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Whenever I go on road trips, I have a tradition — I stockpile a cooler full of assorted wraps as a meal substitute in order to maximize time on the road due to their ability to be scarfed down in less than five minutes by a pulled-over 200-lb. man. As I write this, I’m awake at four in the morning and far too excited to sleep because tomorrow, (Aug. 21) I’ll finally get to hold my newborn son Max (whom I’ve affectionately named Snorlax after the perpetually eating and sleeping in tandem Pokémon.. But in order to do so, I’ll have to make a long trek from Ingersoll (where you’ll find an amazing restaurant called Louie’s Pizza and Pasta by the way) northeast as the drunken crow flies to Markham, Ont.
There I will load up all of my previously purchased “baby gear” and head further east out to Brockville where Max currently lives with his mom. Altogether, that’s an accumulative six hours or so on the infamous 401, which I’ll be sharing with the craziest bunch of drivers west of Montreal. Will I be bringing food? Absolutely! Will it be primarily in the form of expertly prepared borderline-gourmet wraps stored in a dingy cooler? You bet.
Wraps are one of those perfect foods that can be prepared using just about any ingredients (including those pesky leftovers) that you might find in your fridge on an average week … as long as you’ve got a $3 bag of large tortillas and a vivid imagination. You just typically need two additional items each from the rest of the food groups (veggie/fruit, dairy and protein) to use as filing ingredients along with a sauce of some kind. Personally, I prefer a garlic or horseradish mayo of my own design, but any sauce or condiment can be theoretically used to wet a decent wrap.
My go-to wrap protein has previously always been scrambled eggs because breakfast wraps are the royalty of the food world (try to change my mind) combined with some sort of bacon (essential) some lettuce, tomato, shredded Monterey jack cheese, a smear of ricotta and a pinch of salt and pepper. Chicken is another great wrap protein and I made enough chicken wraps in my college years in the cooking school cafeteria to nourish a small army. The wraps that I’ve prepared for my journey however are made from ingredients which I’ve secretly horded away from my roommates (shhhhh) and ones I especially made to commemorate this historic (for me, at least) day. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you;
4 large tortillas, plain
8 strips thick cut bacon
1 juvenile turkey breast, cooked and large diced
5 tbsp. real mayo
2 tsp horseradish, minced
1 ½ cups Havarti cheese, shredded
½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups kale, shredded and loosely packed
1 ½ cups green tomato, diced
1 heaping tsp cracked black peppercorns
If you have no leftover turkey breast, deli-bought, or freshly prepared turkey breast works fine. Cook your bacon to desired doneness in a large frying pan.
Drain most (but not all) of the bacon grease and set bacon aside, reserving the greased pan for later.
Prepare mise en place (dicing, shredding and bowling of ingredients) and lay out tortillas.
In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise with horseradish and peppercorns and smear evenly onto all four wraps. Next, add kale followed by cheeses, tomato, bacon and turkey. Heat the pan again on medium high.
Fold first each side of the tortilla (left and right) inward towards the centre, pinch both ends and roll together upwards and over itself to create the wrap, then sear the bottom where the folds meet for roughly three minutes to seal it shut. Turn it over and sear the top half.
Repeat until all wraps are seared on top and bottom. Eat/serve right away, or store in the fridge for later on. Freezes well, makes four large wraps.
Eliza P. Charlottetown, P.E.I .
Dear Food Dude,
I was visiting some relatives in P.E.I . when I saw your delicious looking recipe for some rather basic Chinese food, and I must say that it’s refreshing to see someone actually providing a more basic and affordable version. I tried it out and I was fairly pleased with the results but admittedly I did fiddle with it a bit. I appreciate that you seem to write recipes for your columns that are quite easy for the common household cook to make in their own kitchen rather than something only a chef would be capable of or someone with a significant flair for cooking! The fancier types don’t tend to last long with these things in my experience as it’s not all that digestible, pun intended. I’ll be sure to keep reading!
Thank you! I personally can’t take credit for the recipe as it wasn’t mine, but a recipe from a new friend of mine in Markham, Ontario that I approved to be an interviewee for my Getting Grilled segment! However, I do appreciate the feedback. Some snootier types have called me out on how basic that recipe was, but they were easily rebutted. I’ll be sure to pass your praise onto her as well! P.S. I do try to strike a balance between the fancier meals and one’s that are more easily made by just about anyone with a decent knack for cooking, so don’t have mercy on me just yet!
Terry Bursey, otherwise known as the Food Dude, is a Newfoundland chef transplanted to Ontario who enjoys putting his mark on traditional recipes and inventing new tasty treats with unexpected ingredients. You can reach him at email@example.com.
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