Frank Camorra: reubens and jaffles, the perfect pick-me-up

Reuben sandwiches.
Reuben sandwiches. Photo: Marcel Aucar

After a night at the stove, the humble sandwich is the chef's saviour. My personal favourite is the jaffle, filled with gooey cheese and any meat I can find in the fridge. When I was young, we went camping with our cast-iron jaffle maker, and made fantastic lunches with ham or salami and mozzarella or gruyere cheese. I still remember the taste of it. 

These days, the breakfast jaffle I can't go past is crispy bacon with a soft poached egg and tomato kasundi, spicy Indian relish. Because of the eggs, you have to close the jaffle carefully and gently. You can also add crispy chopped bacon to the mac and cheese filling for the recipe here, which takes a bit more time to prepare.

The dressing for the reuben sandwich has a subtle sweetness from the apple and is incredible with warm corned beef.  It is a bit of work putting it together, but this sandwich is a classic for good reason.

Reuben sandwich

1 tsp English mustard

1 tbsp grain mustard

3 tbsp apple concentrate (see tip)

2 egg yolks

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 tbsp tomato sauce

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

200ml extra virgin olive oil

400g cooked corned beef, thinly sliced 

8 slices rye bread

200g cheddar cheese, sliced

200g sauerkraut

4 pickles, sliced

In a blender or food processor, blend the mustards, apple concentrate, egg yolks, garlic, tomato sauce and vinegar, then add the oil slowly until a thick, smooth mayonnaise-like sauce forms. Warm the corned beef and lightly toast the bread. Heat the grill, then pile a quarter of the corned beef on one slice. Put cheese on another slice, put under the grill to melt then remove from the grill. Top the corned beef with sauerkraut and spoon sauce all over it. Top with the melted cheese slice and cut in half. Repeat to make four sandwiches. Serve with the sliced pickle and some extra sauce.

Makes 4 (pictured)

Mac and cheese jaffle

150g macaroni pasta

300ml milk

2 bay leaves

2 tbsp butter

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

2 tbsp plain flour

100g cheddar cheese, grated

50g manchego cheese, grated

1 tbsp smoked paprika

1 handful parsley leaves, roughly chopped

8 slices of bread

Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling

Cook the pasta in lots of salted water until al dente, then strain and put aside until the sauce is ready. Simmer the milk and bay leaves for 10 minutes, melt the butter in a saucepan, add the garlic then the flour and stir well. Add the warm milk in three lots, stirring well to remove any lumps. When all the milk is added, cook the sauce on a gentle heat for 15 minutes then add the cheese and continue cooking for another five minutes. Pour the sauce over the pasta, add the paprika and chopped parsley and stir well. Heat a jaffle iron. Divide the macaroni between four bread slices and top with the other slice. Drizzle a little oil on the bottom of the jaffle iron, place the sandwiches in the iron, drizzle oil on top and close the iron. Cook until golden and crispy.

Makes 4

TIP

Apple concentrate is sold in the health section at supermarkets as a sugar substitute.