One of America’s Favorites – Spiedie

September 10, 2018 at 5:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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The spiedie /ˈspiːdi/ is a meat sandwich local to Binghamton in the central Southern Tier of New York State, and somewhat more broadly known and enjoyed throughout Central New York. A spiedie consists of cubes of chicken, pork, lamb, veal, venison or beef. The meat cubes are marinated overnight or longer, then grilled on spits over a charcoal pit.

The traditional method involves serving freshly prepared cubes of lamb, chicken, or beef on soft Italian bread or a

Chicken spiedie sandwich

submarine roll, occasionally drizzled with fresh marinade. Spiedie meat cubes can also be eaten straight off the skewer or can be served in salads, stir fries, and a number of other dishes. The marinade recipe varies, usually involving olive oil, vinegar, and a variety of Italian spices and fresh mint.

Spiedies have been celebrated at the Spiedie Fest and Balloon Rally in Binghamton, New York every August since 1983. The annual event includes a spiedie cook-off in search of the best spiedie recipes.

The original idea for the spiedie was brought by Italian immigrants to upstate New York in the early 1920s. The specific origin of the spiedie is disputed. Traditionally, the early Broome County spiedie was made only from spring lamb, but currently most commercial restaurants prepare spiedies using chicken or pork. The “chicken category” was added to the Spiedie Fest cook-off in 1987, and quickly became the most popular meat choice.

Camillo Iacovelli created the spiedie in Endwell, New York, but his brother Agostino “Augie” Iacovelli and Peter Sharak popularized spiedies, Iacovelli in his Endicott restaurant, and Sharak at Sharky’s Bar and Grill in Binghamton.

Augie Iacovelli began serving spiedie sandwiches in 1939 when he opened Augie’s, his first restaurant. He emigrated from Abruzzo, Italy (Civitella Casanova) at the age of 25 in 1923. His son Guido continued in the spiedie business into the 1990s, owning as many as 26 restaurants at the peak of his career.

Iacovelli’s marinade, which he called “zuzu”, originally was made simply from wine vinegar, water, lemon juice, garlic and mint. Italian spices, olive oil and minced onion were added later as regional tastes and the choice of meat began to vary.

Sharak is also alleged to have invented spiedies. Apparently, patrons of Sharkey’s were served lamb straight from the grill on a metal skewer with slices of bread. Sharkey’s promotes itself as the birthplace of the sandwich in television commercials across the greater Binghamton area.

Though the issue is disputed, Sharkey’s began serving spiedies in 1947, which makes Iacovelli more likely to have invented the dish first.

Through the 1960s and 1970s, spiedies also became popular with the families of deer hunters, since venison has a strong game quality and is similar to lamb. Many local families made their own marinade and enjoyed the wild game as a delicacy cooked on backyard grills.

In 1975, Rob Salamida became the first person to bottle the sauce and sell it. He began by cooking spiedies outside a local tavern at 16. After writing letters for over a year, he was allowed to have his own booth at the New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York. For 12 years he built his reputation at the fair. After a tornado nearly struck his stand in 1975, he decided it would be more lucrative and safer to bottle a spiedie marinade.

Through the 1980s, Danny “Moonbeam” Fallon (a local track racing star) furthered the popularity of spiedies by selling them from porches of local bars, including the Headquarter Bar in Johnson City, at night to finance his motorcycle racing hobby. Lori Vesely featured spiedies straight off the grill at The Endwell Pub. The pork was especially good for long grilling times, making the bar spiedie a favorite of both staff and customers.

In 1983, a few families got together and held a Spiedie Fest that was a tremendous hit. Coupled with a Balloon Rally, it quickly grew to an annual festival attracting more than 100,000 attendees (and also one of the top balloon rallies in the country).


One of America’s Favorites – Burgoo

April 30, 2018 at 5:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Kentucky burgoo served with mashed potatoes

Burgoo is a spicy stew, similar to Irish or Mulligan stew, often served with cornbread or corn muffins. It is often prepared communally as a social gathering. It is popular as the basis for civic fund-raisers in the American Midwest and South.

