“I could work at Taco Bell, you guys!” I exclaimed as I presented the first completed Crunchwrap at a party I hosted. As of this writing, I still have not had a Crunchwrap at Taco Bell (despite the many times I frequent the place). However, I’ve been obsessed with the format. If you are unfamiliar, a Crunchwrap Supreme™ is a flat burrito, seared closed. Even though I come from the burrito wonderland that is California, I almost never order them. They are so large. They’re a commitment. With a crunchwrap, most of the tortilla’s surface area is used to enhance the crunch texture with seared folds.
Why do I love it so? It feels good in your hands, it’s compact and doesn’t leak. It reheats really well and damn, don’t you just love a satisfying crunch?
You, too, can host a crunchwrap extravaganza for one or as many people can fit into your kitchen. I present to you tenets of a good pocket of audibly crunchy goodness, listed in order of how you should pile them.
The wrap: Chipotle-sized burrito wraps are quite the meal and can host up to a quarter cup of protein. Smaller tortillas are great for a snack size.
Filling: Your protein mustn’t be too goopy or saucy. Its viscosity should be thick enough that it doesn’t drip from a slotted spoon. So far I’ve experimented with ground beef, turkey, grilled tuna and all manner of egg.
Vegetables: Completely optional but I find that lettuces and tomatoes do balance out the super-umami taste of taco seasoning. Plus, iceberg lettuce does crunch if you eat it fast enough.
Sauces: A little hot sauce is great and thicker lubricants like sour cream or Mexican crema will help you chew and save the roof of your mouth. But don’t overdo it! Wet = NO CRUNCH.
Crunch: The utmost important part. Depending on what protein and flavor profiles you’ve chosen, the sky’s the limit. I’ve used Cheetos, tortilla chips, seaweed crackers, Funyuns— any dregs at the bottom of a snack bag work, too.
Set it all up on a big table or long counter as an assembly line of ingredients with a clean cutting board at the end for folding. I’ve found that a pentagon works well. Fold the bottom flap up, make two creases upward and complete it by folding down two more flaps from the top. Press it, seam-side down in a dry pan on medium heat. If you’ve got a cast iron press, even better! If you don’t, it’ll still close, the press just helps with a uniform sear. Flip it and cook the balance to your liking. You can also do this in a panini press or George Foreman grill.
Here are a few recipes inspired by my friends:
- Beefy Nacho Crunchwrap, make it extra crunchy with the addition of chicharron
- Swap out the beef for fresh chorizo sausage
- Bacon, lettuce, tomato with an extra crunch of chicharron is awesome!
- Crunchwrap Benedict
- Lamb Pastrami and Mustard Hash Pocket
- Seared Tuna Crunchwrap
- Thanksgiving Crunchwrap
When the party is over, pre-make a bunch and wrap them in foil for later. As I said before, they reheat really well. Still in the foil, heat it up in a pan. After 5 minutes, take the foil off and sear on both sides for 2 to 3 minutes. It’s really creepy but we discovered that Cheetos remained crunchy.