Anyways, it turns out that while I used to love Reubens, I really just loved the swiss cheese/sauerkraut/thousand island combination on toasty bread. So these are perfect! Throw in a few vegetables and you are good to go. I use a combination of a pepper, half a red onion and a small zucchini.
I have tried every imaginable way of slicing the onions and peppers to get them to stay on the sandwich. Nothing really helps, it is just a messy sandwich. Deal.
Next, I grill these veggies up on medium to medium-high heat in some extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper. You want them browned with a little crunch left in them. Can you use "al dente" to describe veggies, or just pasta? According to wikipedia (whom I trust with my life) it is used for pasta, rice and beans. Oh well, so much for being fancy.
Here are the veggies after they spent some time with the grill pan:
I have a panini maker and I love it. I got it for Christmas two years ago and have used it quite a bit. Enough to justify having a panini maker. It really makes toasting sandwiches a lot easier because you don't have to flip them like you would with a grill pan.
Side note: for Christmas three years ago, I got a waffle maker. Then for like 4 months straight we had "Waffle Weekends." Waffles every Saturday and Sunday for months. Don't do this. Seriously. It may sound fun and delicious, but don't! I literally hate waffles now and really haven't used the waffle maker since; though Devin requests one every now and then (I just make it for him, not me). I am thinking about giving it to my mom, (she loves these waffles) although I am sure that once I do, I will want a waffle. Another side note, I have since eaten a Belgian Liege waffle from Waffalonia. These are not like normal waffles. These are sugary and crunchy and are pretty much heaven when topped with nutella and bananas. If I was to go on The Best Thing I Ever Ate, these would be in the running.
Back to the veggie reubs. Besides the veggies, you'll also need some thick cut bread, (I used fresh Italian, I have also used the classic Rye, and Olive Oil) whatever kind floats your boat. You need some swiss, some kraut and some thousand island. And if you are Devin, some ketchup, because what is a sandwich without ketchup? Also some olive oil for brushing the outside of the bread. A note on sauerkraut: it lasts a long time. I buy a bag and then transfer it to an empty quart soup container and put it on my fridge door for the next time I make these. Go for it! An even more important note about sauerkraut: you need to squeeze the crap out of it. You want to get all of the juice out of it otherwise it will make your sandwich a soggy mess. The sandwich is already a mess, but a delicious (hot) (crunchy) mess, not a soggy mess.
I used to throw everything on the sandwich and put it in the panini maker and then they were too tall and all the vegetables would shoot out when the top came down. Now I leave the veggies off the sandwich while they are panini-ing. I put a piece of cheese on each side, the kraut in the middle and throw them on the panini maker. When they come out, I open them up and load on the veggies and a healthy helping of thousand island.
Ta Da (or is it Tah Dah?):
They can seriously be messy. Some days more than others. Something to know about me, I hate getting food on my hands. I hate it so much that I use a fork and knife for my sandwich. Devin manages his without the fork and knife just fine, and last night, in record time.
So there you have it, my veggie reubs. They are really super yummy. I hope you love them as much as we do.
One last note. You may or may not remember that I have a milk obsession. I forgot to mention that it is an obsession with cold milk. It has to be cold, like ice cold. So, I put my glass in the freezer for about 20 minutes before dinner. Mmm, frosty milk glass!! Yea, I'm slightly crazy.
Last but not least, here is your first peak at our girls:
I know that it is probably not good to put pictures of your kitties in a food post, but I cannot help it. They are so pretty! Deeley is the fur goddess on the floor. She is 2.5 years old. Janey is the little black cutie with white paws on the the poang. She will be 1 in January. This is about as close as they get to each other most days. I will talk a lot about them, so get used to it (and the obsessive cat lady pictures).