Okay I think I really need to start a petition to get pizza and bacon as their own respective food groups. Seriously those are my absolute two most favorite things in the world…EVER! I always get asked “TKW, if we ever met and we went out to eat, where would we go?” Easy… a local pizza place in your area that is not a chain/franchise. Sorry but I’m not a fan of mass-produced/mass-frozen/shipped foods. Hey it works for them as they are rather successful however when it comes to pizza I want local and good. Then again, even really bad pizza is still pizza.
What I love about pizza is the versatility of it. From the crust (regular, gluten free, beer – yes beer, herbed, rye, wheat, whole grain, honey wheat) to the sauces (red, white, garlic aioli, ketchup – yes on a breakfast pizza, to desserty type sauces) and then the toppings which are endless. Now what I don’t consider pizza are those cauliflower/zucchini crusts. Yes they are good however they are not true pizza in my eyes.
As you may or may not know my freshman year of college my brother opened a pizza shop. Now he and my sister law had worked at one for years and finally decided to open their own. It actually became really popular and it was there that I really got to “play” with my toppings and adaptations.
I was putting fries, onions rings and grilled steak on pizza decades before it became a trendy ‘thing’. Breakfast pizzas were a norm and cowboy western burger pizzas with bbq sauce, crispy onion straws, bacon and grilled burgers were a plenty. BUT… those things were almost never on the menu. Please, my brother would have crapped a brick if he knew (hi Dave!) how much I experimented back then. One of my top sellers which I finally got him to put on the menu was my pierogi pizza that we sold during lent. Grilled onions and cheddar topped this hefty bad boy to keep all those Catholics in the good graces.
Now this pizza came about simply because I wanted pizza in the worst way, like most days, only I didn’t want a typical pie. I wanted something different. As I was rummaging through my fridge I spied about a pound or so of my Guinness Corned Beef just sitting there, begging for some love. Next to it I spied my jar of sauerkraut and it was on. I knew exactly what I was making. REUBEN PIZZA baby! Since I had already had the pizza dough made up I just took it out of the fridge to finish its final proofing.
As I was dragging the stuff out of the fridge Mr. Fantabulous spied the corned beef and kraut and got super excited. He said “Ohhhh are you making me a reuben???” Oh how I love how he assumes that I never eat and my only purpose in the kitchen is to cook for him. To be fair he looooooooooooves my reubens. I do as well. Have you tried my recipe yet? No? Dude (yes I dude’d you) you sooooooo have to! It’s epic! However I had to break the bad news to him that while I was technically making a reuben it wasn’t a traditional one; I was making a reuben pizza.
Before I go on, you’ll notice in the pictures that I have mustard there. Why? I loathe 1000 island dressing. I love yellow mustard on corned beef and my reubens. Don’t judge me and don’t crinkle up your nose. You, yes you… I see you crinkling. Stop it. You can most certainly put the 1000 island dressing on it to keep it 100% traditional. I’m just one step above traditional.
So as I broke the news to him that huge smile turned into a scoff. He wasn’t pleased because again I was “messing with an already perfect thing” and “why can’t I just leave things well enough alone…” I just grinned and said “You know me I’m a rebel baby and that’s why you love me!” as I whacked him in the butt with a kitchen towel. Yeah… HUGE mistake. See this man possesses super ninja towel snapping capabilities. Over the years I’ve learned to not poke the bear but apparently I had a brain fart because as soon as I heard that ‘crack’ and him go “OWWWW!” I realized “Oh crap, I’m an idiot.. RUNNNNNNNNNNN!!!”
But I couldn’t run. See I possess that gene that when I realize I do something stupid like this I become paralyzed and begin to beg, plead and pretty much ask God to help me out. As he turned around the look of shock on his face was more than I could bear as I immediately stood there belly laughing because one, I’m an idiot; two, his face was too funny and three, I’m an idiot. I started to say “Noooooooooo see I get a one time idiot pass so you have to let me go. Hey wait, what are you doing? Leave the towel alone. PUT DOWN THE TOWEL!!!” again as I stood there, paralyzed and laughing uncontrollably. Seriously I was laughing so hard I almost peed my damn pants!
And he just stood there twirling it up to make it night and tight – you know that tightness that you know it’s gonna hurt like a SOB and leave a mark. It’s going to crack like a whip and there isn’t jack squat you can do about it as you deserve it because again, you’re an idiot. It’s like you challenging Mike Tyson to a boxing match – you’re gonna lose so just lie down and play dead already.
