Chef's Hat: Wrap up your sandwich
Wraps can be easily customized to individual tastes and are a fun way to get the whole family involved in making the evening meal.
Sandwich wraps are quite common these days, but they weren’t always a dish that appeared on restaurant menus.
Several sources cite the story of former Red Sox manager plus restaurant owner, Bobby Valentine, as the inventor of the warp sandwich.
The story is that a patron ordered a club sandwich on toast at Valentine’s Sports Gallery Café. Unfortunately, the one toaster they had in the restaurant had broken. Mr. Valentine did not want to disappoint this customer who frequently visited his restaurant. So spying some tortillas sitting close by, he wrapped up the club ingredients in the tortilla and called it a Club Mex.
Soon after that, the sandwich became known as a wrap and quickly caught on.
Any type of meat, seafood, vegetable or other kind of filling, such as egg salad, can be used in a wrap. There are no particular rules to follow when turning a typical sandwich into a wrap. However, there are a few tips to keep in mind so your wrap is crisp and doesn’t fall apart.
Use a large tortilla (or wrap) so that it easily holds all the great ingredients you are stuffing into your sandwich. Wraps are generally in the bakery or bread department and tortillas are usually found in the ethnic foods aisle at grocery stores.
The difference? Tortillas are a thin flatbread made with unleavened, water-based corn or wheat dough. A wrap is a soft bread made with a dough that contains yeast and often contains spices and/or flavors - such as tomato/basil or spinach. They can be used interchangeably when making “wrap” sandwiches.
Don’t overdo it on the wet ingredients, such as mayonnaise, mustard or dressings. Excess moisture will make your wrap soggy and cause it to fall apart.
Warm your wrap for a few seconds (either in a microwave or on the stovetop) before filling it. This will make it easier to handle and roll up without it breaking into pieces.
Don’t overfill your wrap. Leave some free space (about a half inch) on the sides and top or bottom so the wrap can easily be rolled up.
After putting ingredients into the wrap, fold the sides in and then roll the bottom toward the top. As you get close to reaching the end, spread a bit of the wet ingredients (sauce, mayo, etc.) over the remainder of the wrap before giving it the final roll to close it. This will help to seal the wrap.
You can become a pro at making wraps in no time and then let creativity take over. Need some ideas to start your adventure into wraps? Try a BLT (bacon, lettuce, tomato) in a tomato basil wrap. Do you have a finicky eater? Spread peanut butter on a tortilla and top with honey, bananas and a dash of cinnamon.
If you are looking to create a healthy dish, place grilled salmon, lettuce and green beans into a spinach wrap.
Forget about those quick weeknight boring sandwiches. Pick up a couple of packages of tortillas or wraps. Wraps can be easily customized to individual tastes and are a fun way to get the whole family involved in making the evening meal.
Let your creativity run wild and use whatever you have on hand in the fridge to make a tantalizing evening meal. Happy Eating.
Turkey Cream Cheese Wrap
- 2 wraps or large tortillas
- 2 tablespoons softened (or whipped) cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
- 6 to 8 slices deli turkey
- Spinach leaves
- Bread and butter pickles
In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese and marmalade.
Slightly warm the tortillas in a microwave for 5 to 10 seconds.
Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly on the two tortillas. Place the turkey, spinach and pickles on top of the cream cheese. Roll up and serve immediately or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate. They will keep for up to three days in the refrigerator.
BBQ Chicken Wraps
- 6 to 8 tortillas or wraps (spinach wraps are a suggested wrap for this recipe)
- 1 cup cooked and sliced or diced chicken (you can use leftover chicken)
- ½ cup ranch dressing
- ½ cup barbeque sauce
- 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
- Lettuce slices
- 1 medium sized tomato, diced
- French’s fried onions (this can be left out but adds a nice crunch)
Note: If you're only making a couple wraps, cut the ingredients by two-thirds.
Mix the dressing and barbeque sauce together in a small bowl. Heat the wraps in the microwave for 5 to 10 seconds.
Divide the chicken, cheese, lettuce and tomato between the wraps. Place a hearty amount of French’s onions across the top. Drizzle the sauce over the top of the ingredients. Roll up and serve immediately.
Salami & Cheese Wraps
- 2 tortillas (plain or flavored)
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 slices provolone cheese
- 4 to 6 slices Genoa salami
- 2 lettuce slices
- 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
Warm the tortillas in a microwave for 5 to 10 seconds, just long enough to soften. Spread mayonnaise on each tortilla and then top with the mustard.
Layer the cheese, salami, lettuce and onion on top. Close the sides in and roll up the tortillas and serve immediately.