Beef,  Dinner,  Panini / Sandwich

Reuben Quesadilla with homemade thousand islands dressing

I’m all about classic recipes but sometimes I like to change things up a bit.  Especially when I have a lot of leftovers and don’t want to keep repeating the same thing.  I always start with the corned beef dinner, followed by corned beef hash the next morning and lunch is the much anticipated Reuben on rye bread.  At this point, since I cook like I have a husband and five children, but really only have one son at home who is not a big eater like most 19 year olds boys are, I still have some leftover corned beef to use.

One year I made a Reuben pizza, cut into squares, it was a really neat appetizer.  This year, feeling like I didn’t need all the pizza carbs with summer around the corner, I decided to use tortillas and make quesadillas!

As for the sauce, you can always purchase a bottle of thousand islands dressing.  I just can’t get myself to do that, so I’ve been following Ina Garten’s recipe, substituting the ketchup for chili or cocktail sauce.  Ina had served this dressing for a dip for roasted shrimp.  I also like to saute my sauerkraut slightly to remove any excess moisture, warm and slightly caramelize before assembling my Reubens.

Reuben Quesadillas

2 8 inch tortillas, your choice, I used a whole wheat

1/2 cup leftover corned beef

1/2 cup swiss cheese, grated

1/4 cup drained sauerkraut

Thousand Islands dressing, recipe below or use store-bought

In a large skillet, saute the sauerkraut until warm.  Add in the shredded corned beef and warm gently.  Remove and set aside.  Either add a touch of olive oil or spray the skillet.  Place in the tortillas, layer on the cheese, sauerkraut and corned beef, about 1 tablespoon of dressing on each and more cheese.  Fold over the tortilla and cook until golden brown, turing once.  Serve with additional dressing if desired.

Thousand Islands Dressing

Adapted from Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup chilli sauce (or cocktail sauce – which I like to use when dipping in the roasted shrimp or ketchup as Ina uses)

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon capers, minced

1 teaspoon gherkins, minced

1 tablespoon sweet pickles, minced

Pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix all together.  Keeps for about a week in the refrigerator.

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I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.


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