Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Spiedies - A regional delicacy

So, the Chowhound message boards describe Upstate NY as a culinary wasteland, and while that's mostly true, there are a few local jems, like Beef on Weck, Salt Potatoes, Buffalo Wings, and other things I'm probably forgetting or haven't tried. One such tasty treat is the "Spiedie". The spiedie is simply any kind of meat that's been cut into chunks and marinated in a highly seasoned vinaigrette, grilled on a skewer and basted with more of the marinade, and then pulled off the skewer with a slice of Italian bread.

There are countless recipes for spiedie, handed down in the Italian communities of Endicott and Binghamton, and every year there's a festival and contest for the best version. In the grocery stores around here they sell pre-marinated meat, and at speidie stands you can buy pre-made sauce. I decided to try my hand at the sauce, so here's what I used:

  • 2 lbs. chicken thighs, cut into 1.5" chunks
  • 1 c. oil, 1/2 oilve and 1/2 whatever
  • 3/4 c. red wine vinegar
  • the juice of one lemon or lime
  • 1 onion
  • 4-6 cloves garlic
  • 1 handful each of fresh parsley, mint, and basil (or their dried equivalents, but try to use fresh)
  • 2 tsp. each of thyme, marjoram, and oregano
  • 3 bay leaves, crumbled up
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 3 + Tbsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
The ingredients can be varied any way you like. Also, any meat can be used, such as chicken, turkey, lamb, beef, etc... Be sure to reserve about 1/2 c. of the sauce to serve on the table. Marinate the meat for as long as possible--up to several days, mixing occasionally. Pack the meat chunks densely onto skewers and grill on a medium-hot fire for as short a time as possible, basting every couple of minutes. Slide the meat off the skewers with a slice of bread and eat as a sandwich, or serve with rice and salad. Mine are still marinating, so I'll let you know how the grilling turns out. It sure smells good, though. Enjoy your taste of Upstate!

1 comment:

Lillian said...

Mmmm they came out really well! If I were to change anything, I would increase the salt. The spiedies in Endicott are super salty.