Reuben panini and a side of fresh pineapple
One of my mom’s favorite sandwiches is a reuben sandwich. When I was little, there were many years when we had reubens on New Year’s Eve for dinner or a snack. It became one of our family traditions. My mom never used Thousand Island salad dressing though because she doesn’t care for it. She always used a spicy mustard, which goes great with the corn beef. We no longer eat reubens for NYE, but we do try to make reubens a few times a year, especially around St. Patrick’s Day.
Since I recently got a panini press, I decided to make a reuben panini. I used hearty rye bread with the rye seeds in it, spicy mustard, deli sliced corn beef, sweet sauerkraut, and sliced swiss cheese. You can use corn beef that you cook yourself, but I tend to prefer a good quality deli sliced corn beef for sandwiches. I start out by putting the spicy mustard on one slice of bread. Then topping the mustard with the sliced swiss cheese. I add a generous layer of sweet sauerkraut on top of the swiss cheese, then pile on the corn beef. If you want, you can always add a little salt and pepper on the spicy mustard, but I don’t think it’s necessary. The corn beef adds enough salt to the sandwich. Once the sandwich is assembled, I lightly butter the outside of my bread before putting it on the panini press. You can skip the butter if you don’t want the added fat and calories, but I think the butter makes the sandwich taste even better. I let the sandwich cook on the panini press for about 8 minutes. The outside of the sandwich should be lightly browned and the cheese should be completely melted.
To lighten the meal up a little, we ate some fresh pineapple on the side. If I had more time today, I would have made some kale chips, but it just didn’t happen. It can be hard to get stuff done when you have a 14 month old, 2 1/2 year old (my nephew), and 3 dogs running around and demanding your attention. I do what I can. If possible, I try to give my daughter some fresh fruit a few times a week, if not every day. She loves to eat with her fingers, which can get a little messy at times, but I don’t mind. She hasn’t quite mastered eating with utensils yet, and she doesn’t always chew her food properly…which can be very scary…so I always make sure to cut everything up into very small pieces for her. It can be time consuming, depending on the meal, but her safety is my main priority. Some might say that a reuben and pineapple chunks don’t really go together, but sometimes I think the quality of the meal is more important than the perfect pairing.