for your Super Bowl Party
Most Super Bowl parties offer predictable fare – the usual chili, nachos, guacamole, Buffalo wings. This year I’ve decided to change it up a bit by offering instead a delicious deli standard - Reuben Sandwiches. You might think that it would be a lot of work to put together sandwiches for a dozen hungry football fans but the process is extremely easy when you make a Reuben Casserole. I layer all the ingredients for the sandwiches in a 9 x 13 casserole dish, pop it in the oven for 20-30 minutes and it’s ready to serve!
This recipe is perfect whether you’re hosting the party or bringing something to enjoy at a potluck gathering. You can even heat the casserole in a microwave oven - just be sure to use a microwave-safe pan.
I make sure there’s plenty of rye bread, both seeded and non-seeded, and let my friends scoop up the casserole and stuff their own sandwiches. I also put the toaster out in case anyone wants their sandwiches toasted. The recipe makes enough to serve 12-18 people, depending on how stuffed (“fresser”) they like their Reuben.
Although you can certainly use store-bought Thousand Island dressing, it’s extremely easy to make your own. I like to spice it up a bit by adding a little Sriracha sauce, jalapenos or both. I call it my “Thousand Fiery Islands Dressing.” Have plenty of chilled beer and half-sour dill pickles on hand and you’re ready to enjoy the halftime show!
Olive oil cooking spray
1 ½ pounds deli pastrami, sliced very thin
½ large sweet onion, sliced very thin
1 cup Thousand Fiery Islands Dressing (see recipe below) or store bought dressing
2 pounds (2 bags) sauerkraut, drained
½ pound deli Swiss cheese, sliced very thin
1 teaspoon caraway seeds (optional)
Brown deli mustard, for serving
Sliced Rye Bread, for serving
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 9” x 13” glass casserole dish with cooking spray.
Chop the pastrami into bite-sized (one inch) pieces. Spread the pastrami evenly over the bottom of the casserole dish.
Top the pastrami with the dressing. Stir the mixture briefly so the dressing gets evenly dispersed. Top with the slices of sweet onion.
Make sure your sauerkraut is well drained so the casserole doesn’t come out watery. I like to put the sauerkraut into a small-holed colander to drain, then squeeze out any extra brine using my hands.
Put the sauerkraut on top of the onions, then sprinkle on the caraway seeds, if using.
Evenly top the casserole with the Swiss cheese. You can use shredded Swiss cheese if you prefer but the flavor is not as intense and there are often unnecessary additives to avoid clumping within the shredded cheeses.
Spray a little olive oil cooking spray on top of the cheese.
Bake the casserole, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes until the cheese is melted and the casserole is warmed throughout.
THOUSAND FIERY ISLANDS DRESSING
In a medium sized bowl, mix together:
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoon Sriracha hot sauce
3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish (drained)
1 tablespoon brined capers, slightly chopped
1 tablespoon finely minced red onion
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon fresh jalapeno pepper, cored, seeded and finely minced
Set the dressing in the fridge for about 30 minutes to let the flavors meld. Taste the dressing and make any flavor adjustments, adding more hot sauce for spice or more mayonnaise to make the flavor a bit milder. You can add some freshly ground pepper but I would avoid adding any salt as the mayonnaise, ketchup and capers already contain salt and the casserole’s pastrami and cheese are also salty.
After composing the casserole, offer additional dressing when your guests compose their sandwiches. Because the Thousand Fiery Islands Dressing is mixed into the pastrami, brown deli mustard is another delicious condiment to put on your Reuben sandwich, adding more complexity to the overall flavor.
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