What Life Dishes Out A Gluten Free and (almost) Vegetarian Cooking Blog

March 17, 2011

A Golden St. Patrick’s Day Tradition & A Sandwich – Vegetarian Reuben/Rachel

Edit: March 17, 2011  Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I’m updating and reprising this recipe post in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.  It’s all part of our tradition every year.  The Grandparents happen to be visiting this year and while everyone but me is still sleeping right now,  it won’t belong before the kids wake up and head straight to the front porch, where they’ll check to see if the Leprechaun has left them any GOLD! 

 

We each leave one shoe out on the porch the night before St. Patrick’s Day, and magically the following  morning find our  shoes filled with gold. 

But this isn’t just any gold, since after all, Leprechauns are tricky little folk! 

The boys go to great lengths to keep a watchful eye on their gold pieces, sometimes hiding them in creative spots (like in the freezer or under a pillow) to try to trick the Leprechaun himself!  But inevitably by the end of the day, the gold pieces have all turned to stone.   Oh well!  It all makes for great fun and we still have our sandwiches to look forward to! :-)

I never knew.  I have always called the Corned Beef/Coleslaw sandwich a “Reuben”, from way back in my mammal-eating days.  To be honest with you, Corned Beef is one of the very few meats I actually do still miss from time to time.  Especially Corned Beef Hash, topped with a couple of “Sunny-Side-Up” Eggs with toast on the side for breakfast.  So yummy and so gross all at once!

In deciding what to name this version, I looked up “Reuben” and found that the name really only applies to the Corned Beef and Sauerkraut sandwich, and that it evolved into another form called the “Rachel”, which substitued Pastrami for the Corned Beef and the Coleslaw for the Kraut.  So, what are we supposed to call the Corned Beef/Coleslaw variant?  A Reubel?  A Rachen?   Doesn’t matter I guess, since we are going to ditch the Corned Beef and Pastrami altogether with my version anyway. 

So, you may call this whatever you like.  I’ll just call it delicious.

You’ll need:

2 slices Rye Bread (I used my own Gluten Free version)

1 slice Swiss Cheese

1/3 cup prepared Coleslaw (I told you I had plans for this!)

1 Tablespoon Thousand Island Dressing

1 Tablespoon softened Butter

What to do:

Spread outsides of both slices of bread with softened butter.

Place one slice, butter side down, on a skillet or griddle over medium heat.

Top with cheese,

then Coleslaw,

and drizzle on the Thousand Island Dressing.

Top with remaining bread slice, butter side up.

Cook over medium heat until bottom is golden brown and then carefully flip over to brown the other side.

Remove to plate and serve with chips and a pickle!   This is so yummy, you’ll never miss the Corned Beef.  Okay, maybe just a little bit. :-)

 

November 13, 2010

Creamy Coleslaw: A Thanksgiving Staple

 

I’ve never been one to load up my plate with all the various side-dishes at Thanksgiving.  If I’m going to stuff myself silly (which is certainly a given on Turkey Day) then it’s going to be with only my favorites; Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Stuffing, Corn, Green Beans, and Cranberry Sauce.  But there is one more player who always makes it onto my plate and without whom I feel Thanksgiving Dinner would not be complete.  I may ignore the Veggie Casserole.  I may shun the Candied Yams.  I will likely say “No, thanks!” to the Salads.  But I always, always, always have room for a bit of Coleslaw on my plate. 

(Oh, drool!  Now I can’t wait for Thanksgiving!  Less than 2 weeks to go!!!)

Last year was the first year that I actually used my Mother’s China for Thanksgiving dinner.  My husband’s Grandmother had given me her Silverware a few weeks before and I knew she would enjoy my using it for the Holiday.  My own Mother’s Silverware had been poorly stored, and years of neglect had left it tarnished beyond repair.  But Grandma had kept hers pristine in a felt-lined silver case and it barely even needed polishing.  I’ve since learned that the best way to keep Silver nice is to use it often and although we won’t be dining with it daily (as Grandma did in her early married years), from now on it will be on the table for any occasion that warrants it!  Not surprisingly, the food actually tasted better served on real China instead of Chinet!  :-)

To make this Coleslaw, you’ll need:

1 small-medium head Cabbage

2 whole Carrots

2 Tbsp Onion, finely minced (optional)

1/2 cup Sour Cream

1/2 cup Mayonnaise

2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar (or White Distilled Vinegar)

2 Tbsp Sugar

1 tsp Black Pepper

1 tsp Salt

What to do:

Wash cabbage, cut in half root to tip, and cut each half in half again.

Cut the core, on a diagonal, from each quarter.

Cut each quarter in half again, then slice very thinly down the length of each piece.

This is my husband chopping.  Just look at him go!

Repeat with remaining eighths until all the cabbage is shredded.

Place cabbage in a large bowl, and set aside.

Wash, peel, and shred carrots.  I use a microplane grater for this job.

Now, here’s a recent trick we use:  We like a decent amount of carrot in our Slaw, but if you use too much, often the slaw gets an orange-y tint to it.  Here’s how to solve that problem:

(I really have to credit by husband with this brainy rinsing idea.)

After you rinse all the orange-ness down the drain, place strainer over a bowl and let the moisture drip out of the carrots.  Give them a squeeze or two with your hand to remove any remaining water, then place in the bowl with the cabbage.

Toss cabbage and carrots together, then set bowl aside.

In a smaller bowl, or large glass measuring cup, place 1/2 cup Sour Cream and 1/2 cup Mayonnaise (NOT Salad Dressing).

Add 2 Tbsp Vinegar (I used Rice Vinegar),

2 Tbsp Sugar,

1 tsp Pepper

and 1 tsp Salt.

Whisk together until mixture is smooth.

At this point, you can taste and add more salt, pepper, sugar or vinegar as needed. 

The goal is to not have the dressing taste too sweet or too tart. 

If it tastes too vinegar-y, add sugar and vice-versa. 

Pour the dressing onto the cabbage mixture, and be sure to get every last drop!

If you are so inclined, add the minced onion now to the cabbage/dressing mixture.   Some folks don’t go for onion, and it’s okay to leave it out if that’s how you roll.

Mix everything together, until all the cabbage is well coated. 

Cover bowl, and refrigerate at least several hours.  You’ll want to give this another taste just before serving and then season with salt and pepper as needed.

Since Thanksgiving is still a couple weeks away, this batch won’t be making it onto our Holiday table.  But I do have big plans for this Slaw….so stay tuned! :-)

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