Have you ever had a Reuben sandwich, as part of a Thanksgiving leftover spread? If you haven’t, you’re missing out. (Can I tell you something? I hadn’t either, until very recently.)
The history of the Reuben sandwich, like the history of so many iconic and singular dishes, is a bit murky, with a number of people laying claim to being the inventor. The definition of a classic Reuben is a bit clearer: corned beef, Russian dressing, Swiss cheese, and sauerkraut on rye bread. Thousand Island dressing, similar to Russian, also makes appearances in lots of recipes. But in the classic versions, corned beef is the meat of choice.
Why Is a Post-Thanksgiving Reuben Sandwich So Amazing?
All of this is by way of saying that a post-Thanksgiving Reuben sandwich made with turkey instead of corned beef is a gift to yourself (and the lucky, lucky people you choose to make one for) in many ways.
1) You are using up that leftover turkey in the coolest way. Forget the typical (possibly dry) plain old turkey sandwich with a bit of mustard and mayo between two slices of cold bread. You are creating a brand new masterpiece. I can honestly say that my family and I enjoyed this sandwich more than I did the original turkey. I will actually roast a turkey breast again just to make these sandwiches.
2) You are making Russian dressing. This alone is a very splendid, splendid thing to know how to make. In the future, you may realize that many sandwiches will get much more excellent because of your Russian dressing.
3) You now know how to make quick sauerkraut. This is perhaps a random life skill, but a valuable one. Imagine a future you having a simple hot dog cookout, putting out your own homemade sauerkraut. Future you is pretty rock and roll, in my opinion.
4) You are rediscovering rye bread. Rye bread seems super old-fashioned sometimes, no? I usually only remember it when I am at a diner ordering an omelet and the waiter lists the toast options, and I think, “Oh! Rye! Yes, that’s a very good bread! I’ll have that, please.” You could use a good sourdough, or another bread of your choice, but rye bread is a wonderful bread, and part of the DNA of this sandwich.
Let’s Talk About That Table Setting
There are many times when a sandwich meal involves paper napkins, and possibly even paper plates. But these sandwiches surely deserve extra love and respect: pretty blue and white plates, stately navy linen napkins, lovely blush pink glasses for water, and big goblets for wine, because it is highly possibly you are treating yourself to a glass of wine or a beer with these sandwiches.
Do you have some good leftover sides, like brussel sprouts or roasted vegetables, from the Thanksgiving meal? Pile them into bowls, and a sandwich meal becomes a feast.
If you haven’t added an oversized wooden board to your collection of serving pieces than this is one to consider; it’s a monster of a plank, perfect for an epic cheese board, or burgers or sandwiches for a platoon.
I’ll sign-off secure in the knowledge that the day after Thanksgiving may be the new favorite holiday in my house.
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Makes 4 sandwiches