Monday, April 25, 2011

The Vegetarian "Reuben"




April is National Grilled Cheese Month, and I had to celebrate with my favorite grilled cheese! I like to call this a "Vegetarian Reuben", but it's really not a Reuben at all. I make my own "pickled" red cabbage and replace the meat with mushrooms. Instead of a Thousand Island dressing, I make a concoction of mayonnaise, Dijon mustard and dill relish. I generally use rye bread, because I love love love rye and pumpernickel breads. So as you see, this is really not a Reuben at all. But let's be honest, who's stopping me from calling it one?

Vegetarian "Reuben"
(makes 2 sandwiches)

4 slices rye bread (or whatever bread you have)
4 slices Swiss cheese (lacey, baby or regular)
10-15 button mushrooms (cleaned and sliced)
1/4 head red cabbage (sliced)
2 cloves garlic ( minced)
3 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp dill pickle relish
2 tbsp horseradish
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
unsalted butter
olive oil

The first step in assembing this grilled cheese is to prepare all your ingredients. Heat two saute pans over medium heat. Add some olive oil to each pan. In one pan, add the mushrooms, garlic and black pepper. Let cook for 5 minutes.

In the second pan, add the red cabbage, salt and pepper and let cook in oil for 2 minutes. Add the vinegar and horseradish and let cook for 5 more minutes.

While both the mushrooms and cabbage are cooking, mix up the dressing. Combine mayonnaise, Dijon and relish in a small bowl.
Butter one side of 2 pieces of bread generously. On the other side of the buttered pieces of bread, spread the dressing over the bread. Add mushrooms to each sandwich. Add a slice of cheese on top of the mushrooms. Cover the cheese in cabbage. Add one more slice of cheese on top of the cabbage.

Place the slices of bread, buttered side down on a hot skillet (heat skillet over high heat). Add the second slice of bread to the top of the sandwich and place a couple cubes of butter on top of each slice. Put the pan you used to cook the mushrooms or cabbage on top of the sandwiches (unless you have a foil covered brick or some other cool device).

Flip after a few minutes and cook the other side without the pan. The bread should be nice and crusty and cheese should be melting out the sides.
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