Inspiration: Corned beef and cabbage (our dinner this past Sunday night) lends itself very well to leftovers. There’s always leftover corned beef when you cook a whole brisket, and how many meals does one of those heads of green cabbage last?? (many, for us). Brandon could eat a reuben sandwich every single day of his life (maybe every single meal of his life?) and be a happy man, so this year I specially cooked extra just to make sure that we’d have a few days worth of reubens for him as a treat. And cauliflower colcannon is truly one of our favorite sides. For us, that’s a great St. Paddy’s week meal #2.
What we Loved: First, for the reubens – there’s nothing quite like a reuben made with leftover homecooked brisket, rather than the thinly sliced corned beef that you can get from the deli. The homecooked, thicker slices are just so tender and hearty! Combined with heaps of Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Thousand Island dressing, it’s an ooey-goeey delicious sandwich. Plus, the rye bread has that great, earthy caraway flavor and is so browned and buttery.
As for the colcannon, it’s truly one of our favorite sides. Pureed cauliflower and sauteed cabbage, leeks, and bacon all mix together for a creamy, veggie-packed dish. It’s salty and rich, with the great flavors of bacon and onions running throughout. The cabbage and leeks are cooked in a bit of the bacon fat, so that flavor really permeates the dish. Traditionally, this side is made with mashed potatoes, but the cauliflower is really a perfect substitute – I might be hard-pressed to tell the difference. I could really eat this as a meal in itself.
Helpful Hints: Replacing the leeks in the colcannon with onions or shallots is great, too, but I like the extra green color from the leeks. And in my opinion, the more bacon/cabbage/leeks that you add, the better.
Cauilflower Colcannon and Reuben Sandwiches
Source: original recipes to serve 2
For the colcannon
1 head cauliflower
Kosher salt and black pepper
6 slices bacon, chopped
1 leek, white and green parts only, rinsed and chopped
1-2 cups thinly sliced cabbage
Chives, to garnish
1. Place the cauliflower in a medium sauce pan (~ 3 qt). Cover with water, bring to a boil, and cook for 4-5 minutes, until softened. Strain the cauliflower and pour it into a food processor with a splash of milk. Season to taste with salt and pepper and puree until smooth.
2. Add the bacon to the pan. Saute until crispy. Remove some of the extra fat in the pan, but keep some for flavor and for sauteeing the other vegetables.
3. Add the leek and cabbage to the pan. Mix everything together, and cook for a few minutes until all of the vegetables are softened.
4. Mix in the pureed cauliflower. Cook for a few minutes to heat through, sprinkle with chives, and serve.
For the Reuben
4 slices rye bread (I used a spelt grain rye bread with 4 net carbs per slice)
Swiss cheese, freshly shredded
Thousand Island or Russian dressing
1. Butter one side of each slice of bread. Place two slices butter side down in a saute pan or griddle.
2. Add a handful of Swiss cheese and top with a few slices of corned beef. Add some sauerkraut and dressing. Top with some more slices of corned beef and finally another handful of Swiss cheese.
3. Top with the second piece of bread and use low heat to brown both sides and cook through.