Wednesday, February 20

Oh, Reuben, how your memory haunts me...

As many of you know by now, I am a woman driven by cravings. The general rule seems to be, if I can't find it here in Norway, I crave it even more.

I'm not sure why, but I have never been one to get excited about sandwiches. You would never catch me saying 'A sandwich just isn't a sandwich without the tangy zip of Miracle Whip'. Now, I won't turn up my nose to a good pimento cheese or a BLT. My dad made the best homemade pimento cheese and the BLT's weren't too shabby, but other than that, sandwiches don't really float my boat.

Except for one.

I don't know where my love affair with Reuben began, it didn't seem significant at the time, but it has endured the test of time. I think it is the combination of the of the saurkraut, the rye bread, the corned beef, the russian dressing, all of it grilled til it's all melty and delicious.

To me, it is food porn. And it all culminated last summer in New York City. I had one singular goal. It was to go to the legendary Carnegie Deli and order a Reuben and possibly be yelled at by the grumpy old waitresses.

It was classic. We went in, sat down, and our waitress, who had to have been at least 75, came over, slammed our silverware down and said, in a voice like gravel, 'Whaddya havin'??'. I knew instinctively that I shouldn't ask for ANYTHING on the side and that substitutions would NOT be tolerated. Even though she couldn't have been an inch over 4 foot 11, you could tell the tourists were terrified of her. She was the queen.

She took our order, shuffled to the counter and hollered our order to the cooks, and moments later, my perfect, gorgeous reuben was before me. I was living the New York dream and it was PERFECT.

Well, I hadn't thought of Reuben since, until Sunday. I went over to 'Use Real Butter', that is Jenny's blog. She is a kitchen goddess and her blog is like CRACK to me. Inevitably, I always see something on her blog that sends me into a complete craving spiral. Well, of course she had made a perfect, gorgeous Reuben! Just seeing it again made my mouth water. And that was that.


One teeny, tiny problem: I LIVE IN NORWAY!! I had a feeling this wouldn't end well, but I was determined to try. I needed rye bread, saurkraut, swiss cheese, corned beef and thousand island dressing. I had ZERO of those things and had very low hopes of finding them here in Scandanavia. So my turning Oslo upside down yielded the following: Spelt sourdough bread, low fat Jarlsberg cheese, Pastrami and norwegian saurkraut. I went ahead and made homemade thousand island dressing. I was determined to TRY and recreate what I had in NYC.
So lets get started shall we?

My scandanavian ingredients:

A close up of the pastrami and cheese, really cause I liked the way it looked:

Putting it together:

Grilling up nicely:

Out of the cast iron skillet and on to the cutting board:

And onto my plate:

I wish I could say that it totally satisfied my craving, but it didn't. I just kept thinking about the mean old waitress and my perfect Reuben in New York City.

Then I felt sorry for my little pitiful norwegian reuben. It couldn't help it that we were in Norway! So, I pushed NY Reuben out of my mind, and enjoyed the Nor-reuben thoroughly!

But how the memory haunts me...


Jen Yu said...

That looks pretty spanking good to me :) I tagged you for a meme, dear.

shell said...

Oh my - that really looks great. I just found your blog thanks to Use real butter... As a newer diabetic I am always looking for good ideas.
Thanks for your blog - and keep the name - I love it.

Cindy said...

The March issue of Bon Appetit has a sort-of Reuben on the cover (it's missing at least the saurkraut)and it looks amazing. AND inside there is a recipe for brining your own corned beef. Could this be the answer to your problem??

It's my favorite sandwich too, although I try to limit myself to about two a year.

Cassandra said...

Oh, I love me a Reuben.. I think yours looks top notch. The funny thing for me is that I don't like the rye bread or russian/thousand island dressing on its own. But what a beautiful combination!

Leann said...

Hi! Found your blog through WW Online. I'm moving to Oslo in 4 weeks (from Philadelphia, PA) and it helps knowing I'm not the only person that'll miss Reubens and the like. I was pretty scared when I saw the grocery stores in Oslo. It took me forever just to find half-and-half (kaffe flote)--for a while I was using whipping cream and milk combined (I'm obsessed with the perfect creaminess in my coffee). Thanks for your blog! -Leann