My husband extremely loves meat: he can eat it for lunch, for dinner and even for breakfast. And if making a soup with slices of chicken and grilling fish late at night is not a problem (you can make it in dozens of ways to produce different types of dishes for mid-afternoon snack and for after-work meal), incorporating it into breakfast can be a bit challenging; that’s why I’m always happy to find new recipes of toasts, crepes, frittatas and wraps with meat – I know that my hubby will be more than happy to have a piece of it for the first meal of the day!
Recently I cooked a new “meaty” version of breakfast for him: Reuben sandwich. To say true, I have learnt about it only a year ago – which is hardly surprising as this sandwich, being a New York specialty, is a popular dish in North America but is hardly known beyond that continent. There are a few versions of the story of its origin. One of it claims that it was invented by Reuben Kulakofsky who was a regular poker player at the Blackstone Hotel where this dish was featured later in the menu. Another story holds that it was created by Arnold Reuben, the owner of Delicatessen in Broadway, first served it to the actress Anna Selos who once came to his restaurant. Yes, ironically, this absolutely “manly” sandwich was created for a woman!
Another funny thing is, this American specialty is full of typical “Russian” flavours: rye bread, beef, sauerkraut and something which in the Western countries is called “Russian” dressing. Of course, my husband couldn’t but love his breakfast. I should admit that I enjoyed the sandwich as well; I guess the truth of origin lies within the second story – the one where a woman is involved!
160 gm beef, roasted and cut into thin slices
8 slices of rye bread, crust removed
8 slices of cheese
120 gm of sauerkraut
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp ketchup
a dash of Worcestershire sauce
salt and black pepper to taste
1. For dressing, combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Spread each of slices of bread with 1 tsp of the dressing. Mix the remaining one with sauerkraut.
2. Top 4 slices of bread with a slice of cheese and a few slices of roasted beef. Divide the sauerkraut between the 4 sandwiches, top with the remaining slices of beef and cheese and cover with bread.
3. Grill the sandwiches on both sides and serve immediately.