Note: You may know Carolyn Cope as Umami Girl. She stops by every Tuesday during prime veggie season to help us cook through seasonal surplus with ease.
For a few fleeting years a short while back, a quirky little lunch shop graced downtown Hoboken, New Jersey. They called it FOOD 3663, for the numbers you might dial on a phone to spell "food," but only in theory, since they didn't have the phone number to match.
One bite of this oddly addictive sandwich and you'll wholeheartedly agree: if the sandwich lady says the baby needs socks, then the baby needs socks.
The shop itself operated just like the name. At first glance it made you stop and scratch your head in confusion, but ultimately you came to appreciate, even crave, its peculiar internal logic. That tiny establishment, which barely accommodated a large gym bag in its center aisle, packed more weird experiences per square foot than any other place in town. If they'd had a dime for every time I stood in front of the counter quietly wondering, "Did that really just happen?" they'd still be in business for sure.
One day the cashier correctly identified my perfume before my second foot had crossed the threshold (and I'm very light with the spritzer finger, I swear). The next time I went in for lunch, he was wearing my perfume.
Another time, a warm early-fall day, I strolled in with my barefooted baby. Despite my forceful maternal protestations (I'm usually quite mild-mannered, but there's a lioness inside every new mother whose fledgling wisdom meets with challenge), the owner gave my baby a sort of Ambush Makeover: Newborn Addition, whipping out a sealed package of ill-fitting pink socks from below the register and stuffing my baby's feet into them. Because babies need to wear socks. I thanked her, paid for my shrimp wrap and ate it at the park that day.
A mother has a primal urge to protect her baby at all costs, sure. But she also has priorities, and keeping the miso-ginger-kissed shrimp and spinach wraps flowing freely in her direction is one such priority. One bite of this oddly addictive sandwich and you'll wholeheartedly agree: If the sandwich lady says the baby needs socks, then the baby needs socks.
See, ladies and gents? Stick with me and you can have it all. Even the Shrimp, Spinach and Swiss Wrap with Miso-Ginger Dressing, which can be yours in about 10 minutes.
Shrimp, Spinach, and Swiss Wrap with Miso-Ginger Dressing
Inspired by the erstwhile Food 3663 in Hoboken, New Jersey.
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 5 cloves garlic
- 10 ounces raw spinach
- 8 ounces raw shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 4 thin slices Swiss cheese
- 1/4 cup ginger-miso dressing (the thicker the better—you might buy it from your favorite sushi restaurant)
- 2 burrito-size tortillas or sandwich wraps
- Salt and pepper
Cut the onion in half from tip to root and slice it crosswise into half-moons. Roughly chop the garlic. Wash the spinach in several changes of water, dry thoroughly and roughly chop.
In a wide skillet, heat one Tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onion has softened but not browned. Add the spinach along with a good pinch of salt, raise the heat to medium-high, and cook until the spinach has wilted and released some liquid. Remove the spinach mixture to a colander and press with a spatula to drain off any excess liquid.
Return the pan to the heat and add the remaining one Tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle the shrimp generously with salt and pepper and arrange in a single layer in the skillet. Cook until just pink on the underside, then flip. About a minute before the shrimp is cooked through, lay the cheese slices over the shrimp in the skillet. Continue to cook until the shrimp is just cooked through and the cheese has started to melt.
To assemble the wraps, lay each tortilla on a plate and place half the spinach mixture in a horizontal strip in the center of each, leaving 2 to 3 inches of naked tortilla at the left and right ends. Divide the shrimp, cheese and dressing between the wraps, layering it all on top of the spinach mixture. Fold the left and right edges of the tortilla over the filling. Then, starting with the edge closest to you, roll the tortilla away from you to form a burrito-shaped wrap. Slice in half crosswise and serve warm.