One of America’s Favorites – Reuben Sandwich

March 16, 2020 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Reuben from Katz’s Delicatessen

The Reuben sandwich is an American grilled sandwich composed of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing, grilled between slices of rye bread. It is associated with kosher-style delicatessens, but it is not kosher, because it contains both meat and cheese.

Possible origins
Reuben Kulakofsky, Blackstone Hotel: Omaha, Nebraska
One origin story holds that Reuben Kulakofsky (his first name sometimes spelled Reubin; his last name sometimes shortened to Kay), a Jewish Lithuanian-born grocer residing in Omaha, Nebraska, was the inventor, perhaps as part of a group effort by members of Kulakofsky’s weekly poker game held in the Blackstone Hotel from around 1920 through 1935. The participants, who nicknamed themselves “the committee”, included the hotel’s owner, Charles Schimmel. The sandwich first gained local fame when Schimmel put it on the Blackstone’s lunch menu, and its fame spread when a former employee of the hotel won a national contest with the recipe. In Omaha, March 14 was proclaimed Reuben Sandwich Day. Mention is made of this sandwich in a scene within the movie Quiz Show, where Richard N. Goodwin (known as Dick) orders and eats one in a restaurant with Charles van Doren, and they discuss the sandwich’s origins.

Reuben’s Delicatessen: New York City, New York
Another account holds that the Reuben’s creator was Arnold Reuben, the German-Jewish owner of Reuben’s Delicatessen (1908–2001) in New York City. According to an interview with Craig Claiborne, Arnold Reuben invented the “Reuben Special” around 1914. The earliest references in print to the sandwich are New York–based, but that is not conclusive evidence, though the fact that the earliest, in a 1926 issue of Theatre Magazine, references a “Reuben Special”, does seem to take its cue from Arnold Reuben’s menu.
A variation of the above account is related by Bernard Sobel in his 1953 book, Broadway Heartbeat: Memoirs of a Press Agent. Sobel states that the sandwich was an extemporaneous creation for Marjorie Rambeau inaugurated when the famed Broadway actress visited the Reuben’s Delicatessen one night when the cupboards were particularly bare.
Some sources name the actress in the above account as Annette Seelos, not Marjorie Rambeau, while also noting that the original “Reuben Special” sandwich of 1926 did not contain corned beef or sauerkraut and was not grilled.
Still other versions give credit to Alfred Scheuing, a chef at Reuben’s Delicatessen, and say he created the sandwich for Reuben’s son, Arnold Jr., in the 1930s.

Variations

Montreal Reuben
The Montreal Reuben substitutes Montreal-style smoked meat for corned beef.

Thousand Island dressing
Thousand Island dressing is commonly used as a substitute for Russian dressing.

Walleye Reuben
The walleye Reuben features the freshwater fish (Sander vitreus) in place of the corned beef. It is eaten in Minnesota and Ohio.

Grouper Reuben
The grouper Reuben is a variation on the standard Reuben sandwich, substituting grouper for the corned beef, and sometimes coleslaw for the sauerkraut as well. This variation is often a menu item in restaurants in Florida.

Reuben egg rolls
Reuben egg rolls, sometimes called “Irish egg rolls” or “Reuben balls”, use the standard Reuben sandwich filling of corned beef, sauerkraut, and cheese inside a deep-fried egg roll wrapper. Typically served with Thousand Island dressing (instead of Russian dressing) as an appetizer or snack, they originated at Mader’s, a German restaurant in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where chef Dennis Wegner created them for a summer festival circa 1990.

Rachel sandwich
The Rachel sandwich is a variation which substitutes pastrami or turkey for the corned beef, and coleslaw for the sauerkraut. Other recipes for the Rachel call for turkey instead of pastrami. In some parts of the United States, especially Michigan, this turkey variant is known as a “Georgia Reuben” or “California Reuben”, and it may also call for barbecue sauce or French dressing instead of Russian dressing. The name may have originated from the 1871 song “Reuben and Rachel”.

Vegetarian versions
Vegetarian versions, called “veggie Reubens”, omit the corned beef or substitute vegetarian ingredients for it, including zucchini, cucumbers, wheatmeat, mushrooms, tempeh, etc.

Corned beef Reuben sandwich

Kosher version
As the original Reuben contains both meat (corned beef) and dairy (Swiss cheese), it is not kosher. If kosher ingredients are used, a meat version can be made by omitting the cheese and any dairy ingredients in the dressing, and a dairy version can be made by omitting the meat.

 

Lunch Meat of the Week – Corned Beef

October 11, 2018 at 5:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Corned beef

Corned beef is a salt-cured beef product. The term comes from the treatment of the meat with large grained rock salt, also called “corns” of salt. It is featured as an ingredient in many cuisines.

