Wraps

Wraps-on-plate-with-apples

Recipe courtesy of the Commissary Deli at RAF Chicksands AB, England

Back in the early 90’s, while we were stationed at RAF Chicksands AB, England, I happened to be at the commissary deli counter one day when someone was picking up a party tray.  Unlike the usual party tray of folded meat and sliced yellow and white American cheese, this one was different.  It was so colorful and eye-catching, lying on a bed of curly lettuce.

I had never heard of a wrap before, and after seeing how pretty they looked, I was hooked; I had to know how to make one.  So I snagged a pen from my purse and spent the next ten minutes picking the brain of the girl working at the deli counter.  When I left the commissary that day I had all the ingredients necessary to make these wraps, and a sketched diagram of the placement of each element.

Tortillas come in lots of flavors and you can put nearly anything in a wrap.  Substitute leftover chicken, pork, or beef and the veggies of your choice for a quick weekday dinner.  You may even decide to have a warm wrap and fillings instead of a cold one.  If so, just place the tortillas on a plate, cover with a damp paper towel, and nuke for 30-45 seconds before filling them.

All these years later and we almost always have the ham and turkey wraps because they are still our favorite.  Every time I make them I have to make extras because Mark wants them for lunch the next day.  These wraps are wonderful party fare because all the work can be done the day before.  They are also great for after-school snacks or served during halftime of a football game.  However, they are especially nice served with fresh berries or peaches on a lazy summer day.  Enjoy!

 

Ingredients

1 package large tortillas (I used sun-dried tomato flavored)

1 8 oz. brick cream cheese, softened

dried chives or Italian seasoning (to flavor the cream cheese)

1/2 pound sliced cheese of choice

1-2 pounds meat of choice (if using deli meats, have them shaved as they look better in a wrap and you can stretch them further)

about 10 baby carrots, sliced thin, longways

3 green onions, chopped

1 head iceberg lettuce

 

Directions

1. Prepare the veggies and have all your ingredients layed out in front of you.  It is best if you work on one wrap at a time.  Mix the cream cheese and herbs of choice.

Wraps-tortilla

2. Spread a thin layer of the cream cheese mixture over the entire tortilla.

Wraps-with-cream-cheese

3. Referring to the picture, place the sliced cheese on one side only of the tortilla about 1/4 of the way around.  Cut the cheese in half if necessary.

Wraps-with-cheese

4. Place about 2 good handfuls of meat on top of the cheese.

Wraps-with-meat

5. Place carrot slices down the length of the meat.  Sprinkle chopped green onions over the meat.

Wraps-with-carrots-and-onions

6. Place a thick layer of iceberg lettuce on top of everything.

Wraps-with-lettuce

7. Tightly roll up the tortilla.  Slice the wrap into sections.  Serve cut-side up.

Wraps-on-plate-with-apples

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California Club Sandwich

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Recipe inspired by California Club Sandwich at TGIFRIDAYS 

Recently I went out with some friends for lunch, and I had the California Club Sandwich at TGIFRIDAYS.  It was delicious and I’ve been craving another one ever since.  Their club sandwich was on chewy ciabatta bread…mine was on whole wheat, but still very good.  The restaurant served real bacon on their sandwich (and it was tasty), but we have been eating turkey bacon for a few years now and really like it.  I gave the mayo on Mark’s sandwich a little kick with some ground chipotle pepper seasoning.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

whole wheat bread, (2 slices per sandwich) or Ciabatta buns
mayo
chipotle pepper seasoning
avocado
sliced or shaved deli ham, about 2 ounces per sandwich
bacon, 2 slices per sandwich
sliced or shaved deli turkey, about 2 ounces per sandwich
sliced provolone cheese
tomato slices, 2-3 per sandwich
lettuce, several large leaves per sandwich

 

Directions

1. Cook bacon.  Drain on paper towels.

2. Mix mayo and chipotle pepper seasoning.

3. Spread mayo on bread, and stack the rest of the ingredients according to the pictures below.

California-Club-Sandwich-with-chipotle-mayo

California-Club-Sandwich-with-avocado

California-Club-Sandwich-with-ham

California-Club-Sandwich-with-turkey-bacon

California-Club-Sandwich-with-turkey-and-cheese

California-Club-Sandwich-with-lettuce-and-tomato

4. Cut the sandwich in half.

Portobello Mushroom Hoagie

Portabello-Mushroom-Hoagie-on-the-plate2

Recipe courtesy of Elizabeth Levesque

While grocery shopping, I saw these big, beautiful Portobello mushrooms.  I didn’t know what I was going to do with them, but I just had to have them.  At home we had green peppers, onions, tomatoes and a whole pound of sliced provolone cheese.  That all sounded pretty yummy, so I began putting together a hoagie.  Mark loved it, although he did say that it was quite messy.  This is not from a recipe, I was just fooling around in the kitchen and came up with it.  I’m including a list of the stuff I used, which was just what we had on hand.  However, this hoagie could be made using lots of other veggies and even leftover steak, chicken, turkey, etc.  Enjoy!