The funniest part of it all is he literally just stood there, gave me that look while twirling that towel. I was the babbling idiot. Then he just stopped, set down the towel and then started to walk away. I got super quiet and said “Hey, are you mad???” He just stopped, looked over his shoulder and said “Nope, just realize it’s on my dear…” and walked away with such an evil sinister laugh. We’re talking “MUAHAHAHAHA!” deep sinister laugh. Oh crap I was in trouble.
However I started to get hungry and went to making this pizza. About every 10 minutes he’d wander back out to the kitchen, look at me, give me a smirk look, raise his brow while looking at me and then the towel. He’d then just walk away muttering “soon…” LOL Such a brat!
This pizza is pretty straight forward to assemble. The only non-traditional reuben item would be the addition of the mozzarella cheese (we won’t discuss my using mustard – let it go). I wanted to add a bit more pizza-esque texture and I knew the Swiss cheese wouldn’t give me that ooey gooey cheese strings like mozzarella does. So to mix I also added a bit of shredded mozzarella. Now folks, let’s talk about pizza cheese in general. Do not ever, EVER buy pre-shredded stuff. Why? Did you ever buy a bag of shredded cheese and notice that powdery type stuff on the cheese and in the bag? Bet you think that’s cheese dust, right? Hate to inform you all but that’s not what it is. It’s pretty gross if you ask me.
It’s not cheese dust. It’s actually Cellulose powder. Cellulose powder is a food additive that has become popular recently because it has unique properties that allow food makers to thicken food, replace fat, raise fiber content and decrease the need for ingredients like oil and flour. Although cellulose is commonly found in all kinds of plants, do you know where the most popular and economical source for cellulose are? Are you sitting down for this one? You sure? It’s predominately from cotton and wood pulp. No for real. Pretty nasty, huh?
So yes, please buy block cheese and shred it yourself. So there are some must-do tricks when it comes to making this pizza turn out perfect.
→ Drain, drain and drain your sauerkraut! It needs to be as dry as possible otherwise it’ll weep into the dough and make it soggy.
→ Make sure your corned beef is super cold, heck you can even partially freeze it, as you want to slice it thin. Now if you’re a fan of the chunks of corned beef then just rough chop it but I prefer mine super thin.
→ Don’t be an idiot and towel crack the Ninja Towel Crack Master like me *wink*
This pizza turned out better than I had expected and while I ended up eating the whole thing myself (no, not at once people… lol) because Mr. Fantabulous refused to step out of the norm, I did make him his very own traditional reuben. That saved my butt… literally.
No for real! No towel cracks that night or to date (*crosses fingers to not jinx herself*) But definitely make this when you want to step away from the norm and be adventurous!Print
- 1 16 ounce Best Pizza Dough
- 1 1/2 lbs cooked
- Guinness Corned Beef, chilled (it’ll be easier to slice thin)
- 2-3 cups well drained sauerkraut (I do not rinse mine)
- 1 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
- 2 cups 1000 Island dressing *or ~1 cup yellow mustard/whole grain mustard
- 3 cups shredded Swiss cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- minutes before baking (and the dough is ready), place a pizza stone on the lower third rack or invert a metal pan and place on the rack.
- Preheat oven to 500F for 30 minutes. *if using a pizza screen, do not preheat the screen but place the oven rack on the lower third rung.
- Slice the corned beef into thin slices and set aside.
- If using the pizza stone or inverted pan, stretch out the dough and place on a flour dusted paddle. If you don’t have a paddle stretch out on a flour/corn meal dusted parchment paper.
- Stretch the dough into a 14-16” round circle leaving the outer edge slightly thicker.
- If using 1000 island dressing spread ~ 1 cup on the bottom leaving a 1/2” edge all the way around. If using mustard instead of the dressing spread about 1/2 cup around (it’s stronger in flavor so a little goes a long way).
- Next place the corned beef over top going to the end of the dressing/mustard. Pile it up so every bite is meaty!
- On top of that sprinkle the sauerkraut and then the caraway seeds.
- Sprinkle over the Swiss cheese and the mozzarella.
- Bake on the lower rack for 8 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and drizzle more 1000 island dressing or mustard on top.
Looking for more awesome pizza recipes?Herbed Prosciutto Tomato Onion White Pizza