The Rachel Sandwich (aka Roast Turkey Reuben Sandwich)

The Rachel Sandwich (aka Roast Turkey Reuben Sandwich) with Coleslaw

I made a ton of food over the holidays and of course that means there were a lot of leftovers. One leftover I am always happy to have is some leftover roast turkey as I can't get enough of those roast turkey sandwiches. Over this last weekend I got the chance to dig into the last of my roast turkey leftovers and this time I used them to make some Rachel sandwiches which are a variation on the Reuben sandwich. There are several different versions of the Rachel including replacing the corned beef with turkey or pastrami and the sauerkraut is sometimes replaced with coleslaw. I could not really decide which version sounded the best so I tried both a turkey with sauerkraut version and turkey with coleslaw version. Since coleslaw is already in a dressing I saw no need for there to be two so I also tried a version where I replaced the coleslaws dressing with the Russian dressing for a turkey and Russian slaw Rachel.

Buffalo Chicken Club Sandwich

Buffalo Chicken Club Sandwich

As many long time readers are aware, I am a big fan of buffalo chicken wings and I have been having fun experimenting with spinning the flavours of the buffalo chicken wings in different dishes. After having one too many boring chicken club sandwiches at a restaurant I have also been on a kind of mini quest to come up with tasty new chicken club sandwich recipes. The idea to combine the two dishes seemed not only natural but really tasty and thus the buffalo chicken club sandwich was born! The basic chicken club sandwich normally consists of the chicken, bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise and I was thinking that coating the grilled chicken breast in buffalo hot sauce could only make things better. In addition to the buffalo hot sauce, I included some crumbled tangy blue cheese to finished the sandwich off and I served it with a side of carrot and celery sticks along with a blue cheese sauce for dipping.

Chorizo Scrambled Eggs Breakfast Tacos

Chorizo Scrambled Eggs Breakfast Tacos

Often times weekday breakfasts are rushed and thus pretty simple so on the weekend I like to do something a little more. As many of my long time readers know, I have a thing for tacos and I was thinking that a scrambled egg taco would be a great way to do something a little special for breakfast this weekend. I formed the base of the breakfast tacos with Mexican chorizo, a fresh pork sausage seasoned with plenty of chilies, which I fried and then added eggs and cooked them scrambled style. The chorizo scrambled eggs (chorizo con huevos) along with the tortillas form the base of the tacos and from there you can add your favourite tacos fillings and this time I went with refried beans, pico de gallo, cheddar cheese, sour cream, cilantro and lime. These chorizo scrambled egg tacos are really easy to prepare and they make for a fun and tasty breakfast for the entire family!

Roast Turkey Sandwich with Artichoke Tapenade, Caramelized Onions and Roasted Red Peppers

Roast Turkey Sandwich with Artichoke Tapenade, Caramelized Onions and Roasted Red Peppers

The last time that I made tapenade I thought that in addition to being good as a topping for crostini, that a tapenade would also be good as a spread in sandwiches. When I made the artichoke and green olive tapenade with asiago I remembered thinking this and I planned on saving some of it to use in a few sandwiches. I had had roast turkey sandwiches on my mind for a few days and the turkey and artichoke tapenade combo sounded like a good one! Since I did not really want to roast a full turkey just to make a few sandwiches I picked up a large turkey breast and just did that. A turkey breast is great for things like this as it is really easy to roast and it provides you with plenty of meat that is just perfect for sandwiches! So far the sandwich had some nice roast turkeya and a salty and flavourful tapenade so I decided to add something on the sweeter side, with some slowly caramelized onions and since I sill have plenty of roasted red pepper from the fall roasting, I added some of those to the mix. I finished the sandwich off with some baby spinach and a touch of mayonnaise.

Artichoke and Green Olive Tapenade with Asiago

Crostinti with Roasted Tomatoes, Prosciutto and Artichoke Tapenade

I only just discovered artichokes a few years ago and I have been hooked ever since! The other day while I was in the grocery store I noticed a jar or artichoke tapenade and an artichoke tapenade sounded like a great idea! I was already thinking about a recipe for the tapenade while dreaming about the ways that I would use it.

