We were invited to a casual, all-appetizer dinner party recently. We decided we needed to take something substantial since it would be the meal after all. In searching through the appetizer file, I came across an old Southern Living recipe I made years ago for a “parent party” when Connor was in middle school. Those were the kinds of events where we’d take a thoughtful, delicious, homemade dish, and everyone else brought cheese and crackers. We learned short of having to drive through Steak ‘n’ Shake on the way home to take a hearty hors d’oeuvre. These rollups were devoured then and when I made them most recently. They pack a lot of veggies (spinach, zucchini, yellow squash, and corn), protein (chicken, black beans, and cheese), and fiber. The cheese melts beautifully and gives them a slight gooey, nacho-like flair.
While these make lovely starters, they also make a nice lunch and can easily become a vegetarian meal by omitting the chicken. We are once again overflowing in squash thanks to our weekly CSA box, and I threw in shredded zucchini and yellow squash. The original recipe uses pre-flavored Southwestern chicken strips, but not in our house (it violates a cardinal rule of our eating – what’s in that seasoing mix, most likely something unpronounceable?? I sautéed chicken I seasoned with Penzey's Arizona Dreamin' mix and also used the mix in lieu of grocery store-packaged fajita seasoning, which is loaded with chemicals and sodium. Feel free to use your favorite Southwestern spice mix. The recipe advises against overfilling the tortillas and rolling them tightly for easier cutting. Good recommendations. These are party-friendly in that you can make the filling in advance, even the day before, and assemble 30 minutes prior to slicing them.
Southwestern Chicken and Veggie Rollups
Generously serves 8 to 10
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 small zucchini, shredded
1 small yellow squash, shredded
2 T Southwestern seasoning mix (or 1-ounce envelope fajita seasoning mix
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 pound of chicken, seasoned with 1 T Southwestern seasoning mix, cooked and chopped
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can yellow corn with red and green bell peppers, drained
1 can fire-roasted, diced green chiles (mild or spicy, depending on your taste)
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
6 10-inch flour tortillas
Your favorite salsa
Combine spinach, shredded zucchini and yellow squash, and two tablespoons seasoning mix in a large skillet; add broth. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, five minutes. Stir in chicken and next four ingredients; simmer until cheese melts.
Spread one cup chicken mixture on one side of each tortilla, leaving a 1/2-inch border around edges. Don’t overfill the tortillas.
Roll up tortillas tightly, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill 30 minutes.
Unwrap rollups, and cut slices on the diagonal. Serve with your favorite salsa.