Traditional burgoo was made using whatever meats and vegetables were available—typically, venison, squirrel, opossum, raccoon or game birds, and was often associated with autumn and the harvest season. Today, local barbecue restaurants use a specific meat in their recipes, usually pork, chicken, or mutton, which, along with the spices used, creates a flavor unique to each restaurant.

A typical burgoo is a combination of meats: pork, chicken, mutton or beef, often hickory-smoked, but other meats are seen occasionally; and vegetables, such as lima beans, corn, okra, tomatoes, cabbage and potatoes. Typically, since burgoo is a slow-cooked dish, the starch from the added vegetables results in thickening of the stew. However, a thickening agent, such as cornmeal, ground beans, whole wheat, or potato starch can be used when cooked in a non-traditional way. In addition, soup bones can be added for taste and thickening.

The ingredients are combined in order of cooking time required, with meat first, vegetables next, and thickening agents as necessary. A good burgoo is said to be able to have a spoon stand up in it. Cider vinegar, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, or chili powder are common condiments.

Cooking burgoo in Kentucky often serves as a communal effort and social event, in which each attendee brings one or more ingredients. In Kentucky and surrounding states such as Indiana, burgoo is often used for fund-raising for schools. This kind of event has been claimed to have been invented by the family of Ollie Beard, a former Major League Baseball player.

In Brighton, Illinois, a local traditional burgoo is prepared and served annually at the village’s summer festival, the Betsy Ann Picnic. Franklin, Illinois self identifies as the Burgoo Capital of the World;[citation needed] they have an annual burgoo cookout over July 3 and July 4. Burgoo events are also held in Cass County, Illinois in the towns of Chandlerville and Arenzville. Arenzville claims to be the home of the world’s best burgoo.

Several cities have claimed to be the burgoo capital of the world such as Franklin, Illinois, Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, and Owensboro, Kentucky.


Saturday’s Chili – Savory Venison Chili

March 19, 2016 at 5:15 AM | Posted in CooksRecipes | Leave a comment
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This week’s Saturday’s Chili – Savory Venison Chili. With Deer hunting season going on I thought this would be a good one to pass along, Savory Venison Chili. You can find this recipe on the CooksRecipes website. Cooks has a fantastic selection of recipes for all tastes and cuisines so check it out soon! Enjoy!



Savory Venison Chili
Venison is leaner than other red meats, so bacon is added for extra richness and flavor.

Recipe Ingredients:

1/4 pound bacon, chopped Cooksrecipes 2
1 onion, chopped
6 carrots, sliced
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon marjoram
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 pounds venison, cubed
1 (28-ounce) can crushed Italian tomatoes
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 (16-ounce) can kidney beans
1 cup baby lima beans

Cooking Directions:

1 – Brown chopped bacon in a skillet over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until crisp.
2 – Divide the drippings, placing in a baking dish; add chopped onion, sliced carrots, chili powder, marjoram. and red pepper flakes. Cook for 5 minutes; add the reserved bacon.
3 – In the original skillet with of the drippings, cook cubed venison over medium-high heat until browned. Remove and set aside.
4 – Add crushed Italian tomatoes, chicken broth, red wine, and tomato paste. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 40 minutes; stirring occasionally. Do not boil. Add drained kidney beans and baby lima beans. Heat through.
Makes 6 servings.

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

March 19, 2016 at 5:14 AM | Posted in Kitchen Hints | Leave a comment
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Marinade Venison…..


Spices or marinades may be used to cover up the ‘gamey’ flavors in venison. Marinades also tenderize and enhance the flavor of venison. The marinade should include a high acid liquid like lemon or tomato juice, vinegar or wine to soften the muscle fibers. Marinades can add fat and calories to this lean cut of meat. Other options to tenderize venison are to pound it with a tenderizing tool, make several small cuts in the meat with a knife, or grind it.

Kitchen Hints of the Day!

February 13, 2016 at 6:28 AM | Posted in Kraft Cheese | Leave a comment
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Venison Cooking Hints…..

* Venison fat tastes terrible. It’s tallowy. It coats the inside of your mouth. It’s better used in the candles on your dinner table than on your dinner plate. Trim away all the fat before you prepare it.

* Venison pairs well with a variety of spice combinations. If you’ve got a buck, rub it with some chile powder and cumin. Fennel and sage work well with a doe. Cilantro, cumin, and lime juice are great on a hot day.



