I’m not typically a huge fan of Reubens. They’re in husband territory, along with gumbo and club sandwiches; I just don’t order them. But the other day we met some folks at Stevens Pass who raved about 74th Street Ale House‘s Reuben when they heard we lived a few blocks away. I finally tried it, and I am a changed woman.
Warm, salty corned beef is squished between two butter-infused, crispy, toasty slabs of rye along with melted Swiss, some sort of yummy mayonnaise-based saucey concoction, and a piquant red sauerkraut. It tasted more like sauerkraut than like pickled cabbage, but since I walk by the place every day and never smell the lovely stench that usually accompanies the sauerkraut-making process; I can’t be sure. Maybe they have a supplier for red sauerkraut (the Food Network has what looks like a quick recipe for that). Or maybe it’s just pickled red cabbage.
Here’s the history of the Reuben, as delivered by The Food Lover’s Companion:
Reportedly originally named for its creator, Arthur Reuben (owner of New York’s once-famous and now-defunct Reuben’s delicatessen), this sandwich is made with generous layers of corned beef, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut on sourdough rye bread. Reuben is said to have created the original version (which was reportedly made with ham) for Annette Seelos, the leading lady in a Charlie Chaplin film being shot in 1914. Another version of this famous sandwich’s origin is that an Omaha wholesale grocer (Reuben Kay) invented it during a poker game in 1955. It gained national prominence when one of his poker partner’s employees entered the recipe in a national sandwich contest the following year . . . and won. The Reuben sandwich can be served either cold or grilled.
Since I thought it might be suspicious if I showed up the next day to order another Reuben, I made my own pickled red cabbage. My Reuben, layered with turkey and Jarlsberg, was not quite as good (read: not as buttery and with no mayo, and probably with a lot less saturated fat), but perfectly adequate for my midday meal:
And later the same day, pickled cabbage on salad:
Recipe for Pickled Red Cabbage
Recipe 41 of 365
A most versatile of condiments. . .add this to sandwiches or salads, or even soups, for a crunchy topping with a good vinegar bite. It’s a great way to use up leftover cabbage.
TIME: 5 minutes, plus pickling time
MAKES: about 2 packed cups pickled cabbage
1/2 red cabbage
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar
Using a long serrated knife, slice the cabbage very thinly, then cut the shreds in half lengthwise, so no piece is longer than about 3 inches.
In a deep mixing bowl, toss the cabbage with the remaining ingredients, and let the mixture marinate on the counter for about 2 hours, stirring the ingredients every 15 minutes or so (or when you happen to walk by). The cabbage will begin to give up its liquid and color after about 30 minutes; it’s done when the cabbage is uniformly beet red.
Refrigerate the cabbage for up to 2 weeks, using as needed.