• As of March 1, 2009, This Food Thing will be hosted at a new address -- please make note: http://thisfoodthing.com

Creamy Bleu Cheese & Pesto Wraps (Tortilla Wraps, Part 2)

A couple of years ago when I was at a conference in the city for work, we ordered lunch from one of those “gourmet” deli’s that were everywhere at the time and I had this simply amazing sandwich.

The menu says (and yes, I took the paper menu, and once home, made note of it in my recipe journal):

“A creamy delight!! Cream cheese, blue cheese, and pesto, with roasted tomatoes and your choice of grilled chicken, or grilled zucchini, served on fresh baked focaccia”

It was served ‘New York Style’.. way too big for one person to eat, but perfect to share with 3 other people.  The 4 of us enjoyed it so much that we almost fought for the last piece.

A few days later, I started to play with the ingredients.  The first try was a bit bland, but after a few more tries over the next few weeks, I finally got what I was looking for.. something at least close to what I had from the NYC deli. 

Over the years since, I’ve played around a lot with the basic idea for this spread — everything from using Italian seasoning, to a cilantro based pesto.  This is really one of those recipes you start with, and then build upon, until you have 10 more recipes, based just upon this one.

I do like focaccia, but, to be honest, I never make, and when I do, it is still not as good as I can buy it.  The markets here all sell amazingly good focaccia, as do the pizza shops, and Italian bakeries.  But usually, I go for a tortilla .. my favorite food group ;)

Enjoy!

Creamy Bleu Cheese & Pesto Wraps

1 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
3-4 ounces of bleu cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup of pesto sauce (fresh is great, store bought is almost as good, usually)
1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
10-12 basil leaves
black olives
Salt and Pepper to taste

Favorite addition (see below for ideas)
Flour Tortillas

Add the soft cream cheese to a bowl and mix it well until it softens a bit more and is workable.  Add in the blue cheese, pesto sauce and mix together.  Add the tomato and black olives and mix together until everything is combined.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Spread the mixture thinly over the tortilla, and add your favorite meat or vegetable (see below for a list of ideas).  Add a couple of basil leaves, and roll tightly together.   Chill for about 1 hour, or eat now. 

Ideas for additions:

  • Grilled zucchini
  • Grilled portobellos
  • Grilled Tomatoes
  • Grilled Red Peppers
  • Thin sliced roast beef
  • Grilled chicken
  • Baked ham

There is really no limit as to what you can do with this recipe.

  • Use sun-dried tomatoes, instead of fresh
  • Use a tapenade instead of pesto
  • Make a pesto from cilantro, then use a soft cheese, such as jack, and mix 1/2 cup sour cream into 4 ounces of cream cheese, instead of the 8 ounces.

For another ‘Tortilla Wrap’ recipe, click here

Roast Beef Wraps – Tortilla Wraps, part 1

Growing up in the mid-western state of Nebraska – the western end, to boot, means I was around a lot of Mexican foods. Though this recipe isn’t a Mexican recipe, it does contain tortillas. Some people love sandwiches, some like bagels, some like rye bread.. I love tortillas and have tons of uses for them, other than the standard ‘beans and rice’ that tortillas are known for.

This is a simple recipe – that is the beauty of a wrap – anything goes. And here, anything really could go: Replace the roast beef with chicken, or turkey, use tomatoes in place of peppers, Vidalia onion in place of the red.. and you’ve got a totally new wrap.

Enjoy!

Amazing Roast Beef Wraps

4 small burrito sized wraps or tortillas
4 -8 ounces Roast Beef, thinly sliced
1 Roasted Red Pepper (see Recipe below)
2-3 slices Red Onion
1 bunch of sprouts
Sour Cream Horseradish Sauce (See recipe below)

Spread Sour Cream Horseradish Sauce on each wrap, and place other ingredients, to taste, on the wrap, roll to close. Serve chilled.

To store these for later, roll tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate.

Roasted Red Peppers

6 large red bell peppers
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced (optional)
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
salt and pepper, to taste
brown paper bag
1 tsp sea salt or kosher salt

Preheat your broiler or grill. Lightly oil the peppers with the 1 tablespoon of oil (do not seed the peppers at this point). Place on baking sheet (if using an indoor broiler), or directly on your grill. Cook peppers, turning often, until they have black spots and blister all over, and are tender to the touch. Place the peppers into the paper bag (or plastic bag, or any closed container), and seal closed. Set aside until the peppers have cooled – about 30 minutes.

Once the peppers have cooled, remove the skins by lightly peeling them, using the edge of a knife to scrape away the blackened and blistered skins. Slice the peppers and remove seeds and inner core. Rinse quickly under water, and dry well. Cut the peppers into long strips.

In a sterile jar, add salt, remaining olive oil, garlic, parsley and peppers.

You can refrigerate this for 3-4 weeks… if they last that long ;)

Sour Cream Horseradish Sauce

1 Cup Sour Cream
3-4 Tablespoons Hot Horseradish (prepared)
1 1/2 Teaspoon Fresh Lemon Juice
Dash Paprika
Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and chill until ready to serve.

For another ‘Tortilla Wrap’ recipe, click here.