May 21, 2011

Roll it Up

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Margaret's Morsels | Chicken Roll-Ups

When you hear the word tortilla, does it conjure up images of enchiladas and burritos?  Or, do you think about tortilla filled wraps that are becoming more commonplace on restaurant menus?  When you hear the word tortilla, does appetizer come to mind?


When it comes to appetizers, tables are usually laden with the norm:  hot wings, pigs in a blanket, potato chips of one variety or another, cheese, crackers, fruit, nuts and the obligatory veggies and dip.  Why not add something new to the table with a platter of tortilla roll-ups?  Tortilla roll-ups, also called pinwheels, are versatile and add variety to the table.


Tortilla roll-ups are made with tortillas and either a filling or layered ingredients.  These roll-ups can be made with whatever ingredients you have on hand.  Since they're made ahead of time, there's no last minute assembly required.


When it comes to roll-ups, just about anything goes, but there are two exceptions.  One, don't use anything that will make the tortillas soggy since they won't be eaten right away.  Two, the roll-ups aren't cooked so the foods you use need to be cooked or safe to eat in their raw form.  Other than that, if it's edible and pliable enough to be rolled, you can use it on a tortilla.  You can use a combination of meats, cheeses and vegetables for savory roll-ups and fruit, canned pie fillings, peanut butter, chocolate chips and even canned frosting for dessert roll-ups.


Tortillas are available in corn or flour varieties in the refrigerator section or, like the ones I use, in the Mexican food aisle at the grocery store.


Margaret's Morsels | Chicken Roll-Ups


Tortillas are available in white or wheat -- buy both so you can offer a variety -- and sold in various sizes.  I don't want the roll-ups to be too big so I buy the small fajita size tortillas.


Lay the tortilla flat on a work surface.  Spread the filling or layer the ingredients to within 1/2-inch of the edge.  You don't want to put the ingredients all the way to the edge or they'll fall out when the tortilla is rolled up.


Margaret's Morsels | Chicken Roll-Ups




Roll the tortillas up tightly, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.  You can serve the tortillas as soon as you make them, but they're easier to slice when they're cold and not as likely to unroll.


Margaret's Morsels | Chicken Roll-Ups


When you're ready to plate the tortillas, remove them from the plastic wrap and slice off both ends of the tortillas; the ends don't have any of the filling or layered ingredients.  Cut the remaining tortilla into the desired number of pieces.  I usually cut four to six slices from each tortilla, depending on the number of people I'm serving and what else is on the menu.

The recipe I'm sharing today is for chicken roll-ups.  If that's not to your liking, try spreading horseradish on the tortilla and adding some thinly sliced roast beef.

Margaret's Morsels | Roast Beef Roll-Ups
Roast beef roll-ups.

I've made club sandwich roll-ups by layering lettuce, ham, turkey, bacon and cheese on the tortillas.  If you want a vegetarian option, mix cream cheese with your favorite diced vegetables.

Use ingredients you have on hand and creativity to come up with roll-ups that are pleasing to both your taste buds and wallet.

Chicken Roll-Ups

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (1 oz.) pkg. dry Ranch dressing mix
1 (10 oz.) can chicken, drained and chopped
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 pkg. flour tortillas


Combine cream cheese, Ranch dressing mix, chicken and cheese in a large mixing bowl.  Use a spoon to mix the ingredients well.  Spread mixture on tortillas to within 1/2-inch of edge.  Roll up tightly, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours or overnight.  When ready to serve, remove plastic wrap and cut off both ends of the tortilla.  Slice remaining tortilla into desired number of pieces.

© Margaret's Morsels

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