ tbsp of the Thousand island dressing onto one side of each of the remaining slices of rye bread. Then place the slices with the dressed sides down. Then butter the top sides of the remaining rye bread.
7. When the bottom rye bread is nice and grilled, use a flat spatula to flip the sandwich and grill the other side. The sandwich is done when both sides are grilled nicely to golden brown and the cheese has melted.

To Serve: Transfer the grilled sandwiches to a serving plate and cut in half. Serve with a kosher dill pickle wedge if desired.

Yield: 4 sandwiches

Reuben Sandwich Served
Reuben Sandwich Served

Restaurants/shops mentioned in this post…

Bean & Leaf Coffee-House
4350 Bayou Blvd
Pensacola, FL
(850) 477-7469

Terminal Market
51 North 12th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107-2954
(215) 922-2317

 

Bon appetite!
CCR
=:~)
©2011 CCR

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Tags: Recipes · sandwich

11 responses so far ↓

  • 1 GloriaNo Gravatar // Jan 8, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    I love Reubens made with pumpernickel bread and I do add a bit of horseradish in the thousand island dressing like sauce I make to go with it. And several years ago on Food Network, David Gardner I think it was suggested steaming the meat if you want a sandwich that is heated all the way through which if it’s a huge pile may not happen in the time it takes the cheese to melt.

  • 2 claudia lamascolo/aka pegasuslegendNo Gravatar // Jan 8, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    your killing me now I am so wishing for this! I LOVE RUEBENS!!!!! These are marvelous looking! drooling over here!

  • 3 Lea AnnNo Gravatar // Jan 8, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    I agree, the first time I ever had a corned beef sandwich I couldn’t believe my tastebuds. Thanks for the reminder to make one.

  • 4 zerrinNo Gravatar // Jan 8, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    Never had corned beef and you made me so curious bout it now. These sandwiches are so mouthwatering!

  • 5 Gera@SweetsFoodsBlogNo Gravatar // Jan 8, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    Who can not like this sandwich just incredbile!

    Cheers,

    Gera

  • 6 DrickNo Gravatar // Jan 8, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    this, besides a true New Orleans roast beef sandwich, is probably my favorite – nothing better to do with corned beef than make a Reuben and you got it all going on here … even if it does have thousand island dressing…LOL

  • 7 Dinners & DreamsNo Gravatar // Jan 8, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    I am one who LOVES a good reuben sandwich. I haven’t had one in ages. It looks delicious!

    Nisrine

  • 8 penny aka jeroxieNo Gravatar // Jan 10, 2011 at 3:15 am

    I so want this sandwich right now…. I miss a good reuben

  • 9 MarianneNo Gravatar // Jan 10, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    I’ve always used a good quality deli sliced corned beef but yours looks amazing! Did you know that Cracker Barrel actually makes a really good Rueben? I’ve had them at several of their restaurants and they are consistently good.

  • 10 The Mom ChefNo Gravatar // Jan 11, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    I adore the reuben. The funny thing is that I don’t like any of the ingredients all that much on their own. Put them together though, and magic happens. This is a huge winner of a sandwich. Thanks.

  • 11 TamarNo Gravatar // Jan 23, 2011 at 2:40 am

    I love them best when you throw the sauerkraut out and replace it with kimchi.