* Berries also pair beautifully with venison; the brightness of the fruit enhances the earthy meat. A steak with cranberry sauce is lovely. Or try blueberry barbecue sauce on a burger.



* Serve your venison very hot or very cold. Venison that is lukewarm may impart a sligthly greasey taste.

Saturday’s Chili – Venison Chili

September 12, 2015 at 5:28 AM | Posted in chili, Saturday's Chili | 1 Comment
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For this week’s Saturday’s Chili it’s a Venison Chili. Made with Venison, Anaheim Chile Peppers, and Spices to heat this Chili up! It’s from the CooksRecipes website which has an endless recipe selection, Enjoy.



Venison Chili

The hunter’s chili, full of flavor and fiery spice, it’s sure to satisfy the heartiest of appetites. This makes enough to feed a crowd, or freeze some for another day’s meal.

Recipe Ingredients:Cooksrecipes 2

1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 pounds venison, diced
2 pounds pork, diced
12 garlic cloves, crushed
2 cups diced onions
3/4 cup diced green Anaheim chile peppers
8 tomatoes, seeded chopped*
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1 cup diced green bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons ground pepper
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 cup instant masa
8 cups beef broth
2 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro


Cooking Directions:

Heat oil in a heavy kettle over medium heat. Add diced venison, diced pork strips, crushed garlic cloves, and diced onion. Cook for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, purée green chili peppers. Add to the kettle with chopped tomatoes, cumin, diced red bell pepper, diced green bell pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, pepper, salt, and chili powder; cook for 5 minutes more. Add instant masa and beef broth. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
Add pinto beans and chopped cilantro; simmer for 5 minutes.
Makes 24 servings.

*Or 2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes in juice, undrained.

Kitchen Hints of the Day!

September 12, 2015 at 5:26 AM | Posted in Kitchen Hints | Leave a comment
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If using Venison……



* Venison pairs well with a variety of spice combinations. If you’ve got a buck, rub it with some chili powder and cumin. Fennel and sage work well with a doe. Cilantro, cumin, and lime juice are great on a hot day.


* Venison is a great choice for people who love red meat, but who need to watch their cholesterol! It is an excellent protein source, but unlike beef, lamb, or pork, it tends to be low fat. For example, 1 serving of venison loin (54 grams) has 86% protein, 14% fats, 0% carbs, and is only 81 calories. Not bad! Click the next page for a comparison of venison with other meat.


* Thaw frozen venison slowly and completely in the refrigerator at or below 40 degrees F.


* Venison should be cooked to at least 160 degrees F to reduce risk of foodborne illness. For those that prefer medium rare, whole cuts like loins and steaks can be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees F.
Always use a meat or instant-read thermometer to ensure your venison has reached a safe internal temperature.

Saturday’s Chili – Venison Chili

March 14, 2015 at 4:27 AM | Posted in Saturday's Chili | Leave a comment
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For this week’s Saturday’s Chili it’s a Venison Chili. It’s off the Cooking Light/My recipes website.


Cooking Light

Venison Chili
Many New Englanders have freezers stocked with venison from autumn hunting expeditions. If venison is not available, substitute ground sirloin. Garnish with reduced-fat sour cream and/or reduced-fat shredded cheddar, if desired. You can make the chili a day ahead and refrigerate; reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.



Cooking Light NOVEMBER 2004

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)
Cooking spray
1 pound ground venison
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Heat a small Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add venison; cook 3 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon. Cover and keep warm.

Reduce heat to medium. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, and jalapeño to pan; cook 10 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in chili powder and next 4 ingredients (through black pepper). Add venison, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, and tomato paste, stirring until well combined; bring to a boil. Cover; reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Add red kidney beans; cook, uncovered, 15 minutes.



Nutritional Information
Amount per serving
Calories: 319 Calories from fat: 12% Fat: 4.1g Saturated fat: 1.2g Monounsaturated fat: 0.9g Polyunsaturated fat: 1g Protein: 35.8g Carbohydrate: 35.8g Fiber: 12.5g Cholesterol: 96mg Iron: 6.6mg Sodium: 941mg Calcium: 87mg

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