Monday, March 22, 2010


In school I was in the Gifted Program. Actually, I was the dumbest kid in the Gifted Program, I didn't get in when tested in 4th grade but passed testing in 6th grade. The best thing about that program was that I got to be around a bunch of very smart, wickedly funny, and quirky people.

One of those people, Ricky, knew that Greg was at a Boy Scout meeting. Ricky prank called Greg's mother, who happened to be German. Ricky pretended to be Greg and told Greg's mother that he was going to be late and that she would need to then pick him up at the mall. Greg's mother started scolding "Greg" in her thick German accent about being inconsiderate and it being a school night. Ricky then said, "Gee, don't be such a sour Kraut!" and hung up.

I was reminded of that incident when I had my first ever Reuben sandwich, yesterday. You see, while I do love pastrami, sauerkraut just grossed me out. Funny thing was I had never tasted it. It was an uninformed opinion based on fact-less perceptions. I was happy living within the parameter of my food bias.

But then YOU PEOPLE (yeah all of you who made corned beef this week for St. Patrick's Day) had to taunt me and make me crave pastrami.

And then Alexis reasoned that if I was going to smoke pastrami, I needed to at least try sauerkraut on a Reuben. She was right. I love cabbage in a vinegary slaw.

So I made corned beef using on of those pre-packaged brisket flats and then smoked it at 225f with some cherry wood yesterday afternoon. The pastrami rub from Derrick was perfect.

Pastrami Rub
Source Derrick Riches
4 tablespoons kosher salt

4 tablespoons paprika
3 tablespoons coriander seeds
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons black peppercorns

2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
1 tablespoon white peppercorns

8 cloves garlic, minced

Combine coriander seeds, peppercorns and mustard seeds in a spice grinder. Grind coarsely. Add in remaining ingredients and mix well. Rub is now ready to use. It may be stored, refrigerated in an airtight container.

I bought refrigerated sauerkraut. At least that way if I hated it, I hadn't wasted my time.

I used this dressing recipe, which was very good.

Kraft Thousand Island Dressing clone
Source: Todd Wilbur
1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons ketchup

1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
1 teaspoon finely minced white onion

1/8 teaspoon salt
dash of black pepper

Mix all the ingredients together well. I added 6 dashes of hot sauce because it seemed a touch too sweet. Let it sit in the fridge for a few hours to let the flavors get to know each other.

I didn't take many pictures because it was a gorgeous spring Saturday and we were busy rehabilitating the yard and flower beds.

Guess what! I LIKE sauerkraut. Who knew? The Reuben rocks. I had another one yesterday, but I grilled that in my panini press and I liked it even better. you have a food bias against something that you've never actually tasted? What is it?