That was the estimated attendance at this weekend's Spiedie Fest and Balloon Rally, a celebration that started over 30 years ago to celebrate a food beloved in my community of Binghamton, in upstate New York.
So, what is a spiedie?
Simply, it is cubed meat (traditionally lamb, but more commonly nowadays, chicken - it can also be pork or even venison) marinated in an oil/vinegar/herbal marinade for three days or more, perhaps up to a week. The meat is then grilled, and served on Italian bread. Here, you can buy bottled spiedie sauce, or the pre cubed, marinated chicken, in the supermarket.
Believe it or not, I rarely eat spiedies, and if I do, I skip the bread. I find the commercial sandwiches too dry, and I have a problem with swallowing dry food.
But making your own is an excellent way to show creativity. The Spiedie Fest has a cooking contest every year, and these are some of the winning recipes.
From the above link, here is the winning recipe of last year. Doesn't it sound delicious?
First place: Katherine Madden, of Endicott
- 3-5 pounds cut-up chicken
- ½ cup red or white wine
- ½ cup white vinegar or lemon juice
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- ¼ cup chopped sweet basil
- ¼ cup chopped mint
- 1 tablespoon salt (season)
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
And, a link for another recipe from AllRecipies.
For my readers from India, I wonder if you could adopt it to your way of cooking.
Does this appeal to you?