Most recipes include nitrates or nitrites, which convert the natural myoglobin in beef to nitrosomyoglobin, giving a pink color. Nitrates and nitrites reduce the risk of dangerous botulism during curing by inhibiting the growth of Clostridium botulinum spores, but have been shown to be linked to increased cancer risk. Beef cured with salt only has a gray color and is sometimes called “New England corned beef.” Sometimes, sugar and spices are also added to corned beef recipes.

It was popular during World War I and World War II, when fresh meat was rationed. It also remains especially popular in Canada in a variety of dishes.

A corned beef on rye bread sandwich

Although the exact beginnings of corned beef are unknown, it most likely came about when people began preserving meat through salt-curing. Evidence of its legacy is apparent in numerous cultures, including ancient Europe and the Middle East. The word corn derives from Old English and is used to describe any small, hard particles or grains. In the case of corned beef, the word may refer to the coarse, granular salts used to cure the beef. The word “corned” may also refer to the corns of potassium nitrate, also known as saltpeter, which were formerly used to preserve the meat.

Corned beef on a bagel with mustard

In North America, corned beef dishes are associated with traditional Irish cuisine. However, considerable debate remains about the association of corned beef with Ireland. Mark Kurlansky, in his book Salt, states that the Irish produced a salted beef around the Middle Ages that was the “forerunner of what today is known as Irish corned beef” and in the 17th century, the English named the Irish salted beef “corned beef”.

Some say until the wave of 18th-century Irish immigration to the United States, many of the ethnic Irish had not begun to consume corned beef dishes as seen today. The popularity of corned beef compared to bacon among the immigrant Irish may have been due to corned beef being considered a luxury product in their native land, while it was cheaply and readily available in America.

The Jewish population produced similar salt-cured meat from beef brisket, which Irish immigrants purchased as corned beef from Jewish butchers. This may have been facilitated by the close cultural interactions and collaboration of these two diverse cultures in the United States’ main 19th- and 20th-century immigrant port of entry, New York City.

Corned beef hash out of the can

Canned corned beef has long been one of the standard meals included in military field ration packs around the world, due to its simplicity and instant preparation in such rations. One example is the American Meal, Ready-to-Eat (MRE) pack. Astronaut John Young sneaked a contraband corned beef sandwich on board Gemini 3, hiding it in a pocket of his spacesuit.

 

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

February 13, 2018 at 6:37 AM | Posted in Kitchen Hints | Leave a comment
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Deli tip…..

Next time you’re buying lunchmeat at the deli counter ask them if they give discounts for bulk ends of meat. These are the end bits that are to small to slice in the machine, but can be sliced or cubed at home. They’re often offered at half off.

One of America’s Favorites – Veggie Burger

June 2, 2014 at 7:45 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites, vegetables | Leave a comment
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Veggie burger topped with grated cheese on a bun

Veggie burger topped with grated cheese on a bun

A veggie burger is a hamburger-style, or chicken-style, patty that does not contain meat, but may contain animal products such as egg or milk. The patty of a veggie burger may be made from vegetables (like corn), textured vegetable protein (like soy), legumes (beans), tofu, nuts, mushrooms, or grains or seeds, like wheat and flax.

 

 

 
The patties that are the essence of a veggie burger have existed in various Eurasian cuisines for millennia, including in the form of disc-shaped grilled or fried meatballs or as koftas, a commonplace item in Indian cuisine. These may contain meats or be made of entirely vegetarian ingredients such as legumes or other plant-derived proteins. While it is not possible, or even necessary, to identify the ‘inventor’ of the veggie burger, there have been numerous claimants.

 

 

 
Some fast food companies have been offering vegetarian foods increasingly since the beginning of the 21st century.
Around the world[edit]
In places such as India where vegetarianism is widespread, McDonald’s and KFC serve veggie burgers. Since February 2010, McDonald’s Germany, its fourth-biggest global market, is serving veggie burgers in all its restaurants. Different kinds of veggie burgers are also served permanently in McDonald’s restaurants in:

* Bahrain
* Cheung Chau, Hong Kong (McVeggie, in Cheung Chau Bun Festival)
* Egypt (McFalafel, consisting of a falafel patty with tomato, lettuce and tahini sauce)
* Greece (McVeggie, consisting of a breaded and fried vegetable patty with tomato, iceberg lettuce and ketchup, in a sesame bun)
* Malaysia
* The Netherlands (Groentenburger=Vegetable Burger)
* Sweden (McGarden)
* Switzerland (Vegi Mac)

 

Order from a vegetarian deli: veggie burger with french fries and salad

Order from a vegetarian deli: veggie burger with french fries and salad

In the USA as of April 2005, veggie burgers were available in Burger King restaurants and those of its franchise Hungry Jack’s. As of that same time, they were also available in certain Subways and Harvey’s, as well as many chain restaurants, such as Red Robin, Chili’s, Denny’s, Friendly’s, Johnny Rockets, and Hard Rock Cafe. Occasionally the veggie burger option will appear at the bottom of a menu as a possible substitution for beef or turkey burgers, rather than as an individual menu item.

 

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