Built of corned beef, melted Swiss cheese and Russian dressing, the Reuben sandwich is a masterpiece of heart-stopping excess, huge not only in flavor but in size. Indeed, as my father-in-law might say, the typical Reuben sandwich is "big enough to choke a horse." I suppose that trying to invent a less than Rubenesque Reuben was slightly sacrilegious -- rather like dreaming of a low-cal version of foie gras -- but I thought it might be worth a shot. I substituted both smoked salmon and smoked turkey for the corned beef and -- wonder of wonders -- found them to be equally delicious. So it's up to you -- choose whichever one suits your mood. By the way, you can make this sandwich on a panini grill, if you happen to have one. If not, my homemade press works just as well.
Recipe courtesy of Sara Moulton
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45 min
15 min
30 min
4 sandwiches



Combine the mayonnaise, chili sauce, pickle, lemon juice, and salt and pepper, to taste. Spread 1 side of each slice of bread with some of the dressing. Arrange half of the cheese on 4 of the slices. Divide the salmon, sauerkraut, and remaining cheese among the cheese-topped slices of bread and top each with 1 of the remaining bread slices, dressing-side down. 

Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat; add the sandwiches and something heavy (such as a cast iron skillet, flat saucepan lid, or heatproof plate and a weight such as a food can) to firmly press the sandwiches down. Cook for 6 minutes a side or until golden and the cheese has melted. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve.

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