reuben rolls with homemade thousand island

by Kristina Sloggett

in appetizers,Dinner,Happy Hour at Home,recipes

oooh mama.

These are so good.

We needed some comfort food last night. If you follow me on twitter, you may know we are looking for a new house. On a recent home tour, we found it. The perfect one. Well, someone else’s perfect one, as it turns out.

We put an offer in yesterday, and a cash buyer came in with one also. We are still excitedly looking forward to continuing the search, but we were both kinda bummed yesterday. We already pictured ourselves there, you know?

So comfort food it was – an old favorite that honestly, I cannot believe I haven’t shared here yet – reuben rolls.

Sometimes I make these with tempeh, sometimes with beans. Last night’s rolls were made with peeled chickpeas. You may know, I find peeling chickpeas not only necessary, but calming. Therapeutic. Something to do while I think of reasons that house was not perfect of us.

Have you ever cooked with egg roll wraps? I love them, and they are really easy once you get the roll and fold technique:

From top corner photo: Place fillings in lower corner of sheet, fold that corner up over fillings, fold two side corners in, while tucking fillings in, roll up to top corner and seal with water. Repeat:

The other thing that is a must – pan frying these in a tiny bit of oil. The wraps really come out great that way, crispy and light. I have baked them before, and they are tough and … tough. Not crispy crunchy, just hard. A little oil is okay with me, when I get a light crisp crunch.

Once you do that, then you can bake them to reheat, when you have leftovers. Then they are fine.

A traditional reuben includes sauerkraut, which I love but Jason does not. This recipe makes a similar tangy flavor by combining caramelized onions with pickles. It works. We love these.

reuben rolls

makes 12-14 rolls

1 can chickpeas, drained and peeled (or one package tempeh, crumbled)
1/2 cup thousand island dressing (recipe follows)
1/2 sweet onion, caramelized
12 thin slices cheese – cheddar or swiss
2 large dill pickles, chopped
12-14 egg roll wrappers
oil for frying – sunflower or safflower

Mash chickpeas (or tempeh), combine with thousand island dressing, set aside to ‘marinate’ (I made this and refrigerated it while I prepped the remaining ingredients). Caramelize the onion

To assemble rolls: arrange a wrap in a diamond shape (see photo above), place 2 tablespoons thousand island chickpeas in bottom corner. Top with one slice cheese, then layer one tablespoon caramelized onion, one tablespoon chopped pickles. Roll as instructed above, see photo.

Heat 1-2 tablespoons oil in pan over medium heat, add 3-4 rolls at a time, turning frequently so they get an even light brown crunchiness all around. Remove to a drying rack or paper towel. Serve warm with thousand island dressing:

I realize a traditional reuben is dressed with a Russian sauce, but… this is not traditional, is it? Okay, I have always favored thousand island dressing, and always make my “reubens” with it. This is the recipe I have used for years.

How did I first come up with this dressing recipe? I looked at a jar while at the store, then bought ingredients to make my own. Without the potassium sorbate and the disgghheoui – eoui – eoui – eoui. Of course. The flavors come close, I think.

thousand island dressing

gluten, dairy, and egg free, vegan

1/2 cup mayonnaise (vegan)
1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup dill pickle juice
1 dill pickle, finely chopped
1/3 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon sugar 

Combine all ingredients and mix well (I used a food processor). Keeps covered in fridge for 2+ weeks (ours does not last longer than that!).

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Comfort food, indeed. and the house hunt continues!


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