Grilled Pastrami and Swiss Cheese on Sourdough

I've baked a few things in the last week but I haven't been happy with any of them. I made ginger biscuits that weren't gingery enough and I tried to be inventive with a box of cake mix and in the end I just couldn't bring you a recipe that consisted of cake mix. Even baking with the cake mix made me feel like a fraud. My sourdough starter had been abandoned for so long it was starting to look and smell abit trampy so I just threw the whole jar out. I don't think I have the right personality to devote time to sourdough. I did make a loaf of it, and it was good, but it took alllll day. 

This week's theme on the blog seems to be food that's quick but damn good. I love a sandwich. I may have mentioned once that I worked in a sandwich shop for a while in my early twenties. I loved making sandwiches all day. The best part (aside from the endless supply of free diet coke and millionaire shortbreads) was getting to go off-menu, to create sandwiches that didn't exist on the chalkboard. I once made a sausage and houmous baguette that was awesome. There was chicken, grated (and melted) mozzarella, sweetcorn and coleslaw or my favourite: brie, ham and grape. I think I just did a nostalgic sigh for sandwiches at my desk. 

Ahh *looks wistfully into the ether*

I wasn't always a pastrami lover. It was a meat I was unfamiliar with and wasn't in any rush to try. Something changed, and I can't even remember when but now pastrami is my go to sandwich. I can't call this sandwich a reuben because, well, it's not a reuben. It's on sourdough not rye and there is no sauerkraut. For some reason, I can't bring myself to buy sauerkraut in a jar. I can't eat it that way but I can if a restaurant makes the sandwich and puts the sauerkraut on it. It may be my uncomfortableness with fermented cabbage based foods...don't even get me started on kimchi. 

Anyway, sauerkraut ramblings aside, this sandwich does have thousand island - or Russian dressing - on it and it makes it magical. I have a whole new respect for thousand island dressing now that prawns have been taken out of the picture. You could use any old crusty bread for this but I do think the sourdough adds something extra. It's got a great flavour and texture to it. I didn't use my homemade sourdough for this, I actually picked up a loaf from the supermarket (is that wrong?) and it was really good. 

Grilled Pastrami and Swiss Cheese on Sourdough

to serve 2

4 slices of sourdough bread
4 slices of pastrami
4 slices of swiss cheese
thousand island dressing
dill pickles

  1. Heat your grill pan really high and keep the pan dry. Whilst this is heating up, assemble the king of sandwiches. 
  2. Spread as much or as little of the thousand island onto one or two slices of the bread (all your preference), layer the pastrami on top and then the cheese. Top with a few pickles and the other slice of bread.
  3. Pop the sandwich onto the grill pan and press down. Toast for a minute and flip over. Keep toasting depending on how much you want your bread toasted and cheese melted. 
  4. Slide onto a plate and slice in half.