When I was just getting started on this book, I asked Jennifer Day, my chef de cuisine at Gourmet, to put on her thinking cap and pass along her best recipe ideas. She and her husband, Matt, cook dinner at home almost every night, and they’re always experimenting with new dishes. It wasn’t too long before she came up with this gem: Transfer the ingredients of a Reuben sandwich onto a pizza. Well, why not?
Making this pizza is a breeze. The dough takes just 6 minutes to prepare, and while it’s rising, you can throw together the quick cream sauce and measure out the rest of the ingredients. Please note the two unusual pizza-making tricks here:
1. Roll out the dough on a lightly oiled surface, not a lightly floured one.
2. Prebake the rolled-out dough before you put on the toppings. This will give you a much crisper crust.
Finally, if you want to put a dent in the calorie count here, use low-fat milk in place of whole milk and replace the corned beef with turkey, for a turkey Reuben pizza.
Basic Pizza Dough (here’s the link) or use store-bought dough
1 to 2 tablespoons cornmeal
Russian Dressing (recipe follows) or use store-bought dressing, optional
8 ounces thinly sliced cooked corned beef
6 ounces Swiss cheese
1 cup drained sauerkraut
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Extra virgin olive oil
- Prepare the Basic Pizza Dough or take the store-bought dough out of the fridge. Sprinkle the cornmeal onto 2 baking sheets. Place a rack in the bottom of the oven and preheat the oven to 500°F.
- Prepare the Russian Dressing, if using.
- Cut the corned beef crosswise into 1/2-inch strips (about 13/4 cups); coarsely grate the cheese (about 11/2 cups). Rinse the sauerkraut in a strainer and press until dry.
- Make the sauce: Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk and, whisking constantly, bring to a boil over high heat; reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes. Whisk in 1 cup of the cheese and the mustard; add salt to taste and set aside.
- When the dough has almost risen, divide it into 4 balls; roll out each ball on a lightly oiled surface to make a 91/2 × 7-inch rectangle that is about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer 2 rectangles to the baking sheets. Place 1 sheet on the bottom rack of the oven and bake for 3 minutes, or until set but not browned.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place the other baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven. Bake the other 2 rectangles for 3 minutes, or until set but not browned. Let the crusts cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before topping.
- Spoon one-quarter of the sauce onto each of the partially baked crusts, spreading it to within 1/4 inch of the edges. Arrange one-quarter of the corned beef, sauerkraut, and the remaining cheese on top of each.
- Place 1 baking sheet at a time on the bottom rack of the oven and bake each pizza for 7 to 8 minutes, or until the cheese melts and the crusts are golden and crisp on the bottom. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep the pizza warm while the other sheet bakes. Serve the pizzas with Russian Dressing, if desired.
Makes about 1 cup · Hands-on time: 5 minutes · Total preparation time: 5 minutes
Stir together 2/3 cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons chili sauce, and 1/4 cup finely chopped dill pickles.