Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It's a Wrap!

Had another catering gig at work and was given very little in the way of direction for food. Basically what I got was “Oh, they’re healthy eaters. Just make… whatever”.

Uh… ok.

Since this is the same group I had catered for twice before, I figured they’d be getting tired of the ol’ Build Your Own Sandwich spread plus salads, so I figured I’d give them something with a bit more grab n’ go appeal. And although wraps seems so cliché, that was really the best option I could come up with given the VERY limited space I was dealing with.

Now I had every intention of getting some photos of the finished salads I put together once I had done the last minute ‘dolling up’ of them, but alas, when the time came, it was just a crunch to get everything together and delivered with minimal interruption to a meeting in progress.

But I made a super simple caprese quinoa salad using the basic premise for caprese salad (some heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella and basil) tossed in with your basic cooked quinoa and then topped with a balsamic reduction. Seemed to be quite popular. I also made a Chinese chicken salad (your typical ramen noodle/cabbage/chicken thing, only sugar-free). As an accompaniment to the salads, I made some very pretty little whole wheat rolls, which of course you’re just going to have to take my word on since I was a dope and didn’t snap photos.

I made a large platter of wraps, and naturally, the ones that went together the quickest were the ones that actually flew off the tray. But I can’t say there was anything complicated about any of them.

They had:

Veggie Wraps with Herbed Cheese

6 spinach tortillas/wraps
1 container Boursin cheese
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 orange bell pepper, cut into strips
1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into strips
3 cups (roughly) rinsed and dried baby spinach leaves
1 ½ cups (roughly) shredded carrots
Salt & pepper to taste

Divide the cheese into 6 equal parts and spread on each tortilla to within about 1/2” of the edges. Top the cheese with a layer of spinach and then a layer of carrots. Arrange bell pepper strips and cucumber facing the same direction (parallel to the edge you plan to start rolling up), and season with salt and pepper. Bring in the two sides of the tortilla about ¾” and then roll up the tortilla, beginning with the end closest to you. Press down slightly to ‘set’ it. Cut in half.

Southwest Chicken Rolls

1 rotisserie chicken, meat removed and shredded
1 cup sour cream
3 Tbs fresh lime juice
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp paprika
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
½ can black beans, drained and rinsed
½ red bell pepper, diced
1 ear corn
Olive oil
1 avocado, thinly sliced
3 -4 slices lavash bread

Brush olive oil on corn and place in a pre-heated grill pan (or on a charcoal grill, or even in a cast-iron skillet - you get the picture). Cook at medium-high heat on each side until kernels are slightly charred. Add ½ cup of water and cover, cooking until kernels are tender, about 5 minutes. Allow to cool completely and then cut kernels from cob.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the chicken meat, sour cream, lime, seasonings, beans and vegetables. Stir to combine.

Divide mixture and spread evenly across each slice of bread, spreading all the way out to 3 of the sides and leaving about ½” of space on the side furthest from you. Top with avocado.

Beginning with side nearest you, make a tight roll, ‘tucking in’ any filling that spills out the side. Press together gently to seal. Cut into 2” slices.

* * *

I also had Cuban Sandwich Wraps, which don’t really warrant a recipe. Basically, I spread course mustard on wheat tortillas, topped with provolone and uncured ham (couldn’t find pork deli meat where I went), laid dill pickle spears down the center, and rolled them up. Pretty basic stuff.

In addition to the above, I had a couple of different chips options (kettle and veggie) as well as a couple of cookie trays. I went with the much-requested Oatmeal Chocolate Chip, as well as these Peanut Butter Cookies. And while I couldn’t tell you how they tasted (bad chef - but I’m really not a fan of peanut butter), I can tell you that they were inhaled. Always a good sign.

Peanut Butter Cookies

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
½ cup light brown sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 large egg, room temperature
1½ cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350°. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed until very light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add peanut butter and cream until fully combined, about 1 minute. Add egg and mix until fully incorporated.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; add to wet ingredients and mix just until dough comes together. Roll dough into 1 1/2" balls, roll in sugar and place on cookie sheet, about 2" apart. Using a fork, press the tops of the cookies, creating a criss-cross pattern.

Bake cookies for 13 - 14 minutes, until golden. Allow cookies to cool slightly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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