The Reuben Pizza, a Happy Coincidence

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In the kitchen (as in life in general), happy accidents can bring about the best results. So back when I still ate bacon (regular pork bacon, ham, streaky rashers, call them what you like), I would sometimes make sauerkraut quiche. I’m usually not fond of sauerkraut, to put it mildly. I know it contains a ton of vitamins and saved many a sailor from scurvy, but I just don’t love it, with one notable exception I first ate in New York City a few light years ago: The Reuben Sandwich. A Reuben is usually served on rye and contains Pastrami, Sauerkraut and melted cheese, which may sound like an odd combination at first, but I find it, for some reason, absolutely irresistible.

But back to that quiche. This was before we had kids, and as both children will touch neither quiche nor sauerkraut with a ten foot pole, I’ve basically stopped making it, because duh. And then for some reason I was reminded of it when grocery shopping last Saturday, and on an impulse I bought some sauerkraut, grabbed some smoked turkey breast (my go-to bacon substitute) and a carton of eggs. I was going to make that quiche for my husband.

As I looked up the short crust for quiches, it came back to me that I used to not make a short crust but rather a robust yeast dough for this particular recipe, and then I thought of the veggie quiche with the rye crust I made in the summer, and then I was reminded of the Tarte Flambée my fabulous friend M. made for us 2 weeks ago, remembered that even my picky daughter hat eaten it because she got her own slices topped like a pizza Margherita – and it sort of all came together in my creative cook-y brain. I was going to try and make a sauerkraut pizza, on a rye dough, and make my daughter her own,  Margherita style.

That’s how it went, and I made a yeast dough of: approx. 300 g rye flour, 200 g wheat flour, water, 1 p yeast, 1 1/2 Tbsp salt, 2 Tsp sugar and a generous slosh of olive oil. Then I set about prepping my sauerkraut. I hadn’t bought a lot, maybe 250 g, figuring it was only my husband and me who were going to eat it.

So first, I sliced a shallot and 200 g smoked turkey breast. I put 1 Tbsp dried caraway seeds in cooking oil and roasted them gently for a minute, then added the shallots and turkey breast strips, and finally the sauerkraut, some salt, sugar and black pepper. I let it stew/roast, adding water every once in a while so it didn’t burn. After an hour or so I turned off the heat and waited for my pizza dough to rise.

In the meantime, I added 2 eggs, 2 egg yolks, 200 g cream cheese and just a dash of whipping cream to the sauerkraut, as well as a bit of salt and pepper, and grated a large handful of Swiss cheese.

Then I rolled out the dough really really thinly, maybe 2,5 mm. I laid it on a baking sheet and spread the sauerkraut mix on top in a thin layer, topped it off with the grated Swiss and put it in the oven, baking it for about 15 minutes.

I got the pizzas out when the crust was light brown and the cheese melted – and the rest was history. My boy took one bite of my sauerkraut slice and immediately abandoned his salami and marinara sauce pizza in favor of the more exotic variety … a very happy accidental recipe indeed. How about you? Any awesome coincidences in your kitchen lately…? Let’s hear about them.

Signing off today with a few happy pics from today’s birthday bash my daughter threw her friends – check out our latest piñata, yo.

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