Great Sandwiches of the World:
The Reuben Sandwich
The Reuben sandwich is a hot sandwich composed of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing, grilled between slices of rye bread. Several variants exist.
Welcome to a new Lavender and Lovage recipe collection series, “Great Sandwiches of the World”. Every couple of weeks I will be sharing a classic sandwich recipe from around the world, so look out for some pretty amazing sandwich recipes as I eat my way around the globe. So, why sandwiches? Well, along with pies and burgers, they are my favourite food groups, absolutely essential for any “guilty secret” eating sessions, and when a salad just doesn’t do it, or when I just need an injection of carbs and protein. They are perfect for a quick and easy lunch, and are the mainstay of the school and office lunch box, as well as picnics and midnight snacks.
Before I share my first sandwich recipe, which hails from the USA and is the classic New York Deli “Reuben Sandwich”, I’d like to share a few sandwiches that I discovered on the internet whilst I was researching recipes…….some I’d heard of and have enjoyed on my globe-trotting adventures, and some I’d never heard of, but I intend to try them as part of my new series. Let’s start of with a post-nightclub classic……..
The sliced meat of a döner kebab may be served wrapped in a flat-bread such as lavash or pita or as a sandwich instead of being served on a plate. It is a common fast-food item not only in Turkey but also in the Middle East, Europe, Canada and Australia. Seasoned meat in the shape of an inverted cone is turned slowly against a vertical rotisserie, then sliced vertically into thin, crisp shavings. On the sandwich version, the meat is generally served with tomato, onion with sumac, pickled cucumber and chilli.
The cemita, also known as cemita poblana, derives from the city (and region) of Puebla in Mexico. The word refers to the sandwich as well as to the roll it is typically served on, a bread roll covered with sesame seeds. The bread is made with egg, and resembles brioche. Additionally, the ingredients usually are restricted to sliced avocado, meat, white cheese, onions, the herb pápalo and red sauce (salsa roja)
Bánh mì is a Vietnamese term for all kinds of bread. The word is derived from bánh and mì (wheat). Bread, or more specifically the baguette, was introduced by the French during its colonial period. The bread most commonly found in Vietnam is a single serving baguette, therefore the term bánh mì is synonymous with this type of bread. The Vietnamese sandwich, sometimes called a “bánh mì” sandwich, is a product of French colonialism in Indochina, combining ingredients from the French (baguettes, pâté and mayonnaise) with native Vietnamese ingredients, such as cilantro, cucumber, jalapeño, and pickled carrots and daikon.
Montreal-style smoked meat, Montreal smoked meat or simply smoked meat in Montreal (French: viande fumée), is a type of kosher-style deli meat product made by salting and curing beef brisket with spices. The brisket is allowed to absorb the flavours over a week, and is then hot smoked to cook through, and finally steamed to completion. Montreal smoked meat is typically served in the form of a rye bread sandwich slathered with yellow mustard. While some Montreal smoked meat is brine-cured like corned beef, with spices applied later, many smoked meat establishments prefer dry-curing directly with salt and spices.
A Gatsby is a South African sandwich very similar in content and method of preparation as a hoagie in the United States. In contemporary times, it is typically sold as a foot-long sandwich sliced into four portions. The Gatsby is also sometimes referred to as the nickname AK-47, in part due to how it can be held in one’s arm in a similar manner to the firearm. It has been described as a “filling, budget meal”, a standard menu item in Cape Town corner stores, and as a significant part of the heritage and a cultural symbol of Cape Flats, where it originated from. While the choice of filling in a Gatsby varies widely depending on customer preference and vendor, one standard item is usually hot chips or slap chips (French fries with vinegar)
Vada pav (Marathi: वडा पाव), sometimes spelled wada pav or vada paav or vada pao, is a vegetarian fast food dish native to the Indian state of Maharashtra, consisting of a potato fritter in a bread bun. It originated as cheap street food in Mumbai, but is now offered in stalls and restaurants throughout India. Boiled mashed potatoes are spiced, commonly with chillies, garlic, asafoetida, turmeric, mustard seeds and garlic, but the spices may vary. The mass is then coated in gram flour batter and deep-fried. The resultant fritter is served in a bread bun, accompanied by one or more chutneys.
Information and Images above: Wikipedia
But back to my recipe for today, The Reuben Sandwich – an American classic and one that I have had the pleasure of enjoying when I was in the New York many years ago. It’s basically cheese, sauerkraut and corned beef (NOT the tinned type, but salt beef brisket) served with Russian dressing and made with rye bread. It’s a magical combination and works on so many levels…….crunchy golden-brown rye bread (with caraway is even better) that is fried with its door-step laden filling of salty cheese, tender beef and tangy pickled cabbage, it really shouldn’t work on paper, but it is a fabulous taste and texture sensation.
Do try this recipe at home and you will be rewarded with a fabulous “toasted” sandwich that will satisfy any sandwich cravings. Serve with crisps (potato chips) and dill pickles (gherkins) for a classic New York Deli sandwich lunch. I have shared the recipe below, but please keep checking back for my next Great Sandwich of the World recipe and have a wonderful weekend. Karen
Other sandwich recipes on Lavender and Lovage:
Learn how to make sauerkraut here: