Following on the heels of St. Patrick's Day and having had many a slice of corned beef, I decided that today's reuben would be turkey (apologizes to all die- hard traditionalists). But not just any turkey, lightly brined with some of the same seasonings used to brine corned beef. Coleslaw instead of sauerkraut. And two ingredients that are simply musts: rye bread and Russian dressing.
Makes 4 sandwiches
2 tablespoons coarse salt plus more for seasoning
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
4 cups cold water
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
8 allspice berries
2 teaspoons coarsely chopped crystallized ginger
1 bay leaf, crumbled
4 turkey cutlets (5 ounces each)
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup red bell peppers, in julienne strips
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon safflower oil
2 1/2 tablespoons mayo
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons softened butter, plus more if needed
8 slices rye bread
4 ounces sliced Swiss cheese
1. In a medium saucepan, combine the 2 tablespoons salt, sugar, 2 cups of the water, peppercorns, coriander, mustard seeds, allspice, ginger, and bay leaves and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat and let stand until room temperature. Transfer to a bowl and add the remaining 2 cups of water. Add the turkey, cover and refrigerate 6 hours.
2. Meanwhile in a medium bowl, combine the cabbage, carrot, and bell pepper. Place the vinegar and honey in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high. Cook until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 3 minutes. Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the cabbage, season with salt and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
3. Heat the oil in a grill pan over medium. Lift the turkey from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Discard the brine. Cook the cutlets until browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.
4. In a small bowl, stir together the mayo, ketchup, horseradish, and Worcestershire. Thinly slice the turkey on the diagonal.
5. Assemble sandwiches: butter one side of each slice of bread and place 4 slices buttered side down on a sheet of waxed paper. Top with half the cheese, half the turkey, half the coleslaw (squeezed dry), and a tablespoon of the dressing. Top with remaining turkey and cheese. Top with remaining bread slices, buttered sides out.
6. Place the sandwiches on a hot griddle or in a heavy pan over medium-low heat and cook until the bread is golden brown on both sides and the cheese has melted. Serve.