 

Ingredients

3 large Portobello mushroom caps, sliced into 5 thick slices each

1 green pepper, sliced into long strips

1/2 onion, sliced into thin rings

1 large tomato, cut into 4 thick slices

3 cloves garlic, minced

3-4 Tablespoons olive oil

Italian seasoning

balsamic vinegar

4 slices Provolone cheese

1/2 loaf french bread

 

Directions

1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet.  Add garlic and Italian seasonings.  Keep the burner on low- med, you only want to flavor the oil, not brown the garlic.  Cook for about 2 minutes.

Portabello-Mushroom-Hoagie-ingredients

2. Add the mushrooms, green pepper and onions.  Cook for about 4 minutes, the onions and green pepper should start to soften and all the veggies should be coated with the flavored oil.

3. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over everything, I tend to be a little heavy-handed with it, and stir to make sure that all the veggies get some of the balsamic vinegar on them.

Portabello-Mushroom-Hoagie-in-the-pan

4. Move the veggies to the side in the pan and place the tomato slices on the bottom of the pan.  Pile the veggies on top of the tomatoes.  Allow to cook for a few minutes, then turn the tomatoes over and cook for a few minutes longer.

Portabello-Mushroom-Hoagie-french-bread

5. Turn on the broiler and place the rack in the oven closest to the broiler.  Slice the french bread in half lengthwise.  Slice in half to make 2 hoagie buns.

6.  Place the hoagie buns open-faced on a cookie sheet.  Place 2 slices of Provolone cheese on the bottom of each hoagie bun.  Pile the veggies on the buns.

7. Put the cookie sheet under the broiler just long enough to melt the cheese and toast the bread.

*This makes 2 good sized sandwiches

Jerri’s Chicken Salad

Jerris-Chicken-Salad-on-plate

Recipe courtesy of Jerri Parker

My sister Jerri is a great cook; She can walk through a kitchen, grab random stuff along the way from the fridge and pantry, and put it together almost effortlessly into a wonderful meal (she’s also a great pie baker).  I called her today and this is what she was making for dinner.  It didn’t occur to me to add grapes and nuts to chicken salad, but Mark loves it.  I like to use sandwich pocket bread for this salad.  I place lettuce leaves inside the bread to act as a barrier against the moist chicken salad, and also to give the sandwich more crunch. My sister also suggests that it can be served with crackers and celery sticks in place of the bread.  Either way, this is a nice variation on an old classic and a wonderful meal to serve when you’re trying to beat the heat.  Enjoy!

Jerris-Chicken-Salad-grapes

Ingredients

4 chicken breasts, cooked, cooled and cubed or torn into bite-sized pieces

25 grapes, either green or red (must be seedless), cut in half

1/3 cup nuts (pecans or walnuts work the best), chopped

2 Tablespoons onion, diced

celery seed, to taste (1 used 5 good shakes)

salt and pepper

slightly less than 1/2 cup mayo or Miracle Whip

2 Tablespoons mustard

hard-boiled eggs, diced (optional)

 

Directions

Jerris-Chicken-Salad-ingredients

1. Shred or chop the chicken and place in a large bowl.  Add the grapes, nuts, onion and celery seed, and diced hard-boiled eggs.  Look at your combination in the bowl…does it need more of anything?

Jerris-Chicken-Salad-salad-without-mayo

2. After you are happy with the quantities of your ingredients, add enough mayo to hold it all together and a little dab of mustard to give it some zing.  Salt and pepper it to your taste and serve in pocket bread, or in a bowl with crackers and some celery sticks.

Jerris-Chicken-Salad-on-plate

Roast Beef Sandwiches with Guinness Mushrooms

Roast-Beef-Sandwich-with-Guinness-Mushrooms-sandwiches-on-plate

Roast Beef Sandwiches recipe courtesy of Woman’s Day Magazine, Hearst Communications, New York, N.Y.

