Coast Cooking

Sandwiches rule and the reuben is king

It's still summertime, and I have had about enough.

By the end of summer, I’m just worn out with the heat and humidity, and in this weather who wants to stay in the hot kitchen?

This week, all week, I am going to blog about sandwiches (I promise not to mention cheese burgers!), and I think we will start with the king of sandwiches, at least when it is done right, the reuben.

There are numerous accounts of who and when this sandwich was invented, but who cares?

There are also a handful of variants, but I am not very interested in those either. When a sandwich is this good you just don't need to dress it up or try to reinvent it.

A reuben is made by loading a roll with corned beef, Swiss cheese, Russian dressing, and sauerkraut. 

That’s pretty simple, but there is little here that can be homemade, unless you are very talented and have plenty of time. 

The quality of ingredients you buy is extremely important. The corned beef is best bought at a deli where it will be sliced to order.

The Swiss cheese is best if you buy the expensive imported kind, with gruyere being at the top of the list.

The sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) is a bit more challenging. Try Libby's in a can, Claussen refrigerated, or if you can afford it, try an online artisan-made variety.

One last point; if you use just a slice or two of corned beef, and are equally meager with the rest of the ingredients, it's just not a reuben.

The image included here is from my friend Chef Monti at In and Out in Biloxi. There are lots of good reubens on the Coast, but this one is my favorite.