National Hot Pastrami Day

I can think of no better way to celebrate National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day than sinking my teeth into the crunchy, savory, succulent, perfectly grilled sandwich! Pastrami on rye was introduced to Americans in 1888 by Romanian immigrant Sussman Volk. His deli was New York’s first, and the first pastrami on rye was made with goose meat. Much has changed, and the variations are endless. You can even swap coleslaw for the sauerkraut and thousand island dressing for the mustard, but then you are making a Pastrami Reuben. Today, we’ll focus on the Hot Pastrami Sandwich. You can grill it, toast it, or serve it simply on the bread. Your way is the right way.

Super Simple Hot Pastrami Sandwich
I like to grill these beauties up as I do for a grilled cheese sandwich. That means I spread mayonnaise, rather than butter on the outside of the bread. I think you’ll find little as superbly satisfying as this mini stay-at-home trip to a NY Deli!

1 T butter
4-6 oz shaved pastrami
2 slices hearty Jewish rye bread with caraway seeds
1-2 T Dijon, yellow, or other smooth brown mustard
2 large slices Swiss cheese (or combo with 1 of Provolone)
2-3 oz sauerkraut, warmed on grill or in microwave
2-4 T mayonnaise
2 T butter

Melt butter in skillet over med-low heat; add pastrami. Stir it a couple of times just to warm it through. Spread 1 side of both slices of bread with mustard; top each with a slice of cheese. Then divide the warmed pastrami atop the cheese slices. Pile the warmed sauerkraut on one side and fold the other side over to complete the sandwich. Spread half the mayonnaise on the top slice of bread. Melt the remaining 2 T butter in the skillet over medium-low heat. Turn the sandwich over so the mayonnaise side is down and place in the melted butter in the hot skillet (or ridged grill pan). Then spread the remaining mayonnaise on the top slice of bread. Let cook 1 – 1 ½ minutes; turn over with a spatula and let cook another 1 – 1 ½ minutes. Remove from pan, slice in half, and serve hot. Makes 1 sandwich.

KISS Tips: I love to serve this the same way I enjoyed it for years at the Rein’s Deli… with chips or fries and a kosher dill pickle.

About Cathy Burnham Martin

Author of 20+ books, and counting! A professional voice-over artist, dedicated foodie, and lifelong corporate communications geek, Cathy Burnham Martin has enjoyed a highly eclectic career, ranging from the arts and journalism to finance, telecommunications, and publishing. Along with her husband, Ron Martin, she has passions for entertaining, gardening, volunteering, active and visual arts, GREAT food, and traveling. Cathy often says, "I believe that we all should live with as much contagious enthusiasm as possible... Whether we're with friends or family, taking people along for the ride is more than half the fun."
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