Kimchi Reuben Sandwich

Kimchi Reuben Sandwich

I had still had some corned beef left over and with corned beef, cabbage and kimchi burritos and reuben sandwiches on my mind, I naturally thought about combing them to create the kimchi reuben sandwich. This reuben sandwich has two forms of fermented cabbage with the sauerkraut and the kimchi and the combination is pretty amazing. The sauekraut brings a nice light tanginess and the kimchi brings some flavour packed heat. As with the regular reuben, you have to be concerned about the amount of liquid going into the sandwich and I find the best way to deal with it is to lightly saute the sauekraut and kimchi to remove any excess moisture. I have to say that I quite enjoyed the heat that the kimchi added to the sandwich and the kimchi went particularly well with the creamy Russian dressing to which I added a touch of gochujang.

Newsletter Subscription Difficulties



It seems that a lot of RSS readers and email clients did not like the newsletter subscription forms in my last post about the new email newsletter and the free eBook. Some were not showing the form at all, others were preventing the form from being submitted and others were allowing the form to be submitted but they caused errors. I apologize for these problems! If you encountered issues and want to subscribe to the newsletter and get the free eBook, The Best of Closet Cooking, you can do it on the subscription page on my site.

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Tune in tomorrow for another all new recipe!

Reuben Sandwich

Reuben Sandwich

My absolute favourite thing to do with corned beef leftovers has to be making reuben sandwiches. There is just something magical about the combination of tender corned beef, tangy sauerkraut, creamy Russian dressing and Swiss cheese wrapped in rye! I like to grill my reuben sandwiches to melt the cheese and give the rye a nice and crispy texture a warm buttery flavour. Reuben sandwiches are pretty easy to make though there is one tricky part and that is dealing with all of the liquid in the sandwich from the juicy corned beef, the sauerkraut and the Russian dressing. No one likes a soggy sandwich and luckily there are some easy ways to deal with the problem. First you want to really squeeze the excess liquid from the sauerkraut and if it still has a lot of moisture you can saute it in a pan to get rid of even more of it. Next, you can also lightly toast the bread so that it can better withstand the liquid. Following these tips you will never be subjected to soggy reuben sandwiches again!

Free eBook, New Logo & Newsletter



Instead of sharing a new recipe with you today, I have some announcements to make about changes to Closet Cooking. Over the last few weeks I have been working on a handful of projects for Closet Cooking including writing my first ever eBook, moving over to a new email newsletter platform and a new logo for the Closet Cooking.

Free eBook

The one question that I get asked the most is "Are you writing a cookbook?" and although I would love to write one and will eventually write one, at this point in my life I simply do not have the time. Between dedicating 50 hours a weeks to my day job and and spending 50-70 hours a week on Closet Cooking, it is very difficult to find the time to write completely new recipes and then make and photograph them for a cookbook! But this does not lessen my desire to write a cookbook and this year one of my new years resolutions was to start taking steps in that direction. I decided that I would start with something a lot simpler than a full cookbook and a much smaller eBook seemed like the perfect way to go. Since I did not know much about writing a book let alone an eBook I thought it would be a good idea to start with a really easy one where I would use recipes and photographs that I already had. With these ideas in mind the eBook: The Best of Closet Cooking 2012, was born.

The Best of Closet Cooking 2012 is a collection of the most popular recipes that I have published on Closet Cooking from the time of its inception until 2012. For new readers, this book is a great way to get into some of the best recipes on Closet Cooking and for long time readers, it is a nice reminder of the tasty paths traveled. I will be giving the The Best of Closet Cooking 2012 away for free to anyone that signs up for my new newsletter. You can sign up here:

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The book is in pdf format so anyone on a desktop computer or laptop can view it in a pdf reader such as Adobe Reader and any smart phone or tablet device that has a pdf reader should be able to view it on those devices. I was able to transfer the book to my iPhone and despite the small size it looks pretty good. I now need to start saving up for an iPad so that I can see how it looks on that! I am also going to look into getting the book up on Amazon for the kindle, iTunes and Lulu for a physical print in the coming days.

It turns out that there is a fair bit of work involved in publishing a cookbook even when you already have all of the recipes, text and photos ready to go! I was somehow able to muddle my way through it all and despite the difficulties that I encountered along the way, I was able to produce something that looks a little like a cookbook. :) With the first eBook written I am looking forward to the next one and I am already part way through planning it. (Can you guess the topic of my next eBook?) I would love to hear your thoughts on this eBook, both the things that you like and dislike about it.

