Crunchwrap for Independance Day, California.

First of all, did you know my first cookbook got published? It’s called Cookbook #1: A French Girl’s Cooking Adventures in Her Kitchen, and it’s available online, you’re just a click away, RIGHT HERE!

Today is Independence Day. As a way to celebrate this 4th of July and the good people of America, my husband Jerome, my friends and I are enjoying a World Food Challenge with a very popular sandwich in California. We’re cooking at my place something typically American that is not burger or hot-dog. Guys, keep your saliva in, but get paper napkins close to hand : we’re having Crunchwraps with homemade potato wedges.

Crunchwrap

I ran into this recipe about 2 years ago, and I have cooked it quite a number of times at home since then. On various blogs, crunchwraps are referred to as one of the hot choices at Taco Bell’s. I have never been to this food chain restaurant, therefore I can only make a wild guess on the original taste of their crunchwraps, or… adapt the recipe to my own taste and with the ingredients I can find here. As far as I’m concerned, it all comes down to the choice of sauce, grilled vegetables, cheese and meat. Lots of recipes you can find online are going veeeeeeery faaaaaar into mixing all kinds of spices in the meat or the sauce, and although I like eating spicy food, for that matter I personally find it useless to add-up so many powders and broth and sugar and broken taco shells, and beans etc., into that dish. Plus, I am not so much into beans anyway, moreover the simplest things sometimes are the best. I have tried different versions, but in the end I choose the easy way and it is not at all the least flavorsome!

Before you put yourselves through lots of efforts for just a medium payback, please read this, as I compare for you which ingredients work fine, and which ones just give back a poor and uninteresting result in terms of taste.

  • Flour tortilla vs Corn Tortilla : both work fine, the flour tortilla brings more consistency to the crunchwrap and is easier to fold without breaking, while the corn tortilla will give the feeling of a little lighter meal (although calories count is similar).
  • Ground beef vs chicken breast : ground beef!
  • Burger cheddar cheese slice vs Emmental grated cheese : grated cheese! (besides the flavor advantage, it melts better once the tortilla is wrapped up).
  • Cheese sauce vs Mustard : American mustard or French sweet mustard called Savora.
  • Salad mix of lettuce, diced tomatoes and sour cream vs grilled onions and 3-color bell peppers : onions and bell peppers! (lettuce will shrink and give a poor bitter taste that will need to be balanced with more sugar, which is not what we want in our healthy diet, right ?!).
  • If you eventually like a hotter version, I recommend a bit of chili powder on the beef while cooking it, or Mexican hot pepper sauce with diced vegetables (like nachos dip) to pour on the sliced bell peppers when still cooking in a hot pan, so that liquids get reduced and the hot taste remains.

As for the potato wedges, they are oven-baked (no way to fry them!!!). We like them large, brown, tender in the inside and crispy on the outside. Today I’ll make regular plain potato chips, but for more summertime flavors you could use a little bit of paprika and oregano during the baking process. And salt, obviously.

Crunchwrap

CRUNCHWRAP 

INGREDIENTS (for 2)

  • 2 large flour tortillas
  • 2 ground beef patties
  • A few slices of onion
  • About 20 long slices of bell peppers (3 colors, if available)
  • A small handful of grated cheese
  • American mustard or French Savora
  • A bit of oil and butter

 

DIRECTIONS

  • Put a tortilla on a plate, spread mustard on the center and a good layer of grated cheese on top of it.
  • In a hot pan, put a bit of oil on one side only, cook the onions and the bell pepper slices (on the oily side of the pan) along with the beef patties, so that the juices of the meat can add-up some natural flavors to the vegetables. If you like them hot and spicy, now is the time to sprinkle the meat with chili powder or sprinkle the veggies with some Mexican dip sauce. Cook the meat through till there’s no more liquid in the pan, but don’t let the bell peppers burn.
  • Cover all or part of the grated cheese with the grilled vegetables, and put the steak on top.
  • Do not put too much food on your tortillas, or you won’t be able to wrap them up.
  • Here comes the fun part ! You’re gonna have to wrap each tortilla by shaping it up like a kind of “flower”, which is actually more like a hexagon. Take one edge of the tortilla and bring it to the center of the meat patty, hold it while you catch the next edge and pull it towards the center onto the first folded edge. Keep doing this with all of the next edges until the “flower” gets closed.
  • Gently flip the crunchwrap upside down on the plate, still holding the center to prevent the flower from sliding open.
  • Pre-heat a clean pan (or wash your pan, remove all the water, and pre-heat) while you leave the crunchwraps in this position on the plate, so that they take the desired shape and stay in place.
  • Add a tiny teaspoon of unsalted butter to the pan, turn to medium heat and immediately put the crunchwraps face down (flower face) on the pan.
  • After 30 seconds, gently flip the crunchwraps with a spatula to cook the other side till it’s golden.
  • Check that the flower edges got stuck to each other; if not, turn it back down to cook for a few more seconds.
  • Adapt your fire if necessary, as you can’t let your crunchwraps turn black.

 

POTATO WEDGES

INGREDIENTS AND DIRECTIONS

  • Choose one big nice potato per person. Carefully clean off the dirt with clear water. Slice them all and put the wedges in a big bowl. Pour a little bit of milk and cover up to the top with clear water. Leave at rest for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  • Pre-heat the oven at 210 degrees Celsius.
  • Throw the liquid away. In the bowl, pour just one tablespoon of oil over the potato wedges and stir roughly. For the paprika and oregano version, that’s the time when you can sprinkle the herbs and spices, and stir to combine.
  • Prepare a baking sheet on the oven tray, spread the potato wedges all over so that each and every piece touches the tray in direct contact.
  • Cook for about 30 minutes.
  • Sprinkle some salt all over while it is still baking, and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes, checking that the wedges finish turning golden or brown, but not get burnt.

Serve with greens and cherry tomatoes ;) Bon appétit!

Created and Written by Sophie Rebibo-Halimi, © 2015 All Rights Reserved.

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