I am on a mission to make the perfect vegetarian Reuben. This is attempt No. 1, and I was pretty happy. Gonna keep tweaking, but it has a good balance of what I'm looking for: Salty, tangy, crunchy.
The amounts you need of each ingredient will vary depending on how many sandwiches you are making and how much of each topping you like. I'd say, experiment on your first one to determine what pleases your palate the most, and then your second one will be amazing.
Swirly marble rye bread, sliced. Or regular rye bread. (I totally lucked out -- I've never seen this swirly stuff before and just happened upon it at the grocery. It was super fresh and soft.)
Cheese (I used light Swiss)
Thousand Island dressing
A couple tablespoons of olive oil
Dashes of: cayenne, black pepper, sea salt
Optional: Earth Balance
How to assemble:
1.) Toast the bread. Meanwhile, saute the mushrooms and kale in the oil. Also meanwhile: Heat the sauerkraut in a small pan on the stove (start with a cup or two). Add a 1/2 cup or so of dressing to the mixture and continue to heat.
2.) Slice the cheese and tomatoes. Layer them on the bread when it's done toasting, cheese first. Try to pile everything in as flat of layers as possible. I put cheese on both slices of bread and then piled the rest of the toppings on one slice.
3.) Once mushrooms and kale have softened, pile them on the tomato layer. Scoop a heap of sauerkraut from the pan and add it to the awesomeness that is your Reuben in the making. I use a fork for the scooping, so I don't carry too much of the juices onto the sandwich.
4.) Sprinkle on the salt and pepper. Add cayenne, if desired. With just a sprinkle, it won't make it spicy, but it will help "wake up" your taste buds, kinda like salt.
5.) Put the top slice onto your sandwich and broil the whole thing in the oven for 3-4 minutes, watching closely. While you wait, picture how amazing it is going to be when you bite into all this stuff at once!
6.) When cheese is melty, it's done. Pull out of the oven and spread Earth Balance on the top slice. I wait til the end to do this because I think it gets a little too soggy if I do it sooner.
7.) Allow to cool slightly and then enjoy!
Note: Mike's version was pretty different from this. He doesn't like shrooms on his, so his had deli corned beef, tomatoes, sauerkraut/Thousand Island mixture and cheese. It met his approval.
As I was making this, I started to wonder if anyone has ever made sauerkraut from kale. Have you ever heard of such a thing? I think it might be cool to try it, if I can find or make it.
A vegetarian and an omnivore, learning to cook in harmony one meal at a time.
“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure.
In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”
— Julia Child