What's for Dinner: Picnic Reubens

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Picnic reubens

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Sandwiches are classic picnic fare, but who says you have to stick with ham and cheese or roast beef on a bun? How about upping your game just a bit with this German classic, the Reuben?

Even though it's usually served hot, the sandwich -- invented in the 1920s when a group of guys playing cards at a Nebraska hotel requested a midnight lunch from room service -- makes a fabulous picnic dish because it's easy to assemble and tastes terrific.

To cut calories, substitute sliced turkey breast for the pastrami and coleslaw for the sauerkraut.

  • For dressing

  • 6 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise

  • 2 heaping tablespoons ketchup

  • 2 teaspoons horseradish sauce

  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • For sandwiches

  • 8 slices rye bread, buttered (I used pumpernickle)

  • 1/2 pound shaved corned beef or turkey breast

  • 1/2 pound Gruyere, Swiss or Comte cheese, sliced into fine slivers

  • 1 cup sauerkraut or coleslaw

Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Dressing can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Assemble sandwiches: Spread one slice of bread generously with dressing. Top with meat. Add a layer or two of cheese. Pile on the sauerkraut or coleslaw. Top with second slice of bread. Slice and serve immediately.

Makes 4 sandwiches.

-- Adapted from "The Picnic Cookbook" by Annie Bell (Kyle, July 2013, $19.95)

recipes - whatsfordinner

Gretchen McKay: gmckay@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1419 or on Twitter @gtmckay.

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