BOSTON — 'En-Wrapture!" an ad proclaims. "Roll-ups are here" says another.
Wraps are everywhere.
But don't be intimidated, and don't be fooled. A wrap is just a nouveau, reborn burrito, an edible envelope that holds anything you can put between two slices of bread.
As the wrap trend has swept the country - from mall walkups to upscale restaurants - so has the idea of homemade wraps.
Ellen Brown, author of "All Wrapped Up" (Broadway, $12) calls wraps, "sandwiches with a college education."
Unlike traditional sandwiches that have four edges for fillings to fall through, properly rolled wraps are better mannered and will keep that mayo and relish from dropping on your lap or sliding down your tie.
In many ways, wraps or roll-ups are the perfect get-away meal. On the run, you simply hold it in one hand, and munch. One need only keep an eye out at the grocery store for the flat culinary compartments (tortillas, mountain bread, rice-paper pancakes, pitas, lavash) and then concoct the filling.
Wraps can be as big as a bowling pin or tiny as a roll of pennies. They can be an elegant, complex, savory main course, a simple pick-up-and-go lunch, or a sweet dessert of fresh berries, yogurt, and chocolate sauce.
Directions might as well be as simple as: "Assemble." Or "stuff." Or simply, "roll." Portable. Inexpensive. And a great way to creatively disguise last night's leftovers. It's a trend not likely to wrap up anytime soon.
Smoked Turkey and Mango Wraps
1 large lime
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
3 tablespoons mango chutney, chopped
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1 lavash (half 14-ounce package soft Armenian flatbread)*
1 medium cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
8 ounces thinly sliced smoked turkey breast
1 medium mango, peeled and chopped
6 large green-leaf-lettuce leaves
Grate 1/4 teaspoon of peel and squeeze 1 tablespoon juice from lime. In small bowl, mix lime peel, lime juice, mayonnaise, chutney, curry, and paprika.
Unfold lavash; spread with mayonnaise mixture. Top with cucumber slices, smoked turkey, chopped mango, and lettuce. Roll lahvash jelly-roll fashion.
Wrap lavash roll in plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 to 4 hours to allow bread to soften and flavor to develop.
To serve, trim ends, then cut lavash roll into 4 pieces. Makes four sandwiches.
*If lavash seems dry before filling, place between dampened paper towels for 10 to 15 minutes to soften.
- Good Housekeeping Best Recipes 1998
Spicy Pacific Rim Shrimp
'This easy recipe combines shrimp, orange slices, and crisp vegetables in a spicy, aromatic dressing. It's one of my favorite party dishes, and is great just served as a salad, too.' - Ellen Brown, author of "All Wrapped Up."
1 to 1-1/2 pounds cooked and peeled medium shrimp
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded, and cut into thin slices
1 navel orange, peeled, halved, and cut into thin slices
1/4 pound fresh spinach, washed, steamed, rinsed, and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted (optional)
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 to 2 teaspoons chili paste with garlic (see note)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sesame oil
Rice paper pancakes or 8-inch flour tortillas
Combine shrimp, onion, cucumber, orange, spinach, and toasted sesame seeds in a large bowl. Combine hoisin sauce, vinegar, chili paste, vegetable oil, and sesame oil in a jar with tight-fitting lid, and shake well.
Pour dressing over salad and toss well.
Fill a wide mixing bowl with very hot tap water. Place a damp tea towel in front of you on the counter. Place the rice paper pancakes on a plate, and cover with a barely damp towel. Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap
Fill one rice paper pancake at a time, keeping the remainder covered. Totally immerse the pancake in hot water for 2 seconds. Remove it and place it on the damp tea towel; it will become pliable within a few seconds. Gently fold the front edge of the pancake 1/3 of the way to the top. Place a portion of salad on the folded-up edge, and shape it into a log, leaving a 1-1/2 inch margin on each side. Fold the sides of the pancake over the filling, and roll tightly but gently, beginning with the filled side. Take a second sheet of rice paper, and soften it. Place the filled roll in the center of the sheet, fold the sides over it, and roll it gently.
Place the roll on the baking sheet; continue to fill the rice paper pancakes in the same manner. Cut each roll in half on the diagonal, and serve.
Makes 6 wraps.
Note: If using flour tortillas, place a portion of salad along one edge, leaving a 1-1/2 inch margin on both sides. Tuck the sides in to enclose the filling, and then wrap it firmly but gently, beginning with the filled side. Cut in half on the diagonal, and serve immediately. Chili paste with garlic is available in most supermarkets, but you can substitute 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce and 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed.