Although we’re not Irish, my husband and I both enjoy traditional foods on St. Patrick’s Day, which — if case you haven’t checked your calendar lately — is right around the corner. I say that with a rather sheepish look upon my face. Somehow, in all the hectic hustle and bustle of life around our house, I did, indeed, overlook St. Patrick’s Day. So did my husband.
When Tuesday comes around next week, he and I will both be busy with appointments, obligations, and long “To-Do” lists. Neither of us will be able to sit down and enjoy a leisurely meal. In fact, we won’t even be able to enjoy sharing our mealtime. I hate when that happens!
Of course, I could still serve the traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage. I could use the crock pot, add the meat and vegetables early in the morning, and each of us would be able to enjoy it later in the day.
Or, we could opt out of the big meal itself and go straight for the “left-overs”. Yes, we love Reuben Sandwiches, so this year, instead of a big brisket and a head of cabbage, we’ll be putting together these simple but delicious treats.
We’ll be using thinly-sliced corned beef from the deli, but if you’re going the more traditional route and fixing corned beef on Tuesday, you’ll be able to slice your own beef for these scrumptious sandwiches on Wednesday.
6 ounces thinly-sliced corned beef
4 slices light rye bread
4 ounces sauerkraut, rinsed and well-drained
2 tablespoons Thousand Island salad dressing
2 slices Swiss cheese
- Arrange corned beef on two slices of bread. Layer each with half of the sauerkraut, a tablespoon of dressing and a slice of cheese. Top with remaining bread slices. Butter outsides of sandwiches.
- In a small skillet over medium heat, toast sandwiches until bread is lightly browned on both sides and cheese is melted. Yield: 2 servings.
Note: You can use bottled Thousand Island salad dressing, but have you ever tried making your own? Once you do, you’ll never buy it again. Here’s my secret recipe.
CHRISTINA’S SECRET ISLAND DRESSING
Mix 1/2 cup mayonnaise with 2 tablespoons ketchup. Add a tablespoon of white vinegar and about 2 teaspoons of sugar. Stir in 2 teaspoons of sweet pickle relish, and 1 teaspoon of finely-minced white onion. Season with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Stir well, and refrigerate in a covered container for several hours before serving.
Another recipe I came across in my cooking magazines — this one from Quick Cooking, a sister publication to Taste of Home — is this little fun little way to serve up Reubens, not as sandwiches, but tucked inside crescent rolls. By the way, you’ll no longer find Quick Cooking on the magazine stand. It’s now published under the name Simple and Delicious.
1 tube refrigerated crescent rolls
1 cup sauerkraut, rinsed, well-drained, and chopped
1 tablespoon Thousand Island salad dressing
4 slices Swiss cheese, cut into 1/2-inch strips
8 thin slices deli corned beef.
- Separate crescent dough into eight triangles. In a small bowl, combine sauerkraut and salad dressing.
- Place two cheese strips across the short side of each triangle. Fold corned beef slices in half; place over cheese. Top with sauerkraut mixture. Roll up each from the short side.
- Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375° for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
Yield: 8 servings. These make a great appetizer for a small gathering, or served with a salad and fruit, these can be a meal in themselves. Enjoy!