As the summer kicks off, I thought I'd write about Spiedies (SPEE-dees), which have become a lake favorite for us. Appropriately, my camera was set on the "nostalgia" setting when I took these photos last summer.
Arugula, Tomato and shaved Grana Padama version.
The original sauce, which he called Zuzu, was wine vinegar, water, lemon juice, garlic and mint. His spiedies caught on so well among the local railroad workers and shoemakers that for years every little corner grocery had a spiedie stand on the street in front of it.
The traditional way of serving is between sliced Italian bread with extra sauce poured on top. The Spiedie, skewer and all, is then inserted in sliced Italian bread. The bread is used as a sort of mitt, wrapping around the meat. Pull out the skew and you then have a wonderful and delicious hot sandwich.
People who live in the area eat them at restaurants, from street vendors, buy from supermarkets, and even make their own at backyard cookouts. Spiedies have been completely integrated into the food culture of the region, and natives who have moved away from the area have been known to have commercial spiedie sauce shipped, by the case, to their new homes.
Spiedie Sandwich Recipe
2 pounds meat (chicken, lamb, pork or beef), cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes*
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon red (cayenne) pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1 loaf Italian or French bread, thickly sliced
* Use boneless and skinless chicken breasts, pork tenderloin, top round steak, or leg of lamb.
In a large bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, and sugar. Add garlic, bay leaf, red pepper, thyme, basil, oregano, salt and pepper; stir until well blended.
Place prepared meat in a large resealable plastic bag set into a shallow dish. Pour marinade mixture over meat and close bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for a least 24 hours and up to 3 days; turn bag occasionally to distribute marinade. Remove meat from refrigerator and let stand in marinade at room temperature for 2 hour; drain, reserving marinade.
Preheat barbecue grill. Thread 4 to 5 cubes of meat onto each metal skewer. Place onto hot grill and cook 8 to 10 minutes or until done to your preference, basting with reserved marinade. Remove from grill and serve immediately.
To serve, fold the bread over the contents of the skewer and pull the skewer out, leaving the meat sandwiched within the bread.
Makes 6 servings.
(Celine Hughes, Vestal)
3 pounds boneless beef; cubed
1 cup olive or vegetable oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2/4 cup fresh sweet basil; chopped
4 clove fresh garlic; chopped
3/4 cup Italian parsley; chopped
3 tablespoons fresh mint; chopped
salt to taste
pepper to taste
Combine marinade ingredients. Let meat marinate in refrigerator for three days. Skewer; grill over hot coals. Note: This recipe is one of the winners of the 2002 Spiedie Fest Balloon Rally Expo cooking contest.