Wrap It Up. Pimiento Cheese Sandwich Wraps.

by R.B. Quinn and Min Merrell

Homemade pimiento cheese will serve you well in all kinds of situations. Consider it in a wrap. Makes a great spring picnic appetizer.  Wraps can be cool. These little snacks are filled with pimiento cheese, baby spinach and thinly sliced cucumber.

How and when did the once groovy wrap sandwich lose its cool? As informal kitchen table historians, here’s our take: When the sandwich wrap splashed down in the 1990s we thought, wow, here’s basically a pile of sandwich fillings (and lots of lettuce and other vegetables we don’t usually get in a sandwich) built on the frame of a burrito.  A true cultural fusion was happening or maybe just an unintended consequence of NAFTA, who knows.

Anyway, life for the wrap proceeded rather nicely for a time.  It was available with plenty of options, was super portable, and didn’t we feel smart skipping all that bread.  Then, as often happens with celebrity these days, trouble started with the arrival of the cutsy wrap puns.  It’s been downhill ever since.  That’s a wrap!  Wrap and roll!  Wrap and run!  Great wraps!  Wrap zone!  Time to Wrap it Up! The wrap trend was officially sent to the purgatory of uniformity and consistency when KFC and McDonald’s introduced snack wraps a few years ago.

As foodie deconstructionists we’re here to put the roll back in the wrap by pressing it into service for the spring picnic or anytime you need to arrive with something great and easy.  Wraps can handle just about any filling, they’re convenient, and way cool enough for the Steeplechase, especially if you employ a classic southern filling like pimiento cheese.  Which, for Steeplechase, you must make yourself (keep reading).  Better still, wraps pair well with beer, juleps, sparkling wines, summer cocktails, anything on your spring outing drink menu.

Rules for Pimiento Cheese Wraps Make your own pimiento cheese.

Take a pass on that tub of overly mayo’d stuff.

Combine 8 ounces each of a sharp cheddar and a mild cheddar with a 4-ounce jar of diced pimientos (you can include the juice), a dash of Worcestershire and hot pepper sauces, about 1/2 cup mayo, and a pinch of sugar.  The sugar takes the bitterness out of the pimiento.  Don’t go pimiento crazy either.  Too many and the whole mess tastes bitter.  If your inner food snob emerges, opt for chopped roasted red peppers.

The wrapper. We say go with a pack of flatbread or wrap bread instead of flour tortillas.  Flour torts are stiff and not nearly as good cold as hot so use a very pliable brand.

How to stuff and wrap.  Spread a thin layer of the pimiento cheese all the way to the edges of the wrap.  Add vegetables.  We’re into very thinly sliced cucumber and baby spinach piled down the middle.  Carefully roll up from the long side.  Press gently with your hands to help the pimiento cheese act as a glue.  For snacking, cut the wraps into 1 to 1 1/2 inch rounds.

How to serve. Place the rolls on a platter with a good edge so that the sides touch each other.  This ensures that they stay neat and tightly rolled.  We like to serve pimiento cheese with lots of green grapes.  The colors look great together.  Very Martha Stewart.

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