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Spiedini Siciliani | Sicilian Shish Kabob Recipe

These Sicilian-style shish kabobs are made with rolls—or “involtini”—of meat stuffed with a deliciously seasoned bread crumb filling and roasted to perfection. Veal is a common traditional choice, but beef cutlets work well. If you can’t find a very thin cutlet, you can tenderize thin steaks with a mallet—you want them thin enough that you can easily roll the stuffing inside.

Spiedini Siciliani | Sicilian Shish Kabob Recipe

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Makes: Serves 4

Cook Time: 45-60 minutes

For this recipe, you will need:

  • ¼ cup (40 g) raisins

  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for breading the kabobs

  • 1 ½ cups (200 g) plain, dry bread crumbs

  • ¼ cup (40 g) pine nuts

  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped parsley

  • 1 clove garlic, diced

  • ½ cup (50 g) grated caciocavallo cheese, or to taste (you can substitute with a sharp cheddar or pecorino)

  • Salt

  • Fresh black pepper

  • ~1 pound (450 g) very thin beef cutlets, cut into 12 pieces measuring about 4x3 inches (10x7.5 cm)

  • ½ large onion, cut into large squares

  • Bay leaves (you’ll need about 12)

  • 2 cups fresh bread crumbs (you can grate or crumble some slightly stale bread for these)

Place the raisins in a small bowl or cup and fill with water to cover. Let them soak while you toast the bread crumbs.

Heat the olive oil in a small pan over medium/high heat and add the bread crumbs. Stirring almost constantly, toast the bread crumbs until they are golden and crispy. Transfer into a large bowl.

Drain the raisins and squeeze the excess water out. Add these and the pine nuts, parsley, garlic, cheese, and a pinch of salt and pepper into the toasted bread crumbs. Mix thoroughly.

Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the bread crumb mixture onto a short edge of a cutlet piece. Roll the meat up, lengthwise, tucking the edges in like a burrito to enclose the stuffing. Insert a shish kabob skewer through the center to keep the roll closed. On top the roll, insert a single bay leaf and an onion piece onto the skewer. Repeat to add two more meat rolls onto the skewer, each followed by a bay leaf and piece of onion.

In the end you should have about four kabobs, each with three meat rolls (depending on how much meat you used).

Preheat the oven to 355°F (180°C).

Fill a plate with olive oil and another plate with fresh bread crumbs. Take a kabob and dip it on all sides into the olive oil, then bread it in the fresh bread crumbs. Pack on plenty of breading! Transfer to a parchment-lined baking tray and repeat to bread the rest of the kabobs.

Drizzle the kabobs with a little more olive oil and bake them for 20-25 minutes, until the bread crumbs are crispy and browned on top. Serve warm.

Buon appetito!

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