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Dip mimics the taste of a Reuben sandwich

| Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2003

Susan Zylka's Reuben Dip travels to the top of the list of tailgating recipes this month in the Home Plate recipe contest.

Westmoreland County Community College faculty member Cheryl Byers Shipley, whose Healthy Cooking class tested the recipe, says "This recipe is very easy to make. It uses common ingredients. It is excellent as a tailgating dish because it travels and holds well. It maintains temperature well."

And, best of all, if you like Reuben sandwiches, this dip "tastes like the real thing," Shipley adds.

Zylka says she submitted the Reuben Dip for the Tailgating category because "it travels well, it doesn't spill, and if it's cold, it doesn't lose its taste." And, she adds, "because it's baked, the mayonnaise doesn't spoil as fast."

"We've had Reuben Dips before," Zylka adds, "but we never baked it before. Baking it helps to blend the cheese in better."

The recipe, Zylka says, is a family favorite because "everybody likes eating Reuben sandwiches." She first tried it outside the family at a Christmas party last year, and "it was a big hit."

Zylka says she adds the Cheddar (or Muenster) cheese to the traditional Reuben's Swiss cheese because it "really adds a punch." As does the optional Tabasco sauce and caraway seeds. "I like mustard, so I put that in," she says. "A lot of people like mustard on a Reuben sandwich."

The recipe calls for serving the dip with cocktail rye bread slices or Triscuit crackers, both of which Zylka uses. However, she often makes her own bread to serve with it -- an orange-flavored Swedish rye bread. Zylka has agreed to share that recipe as well.


Reuben Dip
Susan Zylka, Bullskin Township

  • 1 pound corned beef, finely chopped
  • 1 small can sauerkraut, drained
  • 1/2 cup real mayonnaise
  • 1 1/ 4 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup Thousand Island dressing
  • 2 tablespoons brown mustard
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds and 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • Cocktail rye bread slices or Triscuit crackers

Mix ingredients together in large mixing bowl. Spray a 9-by-9-inch glass pan with cooking spray. Pour mixture into pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until mixture bubbles. Serve with small spreader and cocktail rye or Triscuits.

NOTE: I use Muenster cheese instead of Cheddar sometimes for a milder flavor. Tabasco sauce and caraway seeds spice up this dish.


Orange Rye Bread

  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (105-115 degrees)
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange peel
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups rye flour
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • Cornmeal

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in molasses, salt, orange peel, orange extract, cocoa, shortening and rye flour. Beat until smooth. Mix in enough bread flour to make dough easy to handle.

Turn dough onto lightly floured board. Cover; let rest 10-15 minutes. Knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Place in greased bowl; turn greased side up. Cover; let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Punch down dough; round up, cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 40 minutes.

Grease baking sheet; sprinkle with cornmeal. Punch down dough; divide in half. Shape each half into round, slightly flat loaf. Place loaves in opposite corners of baking sheet. Cover; let rise 1 hour.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Bake 30-35 minutes.

Makes 2 loaves.


Dip Variations

This recipe was tested by the Healthy Cooking class at Westmoreland County Community College, under the supervision of instructor Cheryl Byers Shipley. Following are options for making this dish lower in fat, calories and sodium.

Lower fat and lower calories option:

  • Substitute fat-free mayonnaise, fat-free Swiss and Cheddar cheese and fat-free Thousand Island dressing.

  • Serve on reduced-fat Triscuits or reduced-fat whole wheat crackers.

    Lower sodium option:

  • Rinse sauerkraut before added to the mixture.

  • Use sodium-reduced cheeses.

  • Serve on salt-free crackers.

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