If anyone is or knows someone that is good at design and book layout, I am interested in hiring someone to do the layout of my next eBook. Please email me at kevin@closetcooking.com if you do!

New Newsletter

When I started Closet Cooking I had no idea that I would still be at it almost 6 years later and because of that I went with the cheapest options possible including using blogger for the blog and using feedburner to deliver the email updates. Feedburner is a great free option for delivering email updates but it does not allow for much in the way of customization and lately I have been wanting to do more with Closet Cooking email. I have been thinking about switching to a platform that allows more freedom for a long time now and I finally decided to switch over to AWeber and with them I will have more control of my email updates.

(Disclaimer: The AWeber link is an affiliate link so if you sign up with them after clicking the link I may get a commission. If you do, I thank you for your support!)

The email updates with feedburner:


My new email template with AWeber:


Another limitation of feedburner is that it only send email when you write a new post, which is not the end of the world but sometimes you have something to say that does not really fit into a new post. AWeber has the ability to send email whenever you want and since I am a big fan of eating locally and in season and I plan to use this feature to highlight favorite recipes that are in season.

What does this mean? If you are currently subscribed to my feedburner email newsletter you will continue to get the new recipes emailed to your inbox just like you have. If you would prefer to switch to the new newsletter, you can unsubscribe from the one that you are getting now and subscribe to the new one and of course you will also get access to my new eBook if you do. You can subscribe here:

Subscribe to the Closet Cooking email newsletter:

I would love to here any feedback that you have on the new newsletter!

New Logo

The next big announcement is about my new logo! A few weeks ago, Cory, a food blogging friend of mine, the man behind Zesty Cooks, contacted me to let me know that he had quit his job to focus on his own blog consulting business Zesty Blog Consulting and he wanted to know if I wanted a custom logo for Closet Cooking. It was quite the coincidence since I had been thinking about a logo for a while so I happily said yes!

(Disclaimer: The link to Zesty Blog Consulting is an affiliate link so if you purchase his services after clicking the link I may get a commission. If you do, I thank you for your support!)

Although I was not the easiest client to work with, given that I had no clue what I wanted other than something that was cool, Cory persevered and after more than a few iterations came up with a logo that I liked! I had been thinking about the logo for a long time and the thing that kept blocking me was: What kind of a logo can you come up with to represent a closet and cooking? The answer was that a more abstract logo was the way to go. I would love to hear your opinion of the new logo! Please leave a comment!

Reuben Soup

Reuben Soup

One of my favorite parts about St Patrick's Day is the corned beef leftovers and I normally start off by making more than a few reuben sandwiches. Last year I came across a tasty sounding recipe for a reuben soup on Heart Oven to 350 that I wanted to make right away! Unfortunately I had just finished off the rest of my corned beef so I bookmarked the recipe for next year and waited patiently. This year I made sure to start off by making the reuben soup with my leftover corned beef and I certainly am glad that I did!

Guinness Chocolate Pudding

Guinness Chocolate Pudding

I have really been into the Guinness and chocolate flavour combo lately! Guinness, like coffee, has the ability to bring out chocolates natural flavour and make it even better, if that is possible. Even after the Guinness chocolate cheesecake and the chocolate stout cake I was looking for more and this Guinness chocolate pudding that I found on epicurius was looking pretty good. Not only does this recipe use Guinness in the chocolate pudding but it also reduces some Guinness into a syrup and then mixes it into whipped cream which is then placed on top of the pudding as if it were the bubbly head of a Guinness after freshly poured! How cool is that?

Corned Beef Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Guinness Caramelized Onions

Corned Beef Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Guinness Caramelized Onions

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When I made the Guinness caramelized onions for the onion cheddar quiche I could not help but snack on a few of them before adding them to the quiche and I was immediately entranced by them! While I was slowly caramelizing the onions, images were flying through my head with all of the different ways that I could use them and I wanted to try them all! I was finding it difficult to decide exactly which dish to make when I had the idea of using them in a grilled cheese sandwich and I was sold! I was thinking that a corned beef grilled cheese sandwich would be perfect for St Patrick's Day and stuffing it with drunken caramelized onions would be a treat indeed! Given the use of the corned beef in this sandwich I was reminded another favourite, the reuben sandwich, and because of that I decided to go with a dark rye for the bread. Since I was seasoning the Guinness caramelized onions with Worcestershire sauce and grainy mustard, cheddar cheese only seemed natural to finish the sandwich off. Don't let the time required to caramelize the onions stop you from making one of these sandwiches as they are definitely worth the effort and otherwise really easy to make!

