Monday, March 15, 2010

Avery Aames's Irish Reuben Sandwich

Happy St. Patrick's Day...WEEK!

I just attended a writing and fan's conference called Left Coast Crime in Los Angeles. What a lovely time I had, schmoozing with energetic, creative, fun and funny people! Hello to all the new friends I made there!

Now, I'm hungry.

I come from a long line of Irishmen. I will always remember my father singing a sweet tenor version of "Danny Boy." My son will probably remember that I sang that same song to him every night, from the time he was born until he was at least eight years old. After that it was, "Mom, please...!" [But I'll bet he still remembers the words.]

So, in the spirit of sharing the Irish good luck, let me introduce you to a fabulous cheese - one I just discovered this week: Kerrygold Irish Vintage Cheddar. It is melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Truly a pot of gold! [See note below.]

To honor St. Paddy's day, I've come up with a delicious "Go Green" sandwich, thanks to the suggestion of my husband, who loves a good Reuben. He said, "Why not make it Irish?" Corned beef is, after all, an Irish dish, right? This sandwich includes corned beef, cheese, sauerkraut, and a walloping great taste.

Before we delve into a recipe, however, here are some little known facts that might surprise you.

Sauerkraut originated in China. Yep, that's right. About 2,000 years ago, the same time the Great Wall of China was being built. It's Chinese kimchi, and it had wine in the recipe. Genghis Khan plundered China and his hordes brought the recipe for pickled cabbage to Europe. The Germans (who gave it the name "sauerkraut") omitted the wine in the recipe, replacing it with salt.

Little fact: Irish Society of Boston organized what was not only the first Saint Patrick's Day Parade in the colonies but the first recorded Saint Patrick's Day Parade in the world on 17 March 1737.

And regarding today's special cheese - According to the Kerrygold website -- and what makes Kerrygold cheese so exquisitely delicious (in my humble opinion)-- is that "Ireland has always been known as the "Emerald" or "Green" Island. A land of one hundred thousand welcomes, where the air is fresh and clean, the grass lush, and the rain soft and unpolluted. Ireland's dairy herds graze freely outdoors on green pastures for most of the year."

Green, green, green! Isn't it wonderful!

Avery's Irish Reuben

2 slices rye bread
Best Foods mayonnaise
Pure Horseradish (from the deli)
Sauerkraut (I used Bubbie's)
4 slices lean corned beef
2 thick slices Kerrygold Irish Vintage Cheddar

Butter the rye bread on one side and spread mayonnaise and horseradish on the other side.

Lay one piece of bread, butter side down, in a hot fry pan. Place cheddar on bread. Place a layer of corned beef and a layer of sauerkraut. Top with the other piece of rye bread, butter side up.

Fry for approximately 4 minutes. Flip and fry for another 4 minutes. Continue flipping until it's as golden as you'd like it.

Serve warm with pickles and a good beer!


Irish movie stars - just in case you were wondering - include: Pierce Brosnan and Colin Ferrel. Check this link: IRISH MOVIE STARS [We all need a few romantic notions during St. Patrick's Day...Week, don't we?]

Don't forget!

It’s March and we’re celebrating cupcakes! Our own Jenn McKinlay’s Sprinkle with Murder is now out in bookstores near you and ITS SELLING LIKE HOTCAKES ! If you’d like to win cupcakes from Crumbs Bake Shop, send us an e-mail at or leave a comment with your idea of the wackiest cupcake ingredients you can think of.


Check out my Avery Aames website for more recipes and fun. And sign up for my newsletter. I have a new contest starting next week! Get could win gourmet cheese!


  1. Now you've gotten me all keyed up about St. Patty's Day! This looks wonderful and my Irish blood is really firing up (the Riley side!)

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  2. Sure, and haven't I been eating that nice Kerrygold cheese for a while now? Lots of Irish in this neighborhood!

    I fear the corned beef and cabbage of Irish mythology is just that--a myth. Most Irish were too poor to own a cow (or at least, to kill it--they needed the milk and butter). If they were lucky, they had a pig. So the dish you find in most Irish pubs is ... fatty ham and cabbage and potatoes. Just saying.

    Many, many years ago my mother took me to Reuben's in NYC, where the sandwich originated. As I recall, I did not have a Reuben. I wish I'd been old enough to appreciate it. I love them now!

  3. Avery, your Reuben is making me so hungry! It looks absolutely delicious. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

    ~ Krista

  4. It was a soggy day yesterday in Beantown for the annual St. Patty's parade. Just as bad today...will spring ever get to the Northeast this year?

  5. I love reubens. There's nothing better than making your own corned beef and personalizing the sandwiches to everybody's tastes (the kids and hubby don't like sauerkraut). Thanks for the introduction to the cheese!

  6. I love Reubens. Here in San Antonio there's a deli on the Riverwalk that makes excellent ones. I didn't make it to the St. Patty's parade Saturday, but the river was dyed green and I'm sure Schilo's was packed.

  7. So glad everyone is sharing their memories about Reubens and parades and all! Hurrah!

  8. My kingdom for a Reuben right now. One of my all-time favorites and you've got my stomach growling, Avery. The Kerrygold cheese sounds wonderful. I'll look for it!
    By the way, I did a library author fair this weekend. One of the men (yes, a man) who picked up your bookmark said "I've heard of this series - I'm really looking forward to it coming out." Pretty cool, huh?

  9. A man. Yeah! Thanks, Julie, for sharing.


  10. Oh, Avery! Reubens are a fantastic sandwich--and your corned beef idea is a clever alternative. Ireland really does have very special pastureland, doesn't it? As a treat, my husband and I like to pick up the Irish butter--so sweet and good. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

    Free Coffee Drawing LIVE tonight at 7 PM (EST)

  11. I bet that sandwich would be great with some Dubliner cheese on it, too! I loved learning more about the ingredients in one of my all-time favorite sandwiches!

  12. I love Ruebens AND I love the Irish cheddar (though I think I've only tried the Dubliner). Thanks for the great recipe, Avery. It's on our menu for this week.

  13. This sounds amazing. We all love corned beef
    in this house and the Hub loves Ruebens. Can't wait to try this one!

  14. I have been on a reuben kick of late. This makes me one to have another one straight away!