Who doesn’t love a great sandwich? They’re quick and relatively easy to prepare. They’re pretty much self-contained, portable and are appropriate in almost any situation. The various possible combinations and ratios of breads and fillings are virtually endless. And, they are delicious!
When my father was alive, his office was right down the hall from Mr. SGCC’s and mine. Even after he retired, he still showed up every day, for at least a few hours to putter around and socialize with the rest of us working stiffs in the building. One of his favorite things to do was to go out for lunch. We always knew when it was lunchtime by the sound of his telltale whistling as he made his way down the hallway. He whistled all the time! When we were kids, that whistle was our alarm clock! Anyway, he’d pop his head into our office, cajole us into taking a lunch break and off we’d go.
Dad’s sandwich of choice was the Ruben, which is a grilled sandwich made with corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and dripping with either Russian or Thousand Island dressing. It is typically made with rye bread. Over the years, I think that Dad sampled every Ruben in town, and many others out of town too! I have to confess, Mr. SGCC and I developed a fondness for Ruben sandwiches too.
A few years ago, I learned about a variation on the Ruben that liked even better, aptly called a Rachel. A Rachel sandwich is exactly the same as a Ruben, except the corned beef is swapped out with pastrami and coleslaw is often substituted for sauerkraut.
Since we are going out of town in a few days, I’ve been trying to keep my cooking at home to a minimum. Call it nostalgia, but I’ve had such a yen for a Rachel sandwich lately, so I decided to pick up the ingredients and make some.
What I did was lightly butter the outsides of some fresh rye bread and spread the insides with thousand island dressing. For each sandwich, I layered some muenster cheese and lean pastrami on one slice of the bread, topped them all with some well-drained sauerkraut and covered them with the rest of the bread. Then, I grilled them in my Griddler until they were all hot and oozey inside. That’s it! Done!
There really is no set recipe for these. That defeats the purpose of “quick and easy”. I used muenster cheese, because we like it, but you could use any kind of cheese you want. I used sauerkraut instead of coleslaw, again, because we like it that way. You could use either. With the Holidays approaching, I’m sure we’ll all have many hectic evenings when cooking will seem like a chore. For those times, just pop a Ruben or a Rachel on the griddle or grill, add a little soup or salad and you’re good to go!