I’m going to give you the quickest and best possible explanation on how to make the perfect Reuben sandwich.
I am a Reuben fanatic, so when we had our ‘mass-produce sandwich’ day in my Catering and Buffet class, I was thrilled to be a part of the Reuben group. I have fond family memories of eating Reubens every Sunday after church with my family. It’s a part of who I am. So when the chef told me he was going to revolutionize my method, I was thinking, “Bring it on!”
Here’s what you do:
1. Get two slices of fresh rye bread.
2. Butter one side of each slice. Be generous.
3. Heat your pan/flattop/griddle/whatever you have. Make sure its hot but not smoking– you want to brown your bread, not burn it.
4. On the unbuttered side of the bread, spread a good hearty layer of Thousand Island dressing. Spread from edge to edge. Don’t skimp.
5. Make sure you’re Thousand-Islanding both pieces of bread, and put a layer of Swiss cheese on both as well. Plop those suckers right on the flattop/whatever you have and toast the bread. You want a gorgeous golden color and melted cheese.
6. While your bread is tanning and the cheese is beginning to melt into delicious goodness, clear a space on your cooktop and butter it. Heat your corned beef and sour kraut (separately) until they’re warmed through and just beginning to look and smell like Reuben heaven. Once they’re hot and the bread is toasty perfection, split the corned beef in two portions. Position on both sides of the bread, covering the bread end to end. (No bare spots on your sandwich. A mouthful of bread is a sandwich mood-killer).
7. Put the sour kraut on one slice. (It’s the middle of your sandwich).
8. Gently ease one half of the sandwich onto the other. Remove from heat and cut in half on the diagonal. (Why do sandwiches cut on a bias taste so much better than in half?) Marvel at the toasty, melty goodness.
9. Take a giant bite and wonder to yourself, where has this been all my life?
There. It’s that easy. Your Reuben making will be forever changed.
(And, to any of my family members that keep up with this blog — hi, Mom! — please feel free to tell my how much I just changed Sunday Reuben-making. Because this will change everything.)