Thursday, June 3, 2010

A no-fail family favorite

The summer potluck and picnic season began on Monday with Memorial Day. Ah, how I love it...sharing meals, coming up with special dishes to take to a potluck, and dining in the great outdoors. (Incidentally, I will publicly admit that eating outside--whether at home or at a restaurant--is one of my most favorite things in life.) I'm always on the hunt for a great recipe to take to a neighbor's house or church party. Quite often I try something new, but every now and then I take an ol' family favorite.

These little beauties have a lot of names in our family. My aunt calls them Abracadabras. Some people call them wraps or pinwheels. But, in my immediate family, we call them "Little Burrito Things." We love these things. It's rare for any family event to go by without little burrito things being there.

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking there are 1,000,001 roll up type recipes out there. You're right. There are. I've found this one to be different than others I've tried because it's more of an appetizer type roll up than a meat and cheese sandwich type roll. Whether I've made them for a casual craft day with friends, or a formal open house, the recipe has been a hit. In fact, on year I made about 500 for a church Christmas party and not one came back home. (Good thing since I was sick of them by that point!)

The ingredients are few, simple, and cheap. Let me show you!

Little Burrito Things
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 cans chopped olives
2 can green chilies (undrained)
1/2-1 t. Bon Appetit seasoning (or seasoned salt)
4 packages of pressed ham lunch meat
10 8" flour tortillas
Mix the first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Add seasoning to taste. Layer 4 pieces of ham on each tortilla. Divide the cream cheese mixture among the tortillas and spread leaving a 1" border on one side. Roll up beginning from the edge opposite the 1" edge. Cover the wraps and chill. Slice before serving.

Could it be more simple than that? I think not! Let's review a couple things. First of all, the Bon Appetit. If you don't have this incredible seasoning in your home, RUN--don't walk--to the store to get some. It's a lovely combination of celery seed, onion, and salt. The not so lovely part? It can be difficult to find. And, when you find it, it can be 5.00-6.00 a the small spice bottle. I think it's worth the investment though. It will last you for a very long time, it can be used in other things, and I think it makes this dish. But, you can substitute basic seasoned salt if you prefer. Second, the ham. Buy the cheapest pressed stuff a the store. You know, the super thin stuff that is about 60 or so cents a package. Each package has 10 slices in it and 4 packages will divide perfectly among the 10 tortillas. Third, the chilies. Don't worry about them being spicy. They are mixed in enough cream cheese that they add flavor without spice.

Just a couple side notes. I ususally cut my rolls about 3/4" wide, but you can cut them as wide or thin as you like. Cutting them at 3/4" will give you about 70 or so little rolls. Also, this recipe is super easy to half or multiply (remember the 500 Christmas rolls), so it's great for small or large gatherings.

Want to know one of the best parts of making little burrito things? These:

The ends! The ends of each roll up never stay closed, so they get tossed aside. In our family, it's always a race to see who gets to them first! I suggest slicing the rolls when nobody else is around. That way you don't have to fight over the ends. They'll be all yours!

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