As with much of food lore, there is more than one story about the origin of the Reuben sandwich. According to one version, it was created by Arthur Reuben, owner of the now-closed Reubens delicatessen in New York. He purportedly made it for Annette Seelos, the leading lady in a Charlie Chaplin film that was being shot in 1914, and used ham, rather than corned beef. Other historians claim that an Omaha wholesale grocer named Reuben Kay invented the sandwich during a poker game in 1955. The following year, one of his poker partners entered the recipe in a national sandwich contest and won, and the Reuben entered the spotlight.
Recipe courtesy of Williams-Sonoma
- 2 slices rye bread, each 1⁄2-inch thick
- Olive oil for brushing
- 2 heaping tablespoons Thousand Island dressing
- 2 slices Swiss cheese
- 6 slices corned beef
- 1⁄3 cup sauerkraut, drained
- 1 Preheat an electric panini press according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- 2 Brush one side of each bread slice with olive oil. Lay the slices, oiled side down, on a clean work surface. Spread the tops of the slices with Thousand Island dressing. Arrange 1 of the cheese slices, the corned beef, sauerkraut and the remaining cheese slice on 1 bread slice, then top with the other bread slice, oiled side up.
- 3 Place the sandwich on the preheated panini press and cook according to the manufacturer's instructions until golden brown and crispy, 3 to 4 minutes.
- 4 Transfer the sandwich to a cutting board and cut in half. Serve immediately.