We just dined today on a nice alternative-sandwich treat that our local foodie shop, Lotsa Pasta, builds and sells, but it's a thing that could easily be replicated at home, and subject to almost infinite variation in contents.

They call them "hye" rollers, an unexplained pun on "high roller" and the fact that these are rollups ... one of these days I've got to ask John if there's a story behind that.

Anyway, the concept is elegantly simple:

  • Start with a round of "cracker bread," a Near Eastern flatbread that's not crackly but soft, very similar to a large wheat tortilla -- in fact, you could absolutely substitute a big wheat tortilla without losing anything.

  • Spread good things on the bread round. The one we enjoyed today had a thin coating of cream cheese, fresh spinach leaves, sliced artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, roast red peppers, a drizzle of oil, and, I assume, salt and pepper and maybe a sprinkle of herbs.

  • Roll it up into a burrito-shaped roll, refrigerate until it's firm, and then slice it into 1/2-inch thick rounds for serving and eating. The cut rounds are pretty and make great party bites, but a single roll, which they sell by weight for about $4 to $5 per roll, also makes a filling lunch for two.

    Some of the other standard fillings include chopped salami and provolone, prosciutto and cheese, and, umm, a bunch of others. As I said, though, in replicating the model at home, you could use almost anything. Smoked salmon and cream cheese? Rare beef and cheddar and fresh tomato? If it would go on a sandwich, it would probably go in a Hye Roller.