A lighter take on Reuben sandwich



Smoked Salmon Reuben Panini

1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise

2 tablespoons bottled chili sauce

2 tablespoons finely chopped dill pickle

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Kosher salt and ground pepper

8 slices rye bread

4 ounces thinly sliced Gruyere, fontina or Swiss cheese

4 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon

14 1/2-ounce can sauerkraut, drained, rinsed and gently squeezed

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, chili sauce, pickle and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread one side of each bread slice with dressing. Arrange half of the cheese on 4 of the slices. Divide the salmon, sauerkraut and remaining cheese among the cheese-topped slices and top each with one of the remaining bread slices, spread side down.

In a large skillet over medium, heat the oil until hot. Add the sandwiches and something heavy (such as a cast iron skillet, flat saucepan lid, or heat-safe plate and a weight such as a can of food) to firmly press the sandwiches down. Cook about 6 minutes per side, until golden and the cheese has melted. Cut each sandwich in half and serve right away. Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 510 calories, 260 calories from fat (51 percent of total calories), 29 g fat (9 g saturated, 0 g trans fats), 50 mg cholesterol, 39 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 19 g protein, 1850 mg sodium.

Associated Press

The legendary Reuben of yore was built on corned beef. I swapped that out in favor of smoked salmon in this slimmed-down update. And while I hold fast to the classic’s melted cheese, I lose the untoasted rye bread in favor of a grilled panini.

The idea, of course, was to lighten up the Reuben, a sandwich that explodes with flavor as you eat it, but then sits in your gut like a rock.

Smoked salmon has nowhere near the fat content of corned beef, but it’s rich enough to cry out for some kind of acid for balance, just like corned beef. Happily, sauerkraut does the trick.

As for the Reuben’s standard Thousand Island dressing, I slimmed it down and spiced it up by using low-fat mayo and chili sauce (instead of the more traditional ketchup), then combined it all with chopped dill pickle and a squeeze of lemon.

I don’t own a panini machine, so I just put my layered sandwich in a skillet, topped with a plate and added a heavyweight can of tomatoes.

This is not grandpa’s Reuben, but I don’t think you’ll mind. And I know you won’t need to take a nap after eating it.

Sara Moulton hosts public television’s Sara’s Weeknight Meals and is the author of Sara Moulton’s Everyday Family Dinners.

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