Bangers and Colcannon with Guinness Onion Gravy

Bangers and Colcannon with Guinness Onion Gravy

Over a half a year ago I came across a recipe for Bangers and Colcannon with Guinness Gravy on What Lolita Eats and I immediately thought that it would be a perfect recipe for St Patrick's Day. It was difficult, but I resisted making it right away, bookmarked it and waited impatiently for St Patrick's Day to arrive and it was finally time. This dish consists of pork sausages that are served on colcannon, an Irish form of mashed potatoes with bacon and sauteed cabbage mixed in, and topped with a Guinness gravy. You really cannot go wrong with creamy mashed potatoes, bacon, sausages and a tasty caramelized onion gravy made with Guinness and it is pure comfort food! The recipe takes a bit of time to make but it is pretty easy and if you multitask it will come together even faster and it is definitely worth the effort.

St. Patrick's Day Recipes

Apricot Glazed Corned Beef

St. Patrick's Day is only one week away and that means that it is time to start planning your St. Patrick's Day menu. I always enjoy planning my St. Patrick's Day meal as the dishes are always interesting and tasty! It is a great time to cook with some alcohol such as an Irish beer, stout or ale or an Irish whisky or even some Irish cream. Corned beef is of course a favourite for a main but there are plenty of options and lets not forget that there are some really nice desserts. If you do make some corned beef, be sure to make a lot because the leftovers can be even better than the dish that they came from. Here are a few of my St. Patrick's Day recipe favourites:

Guinness Chocolate Cheesecake

You will have to forgive me for starting with dessert; normally the main course holds more interest for me but this Guinness Chocolate Cheesecake is so unbelievably good that I have to mention it first. Guinness and chocolate are an amazing flavour combination and the Guinness brings out even more chocolaty goodness. If there is only one thing that you make for St. Patrick's Day this year, this should be it!


Apricot Glazed Corned Beef

My all time favourite main course for St. Patrick's Day has to be corned beef, probably more for the leftovers, and this Apricot Glazed Corned Beef is a great way to go. I commonly serve this with a side of Colcannon, which is a Irish form of mashed potatoes with cabbage and bacon, along with some sauteed cabbage with, you guessed it, even more bacon.


Irish Lamb Stew

Another great option for St. Patrick's Day is an Irish Lamb Stew and this one uses Guinness in the broth. Serve with some freshly homemade Irish Soda Bread to help soak up all of that tasty broth.


Corned Beef Glazed in Honey and Mustard

A close second for corned beef is this Corned Beef Glazed in Honey and Mustard and to make things easier you can cook some cabbage, carrots and potatoes in the same pot as the corned beef.


Steak and Guinness Pie

If you are looking for an alternative to corned beef then this Steak and Guinness Pie is hard to beat with its light and flaky all butter crust and slowly braised until falling apart tender beef and cheddar filling!


Crispy Beer Battered Fish Sandwich

When I think about Irish food I often arrive at fish and chips and last year I tried something new, a Crispy Beer Battered Fish Sandwich. The fish is coated in a Guinness based batter and it is fried until the coating is nice and crispy and the fish is moist, tender and flaky and once cooked I place it into a sandwich along with some coleslaw. and tartar sauce. When served with a side of homemade fries it is just like a fish and chips meal in sandwich form.


Chocolate Stout Cake with Bailey's Cream Cheese Frosting

If the Guinness Chocolate Cheesecake sounds too rich for you then this light, fluffy and moist Chocolate Stout Cake with Bailey's Cream Cheese Frosting is definitely the way to go.


Reuben Sandwich

The first thing that I do with my corned beef leftovers is to make a Reuben Sandwich which I like to butter up and grill until the dark rye is nice and toasty and the swiss cheese has melted. If you are on the more adventurous side then try adding some kimchi to the mix to make a Kimchi Reuben Sandwich which has some bite. (Trust me it is really good!)


