(2 sandwiches, 10 minutes)
This is a good sandwich on pumpernickel bread, but rye bead is traditional. The other classic ingredients are corned beef, sauerkraut and cheese, usually with some spicy dressing. Corned beef is also known as salt beef brisket. It's beef cooked and salted (the corn is actually "kernels" of salt).
Corned beef and Swiss cheese may be bought already sliced. I've found that sauerkraut is better from a jar than a can (look in the pickle jar aisle). Ingredients follow:
2 tsp. softened butter, or oil
4 slices rye or pumpernickel bread
4 thin slices Swiss cheese
4 to 6 oz. (113-170 g, or 4 to 6 thin slices), corned beef (or try pastrami)
4 oz. (118 ml) sauerkraut, drained,
2 Tbsp. Russian dressing, or thousand island, or mustard.
You might mix your own Russian Dressing (makes about 3 Tbsp.):
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise, 1/2 Tbsp. ketchup/catsup, 1/2 tsp. or so prepared horseradish, 1 tsp. dill pickle relish or use sweet pickle relish and add some dill.
Butter or oil one side of two slices of bread and place them butter/oil side down on a cutting board.
Top the bread with a slice of Swiss cheese and two slices of corned beef/pastrami.
Drain excess moisture from the sauerkraut, or use a slotted spoon. Spread sauerkraut on top of the corned beef/pastrami, along with a tablespoon of your choice of dressing. Add more corned beef/pastrami and another slice of Swiss cheese.
Top with the remaining bread slices, then spread a little butter or oil on the top of the bread.
Preheat a griddle or frying pan to medium heat. You might want to compress the sandwiches a little with a spatula, then place them in the pan. Cook each side until the cheese melts and the bread is just starting to brown. That's probably about 2 minutes each side. Remove sandwiches from pan, cut them in half and serve. Putting them on a warm plate could be a nice touch.