A deli favorite, the best Reuben sandwiches strike a balance with a good helping of corned beef or pastrami, a bit of cheese, heaps of sauerkraut, and gobs of Thousand Island Dressing. You can serve a Reuben cold, but we love it toasted in a pan and served warm so that the cheese is melty and the dressing oozes out as you take a bite.
What to buy: We like the strong, nutty flavor of Gruyère in this sandwich, but a high-quality Swiss cheese is more traditional.
Spread 1 tablespoon of the dressing on one piece of bread and top with half of the cheese, half of the sauerkraut, and all of the meat. Spread another tablespoon of the dressing over the meat and top with the remaining sauerkraut and cheese, in that order.
Spread the remaining tablespoon of dressing on the remaining piece of bread and place it on top of the cheese, dressing side down. Press firmly to close the sandwich, then evenly spread the butter on the outside of the sandwich.
Heat a heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium heat, place the sandwich in the pan, and press down on the sandwich with a spatula. (Alternatively, you can cook the sandwich in a sandwich press.) Cook until the bread is crisp and golden brown, about 4 minutes. Flip and cook until the second side is golden brown, the cheese is melted, and the sandwich is warmed through, about 4 minutes more.