Going Coastal: The Rouxben

Going Coastal is a series of recipes familiar throughout the country but with a uniquely Third Coast spin to them.

The Ruben is one of the classic deli sandwiches of New York.  Rye bread, tangy mustard, kraut, Swiss cheese and piled high with tender corned beef.  Few know that the first Ruben was made in Omaha, NE.  Same setup with one distinct difference, instead of mustard that original Rueben had Russian dressing as a condiment.  The use of Thousand Island dressing was an invention of soulless national chain restaurants, one of their many sins against the American dining scene.  What I have here is a Cajun twist on the Big Apple classic.

1 3 – 4 pound corned beef brisket (the pre-brined type from the grocer)
1 bag of dry Cajun boiling spices (crab and shrimp boil)
1 cup sauerkraut
1 cup Creole mustard
1 pound smoked or aged Swiss cheese in thin slices
1 loaf fresh rye bread
Butter, softened
Tabasco sauce (optional)
Cajun seasoning (optional)

Fill a large stockpot with enough water to fully immerse the brisket and bring to a boil. Add the brisket and the boiling spices and cook according to directions that accompany the brisket. When the corned beef is done you can either slice it or use two forks to pull it apart. Butter one slice of rye bread and place it butter side down on a griddle at medium heat. Layer cheese, corned beef, Tabasco and/or Cajun seasoning if using, kraut, mustard, and another slice of cheese. Top with another buttered slice of rye (butter side up). Grill until bottom bread is toasted and cheese is starting to melt then flip. Once second side is done flip again for a few seconds then serve.
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