Wayne's Weekend

Wayne's Weekend

Fill It, Wrap It, Roll It and Bring It!

Easy make ahead dishes that travel well and are perfect for parties

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Wayne Johnson
    Fill it, roll it, wrap it and bring it. When you're asked to “bring something to pass” to your next party, these easy dishes can be prepared ahead, wrapped up and refrigerated and simply sliced at serving time.

    A big tradition in my family has always been “bring something to pass” whenever we go to a big gathering.  Since the weather is finally getting better and fun events like Cinco de Mayo are just around the corner, it’s time for some outdoor parties.  

    The best approach to bringing a dish for these events is to make something that’s easy to prepare, can be made in advance and travels well.  So, under the category of “Fill it, roll it, wrap it and bring it”, here are a few suggestions: 

    Wayne's Winning Party Dishes

    [CHI] Wayne's Winning Party Dishes
    Wayne has some great suggestions for foods to bring to parties -- dishes that are easy to prepare and travel well. (Published Friday, May 8, 2009)

    Smoked Turkey Baquette

    Ingredients

    4 oz butter, softened
    1/2 lb Smoked Turkey, roughly chopped or cubed
    1/2 cu Shallots, minced
    2 cloves Garlic, crushed
    3 tbl Heavy Cream
    2 tsp Dijon Mustard
    1 tsp Dry Mustard
    2 tbl Curly Parsley, chopped
    2 tbl Chives, chopped
    1 tbl Red Peppers, minced (you can used roasted red peppers if you like)
    1/2 tsp black pepper
    2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
    1 baguette (about 9 inches long by 3 inches wide, or longer depending on width)

    Method:

    Place all ingredients except baguette into a food processor and process until smooth.

    Meanwhile, slice off both ends of bread and with a long knife, hollow out center leaving about 1/3 inch crust.  For simplicity, you can cut the baguette in half crosswise so that you hollow out two equal sized portions of the bread.

    To easily fill the baguette, place the smoked turkey mixture into a pastry bag or a sealable plastic storage bag with about a 1” section of one corner cut off.  Standing the bread on one end, fill the hollow cavity by squeezing the turkey mixture into it. Be careful not to overfill, as you might break through the thin walls of the baguette.   Turn the baguette over and fill from the other side if it is not completely full.  You can also use a large spoon to be sure that you’ve filled the entire cavity.  If you cut the baguette into two pieces, repeat the process with the other half.

    Wrap the filled baguette in plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours until the turkey mixture has set up enough to slice.  Slice the baguette into 1/4" slices with a very sharp knife or electric knife.  Layer the slices on a platter and serve.

    To vary the flavor and appearance, be creative with this dish and substitute smoked ham or herb roasted chicken as well as other vegetables or herbs.

    Mozzarella Rollups

    Ingredients

    12 oz pkg BelGioioso Unwrap & Roll Mozzarella Cheese
    3-4 tbl Mascapone Cheese
    1/4 cu Roasted Red Peppers, drained, patted dry and chopped
    2 tbl Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped
    1/3 lb Smoked Turkey, thinly sliced

    Method

    Unwrap cheese and unroll it onto a work surface (I found it best to let the cheese rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes before unrolling).  Slice the cheese in half crosswise to create two sheets about 6” x 10” in size. 

    With each sheet, spread 2 tablespoons of mascarpone cheese on the surface.  Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of red peppers and 1 tablespoon of parsley on top of the mascarpone and then cover everything with half of the turkey slices.  Leave about a 1/4" strip along the edge of the cheese opposite from where you’ll start to roll it up (it helps to seal the roll).  Now, starting on the other end, roll the cheese and ingredients up tightly.  Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.  To serve, slice the roll into 1/4" -1/2” slices and layer them on a serving platter.

    Other Filling Ideas

    Once you get the basic idea with these rollups, try experimenting with other fillings like chicken with pesto and sundried tomatoes or thinly sliced smoked sausage with fresh basil.  Be creative and make up your own version.  Just be sure to drain and pat dry any ingredient that might have a lot of moisture in it.

    Variation

    A fun variation to this rollup is to take a large flour tortilla and cut it to the same shape as the cheese.  Place it under the cheese and roll it up along with the other ingredients.  It creates a completely different type of roll-up with a different texture and flavor.

    If you have any questions or comments, please send me an email at wayne@waynesweekend.com.