Thursday, December 29, 2011

Deli Sandwiches

I thought I would quickly share two easy sandwich recipes. The first is an old favorite and a classic--the Reuben. The second is a new favorite that is so easy to put together.

I craved Reuben sandwiches like crazy during my first pregnancy. So much so that I finally decided to see if I could replicate it on my own--and do you know what? It's a really easy sandwich to make at home. And it tastes just as good as the restaurant versions. But the great thing about making it at home is that you can make it lighter depending on what ingredients (and how much) you use.

Both of these sandwiches use rye bread (one of my personal favorites). Rye can be kind of tricky to find. The deli/bakery department sometimes carries it and sometimes doesn't (and that goes for just about every grocery store I've been to). But I discovered that Sara Lee and Orowheat both make rye bread that can be found by all of your usual sliced loaves of bread and buns. And while I prefer rye bread from the bakery, it is still pretty darn good when you get the pre-sliced loaves in the bread section.

Also, while I consider rye bread to be pretty essential to the flavor of a Reuben sandwich, we tried the salami and cream cheese sandwiches without the rye bread (on regular white bread) and decided that they were still just as delicious. So, if you don't like rye, substitute your favorite kind of bread for these sandwiches.

So, make yourself a sandwich and serve it alongside some veggies and dip or a bowl of soup and have a nice meal!

Reuben Sandwiches


Rye bread
Swiss cheese slices
Thousand Island Dressing
Sauerkraut (drained and patted dry with a paper towel)
Pastrami or Corned Beef, sliced very thin


Toast bread. Place 1-3 slices of pastrami on each slice of bread. Spread Thousand Island dressing on top of pastrami and top with desired amount of sauerkraut. Top with 1-2 slices of Swiss cheese per slice of bread. Toast sandwiches open-faced in an oven or toaster oven until sandwich filling is warm and the cheese is melted.

Source: My own pregnant creativity.


You can experiment with the order of the sandwich fillings to suit your tastes and needs. This is the order that I have come up with after a little bit of trial and error. It always makes sense to spread the dressing on the bread, right? Well, I've found that sometimes this makes the bread a little soggy. That's why I started toasting the bread prior to assembling the sandwich. I've also put the cheese right against the bread, followed by the dressing. This works better, but it sometimes results in soggy bread and cheese that doesn't get melted all the way. It's for this same reason that you want to drain and pat dry the sauerkraut. Otherwise, your sandwich will get soggy.

In the picture above, I toasted the bread, spread on some dressing, topped it with cheese, then sauerkraut, and finally the pastrami. It turned out pretty well...but I did have one tiny little soggy spot despite having toasted my bread beforehand. So, assemble it however you like...just beware of soggy spots!

Also, I tend to see this sandwich made more often with corned beef than with pastrami. It's up to your personal preference, but I definitely prefer this sandwich with pastrami. Oh, and one more thing, I prefer my pastrami sliced more thinly than the pastrami in this picture...but this is what was available since the deli counter was closed. So, that's what I used!

Usually this sandwich is made in a skillet by buttering the bread and toasting it and then flipping it (this method makes it a lot less likely that you'll get a soggy sandwich). You can definitely do it this way. I prefer not to because it takes a long time when you are making sandwiches for a lot of people and it adds extra calories for a sandwich which is already pretty calorie heavy. Besides, I don't really notice that much of a taste difference if I skip buttering the bread. It still tastes great to me without the butter. It's up to you.

Salami and Cream Cheese Sandwich

Serves 1


1 teaspoon grainy mustard
2 slices rye bread
2 ounces salami (about 6 slices), thinly sliced
1/2 small bunch arugula, trimmed and washed
1 tablespoon cream cheese


Spread mustard on one slice of bread; top with salami and arugula. Spread cream cheese on the other slice of bread; close sandwich. Serve, or refrigerate, wrapped tightly in wax paper or plastic, up to overnight. Cut in half.

Source: Martha Stewart website. Originally seen on the PBS Everyday Food TV show. You can find it here.

Notes: This was so good. No changes are necessary. It's just so simple and so satisfying. I like the flavor of Genoa salami best (it's the most common type of salami sold, I think). But feel free to use any kind.


  1. Isn't it called a Rachel if you use turkey instead of pastrami or corned beef? Ah....corned beef. Maybe we'll have that twice this year or do our St. Patrick's dinner when Laurie is in town.

    These both look really, really good.

  2. Yes, a Reuben made with turkey instead of beef is indeed called a "Rachel." Thanks for pointing that out. So, if you don't like beef, you can switch it out for turkey instead.