Mushrooms in Guinness recipe courtesy of Guinness.com

 

The idea for this recipe came to me as I flipped through the March 2013 Woman’s Day magazine and saw a beautiful roast beef sandwich.  It was topped with arugula, which is not that appealing to my husband.  He loves mushrooms, and Guinness had a terrific recipe for mushrooms on their website, so I just combined the two recipes into this roast beef/mushroom-and-beer mash-up.  He was a very happy man, indeed.  Enjoy!

 

Ingredients

4 sandwich rolls (I used multi-grain hamburger buns)
1/2 pound thinly sliced roast beef
1/3 cup sour cream
1 Tablespoon prepared horseradish
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 pounds mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and sliced
2 ounces onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ounce butter
1/2 bottle Guinness draught
salt and pepper
1/4 cup cream
2 Tablespoons beef or brown gravy
2 Tablespoons roux (butter/flour mixture), to thicken gravy

 Directions

Roast-Beef-Sandwich-with-Guinness-Mushrooms-butter-onions-and-garlic

1. Melt butter, soften onions and garlic.

 

Roast-Beef-Sandwich-with-Guinness-Mushrooms-butter-onions-and-garlic-with-mushrooms

2. Add mushrooms. Partially cook without letting onions brown.

 

Roast-Beef-Sandwich-with-Guinness-Mushrooms-mushrooms-with-Guinness

3. Add Guinness, cook on full heat until Guinness is reduced by half.

 

Roast-Beef-Sandwich-with-Guinness-Mushrooms-mushrooms-with-cream-and-gravy

4. Add cream and gravy, thicken with the roux, and add seasonings.

 

Roast-Beef-Sandwich-with-Guinness-Mushrooms-roast-beef-on-horseradish-mixture

5. Meanwhile, mix together horseradish, sour cream and Dijon mustard.  Spread evenly on the bottom buns.  Stack roast beef on top of the horseradish mixture.

 

Roast-Beef-Sandwich-with-Guinness-Mushrooms-sandwiches-on-plate

6. Once the gravy has thickened, top the roast beef with the mushrooms and add some of the gravy.

 

 

 

 

Pan-Fried Cheese, Tomato, and Onion Sandwich

Pan-Fried-Cheese-Tomato-and-Onion-Sandwich-sandwich-with-salad1

Recipes courtesy of Food, by Mary McCartney

Published by Sterling Epicure, 387 Park Avenue South, New York, N.Y. 10016

This is a beautiful vegetarian cookbook.  Mary McCartney is a photographer and her images of farm stands and fields in this book are so sweet and nostalgic. I’m including the recipe for the sandwich as well as the salad that I made for lunch.  I used an aged sharp cheddar for the sandwich and it just melted in our mouths.  Enjoy!

Sandwich Ingredients

2 slices sandwich bread
1 Tablespoon butter
6 slices cheese, such as sharp Cheddar, goat Cheddar, or Gouda
2 thin slices red onion
4 thin slices ripe tomato
fresh ground black pepper

Salad Ingredients

mixed greens (I used the 50/50 mix; baby spinach and spring greens)
Blue cheese, cubed or crumbled
red grapes, halved
walnuts, broken and lightly toasted

 

Sandwich Directions

Pan-Fried-Cheese-Tomato-and-Onion-Sandwich-buttered-bread

1. Butter both slices of bread and lay one of them, butter-side down on a chopping board.

 

Pan-Fried-Cheese-Tomato-and-Onion-Sandwich-goodies-on-bread

2. Lay the cheese on one of the slices of bread (unbuttered side), then top with onion, tomato, and black pepper.  Place the second piece of bread, butter-side up, on top.

 

 

Pan-Fried-Cheese-Tomato-and-Onion-Sandwich-fryin-in-the-pan

3. Heat a medium-sized frying pan over medium-high heat.  When the pan is hot, place the sandwich in the frying pan.  Fry on one side until it is golden brown, about 2 minutes, occasionally pushing down the sandwich to help melt the cheese.  Flip the sandwich over and fry on the other side until golden brown and the cheese has melted.

 

 

Pan-Fried-Cheese-Tomato-and-Onion-Sandwich-sandwich-with-salad1

4. Remove from pan and slice diagonally.

 

 

Pan-Fried-Cheese-Tomato-and-Onion-Sandwich-tomatoes

 Salad Directions

1. Place greens on serving plate.  Sprinkle Blue cheese, red grape halves, and toasted walnuts over the greens.