Friday, February 20, 2009

Adventures in Cookbooking -- Week 2

First of all, thanks for the name, Nancy! She let me steal her idea.

Week two brings a recipe called New York Spiedies. (pronounced speedy) The book is The Best American Recipes 2002-2003. The husband paged through and found the recipe for us. This is an interesting book. It's actually a compilation of recipes from books, magazines, newspapers, and the interwebs. These two women, Fran McCullough and Molly Stevens, are, respectively a cookbook editor and contributing editor for
Fine Cooking. Some recipes in the book are from celebrity cooks and others are from home cooks. I like the mix. Each recipe comes with cook's notes that can be advice on where to find ingredients or variations on the recipe. There's also "serve with" and "to drink" advice with each recipe. I also liked that each recipe has a story that goes with it.

It's a very easy recipe to put together. Essentially, you make a marinade, cube some meat, let it soak for up to three days, thread it on a skewer, and cook. It's all pantry items, so that was really a bonus. To serve, you use some squishy Italian bread as the meat remover. Instant sandwich!

This recipe didn't turn out as well as I would have liked. It was completely user error. I think I chose the wrong cut of meat. Sometimes, the labels really flummox me. It's meant to be cooked on the grill or broiled. I tried to use my grill pan and ended up crowding it. The flavor of the meat was wonderful, but the texture was too chewy. I will absolutely make this again in the summer when I can use my grill. Plus, I'll look more carefully at the meat label.

Definitely too crowded in the pan.

It never really got a chance to sear and get brown.

Here's the recipe. This one I'll post because it was previously published in the Washington Post.

New York Spiedies

2 c. vegetable oil
1 c. vinegar
8 cloves garlic, chopped
1 T. each dried thyme, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder
zest of one lemon
1/2 c. water
5 pounds top round roast, cut into 1 1/2" pieces
1 loaf soft Italian bread, thickly sliced

At least one day ahead, combine everything but the bread and meat and mix well. Reserve 1/2 c. marinade for basting. Add meat to rest of marinade. Cover and refrigerate, turning occasionally, for at least 24 hours and up to three days.

Preheat a grill to high. Transfer the meat to skewers and discard the marinade. Grill the skewers, turning occasionally and basting with the reserved marinade until meat is cooked to liking. Serve immediately with the bread. To eat: fold the bread over the contents of a skewer and pull the skewer out, leaving the meat sandwiched within the bread. I cut this recipe in half.

If you give this a try, let me know. If you have the book and you've made something else, let me know that, too!


Megan said...

I don't know, it doesn't look too bad at all! But I realize what you are saying - the meat got chewy and that's never a good thing. Can't wait to see what you are making next.

I like the name, too.

Melissa said...

I love the look of kebabs cooking on the grill! I may have to try this for myself - will let you know how it tastes!

n.o.e said...

Love the name, ha ha! Thanks for the shout-out.

I can see what you say about crowding the meat (then it sort of steams rather than browns) but I really like the concept of this recipe. I'll bet you love it grilled!

Amanda said...

A great frugal meal if they were all pantry items! :) Looks delicious!

i've started a new blog event called Thrifty Thursdays if you are interested in blogging along! :)

Tami said...

This looks really good to me!