Reuben Dip

A Reuben Dip is a fantastic way to satisfy your snacking desires and another great way to enjoy some of that leftover corned beef.


Reuben Quesadillas

If quesadillas are more your style then you are going to want to try these Reuben Quesadillas.


Corned Beef, Cabbage and Kimchi Burrito

A new favourite, that I made for the first time last year, is this Corned Beef, Cabbage and Kimchi Burrito which also includes some avocado salsa verde and plenty of melted cheese in the filling.

Ale and Cheddar Soup

Ale and Cheddar Soup

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When I came across a recipe for an ale and cheddar soup recently on From and Away I immediately pinned it thinking that it would be perfect to make some time around St. Patrick's Day. In addition to the ale and cheddar this soup contains plenty of bacon and spicy jalapenos peppers so there was really no way that I could resist making it! This recipe starts out by cooking the bacon, and I used a double smoked bacon to add a smokiness, and then uses the bacon grease to saute the onions, celery and jalapeno peppers so that you do not loose any of that bacon-y goodness. Next up is some garlic and thyme for flavour followed by some flour to thicken the soup before adding the ale and broth. With the soup containing both ale and cheese I added some mustard and Worcestershire sauce which always makes for a great flavour combo. The soup is of course finished off with plenty of cheddar cheese and some heavy cream.

Guinness Braised Onion and Aged White Cheddar Quiche

Guinness Braised Onion and Aged White Cheddar Quiche

With March here, St Patrick's day is not too far off and that is the perfect excuse to cook with some alcohol! One trick that I use to quickly caramelize onions is to add water to the pan which allows for more surface surface area to be in contact with the heat and it allows you to use a higher temperature. The last time I was caramelizing some onions I was thinking that instead of using water, why not use a beer or a wine and with St Patrick's day on my mind a lot recently a nice dark Irish stout like Guinness seemed like the perfect way to go. I was looking for an idea for brunch this past weekend and a Guinness braised onion and white cheddar quiche was sounding like it would hit the spot! In addition to the onions and cheese I really could not resist adding bacon to the quiche and from there I built up the flavours with some grainy mustard and Worcestershire sauce in addition to a bit of cayenne for heat. The Guinness braised onion and aged white cheddar quiche turned out amazingly well! The sweet Guinness braised onions contrasted nicely with the sharp aged white cheddar and the rest of the flavours really played well together in the quiche.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Swiss Chard Quinoa Bibimbap

Roasted Butternut Squash, Black Bean and Swiss Chard Quinoa Bibimbap

Last week I came across an article on the New York Times about using quinoa in bibimbap which was an interesting coincidence since I had recently tried the same thing. Bibimbap is a Korean dish that consists of various vegetables and meats served in a bowl over rice with a spicy chili sauce. I have been enjoying exploring new uses for quinoa and it makes a great substitute for rice so I thought that a quinoa bibimbap would be a nice idea. Normally bibimbap has a meat in it but this time I was thinking about a vegetarian version with winter vegetables starting with butternut squash that I tossed in gochugaru, Korean style chili pepper flakes, and roasted until nice and tender. I often like to include spinach in bibimabap but I was thinking that swiss chard would be a nice substitution this time. I then build up the bibimbap with some sauteed shiitake mushrooms, grated cucumber and carrots. I have done a lot of warm quinoa salads recently and I have been enjoying the combination of the beans in those salads so I tried adding some black beans to this bibimbap before finishing it off with a fried egg and some spicy gochujang sauce. Quinoa once again proved how versatile it is working amazingly well as a substitute for rice in this bibimbap where its texture played particularly well with the other ingredients making for one really tasty and healthy meal.

Bacon Wrapped Buffalo Chicken Jalapeno Poppers

Bacon Wrapped Buffalo Chicken Jalapeno Poppers

A little while ago I came across a recipe for bacon wrapped buffalo chicken jalapeno poppers on Copy Kat Recipes that sounded so good! Unfortunately I was all snacked out after the big football game so I very reluctantly set the recipe aside for another time. Although I resisted making them for a while, over the weekend I broke down and made them using some leftover cooked shredded chicken from the freezer. I did not really stand a chance, I mean this recipe combines two irresistible snacks, jalapeno poppers and buffalo chicken wings, into one and then wraps them up in bacon and I just had to find out how amazing the combination was!