February 3, 2008

"Not Just A Hunk of Meat!"

I have been awfully hard on the spousal unit in previous posts. And I feel rather bad about it. I fear that you might assume he’s kind of a Neanderthal dork. Not so! He’s a swell guy, a devoted husband, a stellar Dad, smart as a whip, and my best friend. That’s probably why I can make such fun of him…and he even laughs right along with me. A less secure man might whine about my…tales of domestic mishaps. Of course, that's impossible, cause I couldn’t be married to a wimp that whined. I am the only whiner allowed in the house. That’s why he’s so wonderful. He totally “gets it”…I’m a high-maintenance nut and he’s accepted it. We have a great life together. We’ve raised 4 amazing kids, been through all kinds of life-altering events, both exhilarating and heart-breaking, nursed each other through sicknesses (both psychic and physical) and he still chases me around the house, me shrieking like a banshee. He listens to my crazy ideas (“say, how do you feel about me climbing Kilimanjaro?), takes the dead mice out of the traps (I’m sobbing, “Ratatouille, Ratatouille!), irons his own shirts (and mine), and takes care of the boogie man. He loves us with passion, intelligence, absolute devotion, patience, and best of all, great humor. There is no one who can make me laugh harder.

And, did I mention – the guy can flat out cook? Well, actually he’s best at cooking meat. He can sear, braise, grill, and sauté anything that once had a heartbeat like none other. I always defer to him in that department. He’s a pro! I’m so bossy and opinionated in the kitchen that sometimes I forget just how great a talent that is. I struggle with meat…how long, how thick, what temperature? It’s a great mystery to me. But he always gets it right with very little effort or panic.

He’s been talking about making “his” Reuben sandwich for some time. Yesterday he announced that I needed to “get out” and let him take over the kitchen. So I’m going to share the making of his Reuben…and it was delicious. Nothing all that complicated….but with his unique way of doing the brisket and building the sandwich, I think it was probably the best ever.

Just like him. Unique and totally delicious – the best ever.

Reuben Sandwich

Serves 4 with corned beef leftover for hash the next morning

1 corned beef brisket w/ the pickling spices, cooked according to package or some other good recipe you might have.

A couple of potatoes, unpeeled, cut up in big chunks (you might throw in more, if you plan on corned beef hash the next day!)

3 or 4 carrots, unpeeled, cut up in big chunks

1 can (15 oz) Bavarian Style Sauerkraut with caraway seeds (he insists on Libby brand)

Butter for buttering the bread

1 bottle of Thousand Island dressing (Kraft…again he has specific brands he likes!)
1 loaf Schwarzwalder rye bread (Orowheat)

Several slices good Swiss cheese (I like Boar’s Head - he didn’t really have an opinion)

1. Cook the corned beef brisket as directed. When done, remove to cutting board, cut in half, (with the grain) and let rest of a few minutes. Throw the potatoes and carrots into the cooking water and bring to boil and cook until tender, about 15 minutes, about the time you need to rest the corned beef.
2. Meanwhile, heat the sauerkraut in a medium sized saucepan until simmering. Drain in a colander very well, pushing out all liquid with back of spoon. Keep warm.
3. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Slice the corned beef (against the grain) into ½ inch thick slices. Layer the corned beef and cheese onto slices of bread and put together. Butter one side and place buttered side down into hot pan. Cook like a grilled cheese sandwich, flipping and buttering the other side when first side is nicely browned. Flip again to finish.

4. Take sandwich apart, and pile on the sauerkraut and squirt on the Thousand Island dressing to taste. Put sandwich back together again.
5. Cut and serve on a plate along side with the boiled carrots and potatoes.

Yes, he's Irish. He's very pale and loves potatoes and beer.


Anj said...

A most excellent looking sandwich. I love the description of your life, such beautiful sentiments about your husband. It seemed he was a keeper before, but even more so now! You are blessed.

Emiline said...

I'm Irish too!

Yes, he does sound like a keeper. Especially if he can make sandwiches like this. I think it's funny that he has certain brands he likes. Are you getting paid to advertise these?

I do that, also. You know, where you take the sandwich apart, after you grill it. I thought I was the only one that did that.

Catherine Wilkinson said...

ah, thanks so much! I am blessed.
Sometimes we get the whole Lucy/Ricky thing going a little too much, and I have to stop and count all those blessings! Yes, that sandwich, while simple, is soo good!

Catherine Wilkinson said...

He can be so ridiculously specific about brands! It's crazy! If I don't get the right raisin bran, it's drama.
You guys take about your sandwiches apart because your Irish! You probably are looking for potatoes!!!! Or beer!

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