From Peter Salerno’s Kitchen: Classic Spiedini

For those of you who aren’t sure what spiedini is, think of it as a classic skewer or kebab preparation with a distinctly Italian (and flavorful) twist. It’s a favorite in the Salerno household, and Peter Salerno loves preparing spiedini with a variety of meats – lamb, beef, chicken and pork are the usual staples.

Whether used in small portions as an appetizer or made to a larger scale to feed a family, spiedini is as authentically Italian as a dish gets. From the very best meats to savory cheeses, from artisan-crafted breads to aromatic herbs and spices like bay leaves and cloves, the classic elements of spiedini take you to the heart of Italy. Adding extra Mediterranean twists such as anchovies, capers and premium olive oil take this dish to the next level.

This beautiful preparation of spiedini di sarde a beccafico transports you right to Italy.
This beautiful preparation of spiedini di sarde a beccafico transports you right to Italy. (Credit Wiki Commons, franzconde)

While there are many fabulous preparations for spiedini (and Peter Salerno has his own secret traditional family recipe), we fell in love with this savory recipe courtesy of the fine people at Epicurious. It’s a recipe from Bon Appetit circa 1996, and its Lamb and Rosemary Spiedini brings fresh, diverse, distinctly Italian flavors to your table.

Lamb & Rosemary Spiedini: Courtesy of Epicurious

2 Servings: CAN BE DOUBLED

Orzo (a rice-shaped pasta also known as riso) can be mixed with diced summer squash, olives and red bell pepper to make a colorful bed for the lamb skewers. Toss some shredded romaine and red cabbage with an oil and vinegar dressing to serve alongside, and end the Mediterranean-style meal with honey cake from the bakery.

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 10 ounces boneless sirloin lamb chops, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 red onion, peeled, cut onto 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

Preparation

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat).

Whisk lemon juice, olive oil, rosemary and grated lemon peel in glass pie dish to blend. Sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper; add lamb to marinade and toss to coat. Let mixture stand 10 minutes, tossing occasionally.

Using slotted spoon, transfer lamb to bowl. Add onion, green bell pepper and yellow bell pepper to marinade in pie dish and toss to coat. Thread lamb, onion, and bell pepper pieces alternately on 4 skewers. Grill until onion and peppers are slightly charred and lamb is cooked to desired doneness, brushing once with marinade, about 12 minutes to medium. Transfer lamb spiedini to plates and serve.

From Peter Salerno’s Kitchen: Stuffed Branzino

Stuffed branzino, courtesy of TheDateDish.com and Peter Salerno's kitchen.
Stuffed branzino, courtesy of TheDateDish.com and Peter Salerno’s kitchen. (Credit TheDateDish)

As promised, we’re not just showing you the award-winning kitchens of Peter Salerno this November – we’re taking you inside those kitchens with Peter himself, who is sharing some of his favorite recipes and delicious Italian-inspired dishes.

We’re kicking off this series of sumptuous Mediterranean recipes with one of Peter Salerno’s family favorites: stuffed branzino. For those of you “out of the Italian cuisine loop”, branzino is a popular Italian name for European sea bass. The plural is branzini; in other areas of Italy, you may hear it referred to as ragno or spigola. A staple of Italian family dinners for years, branzino is coming into vogue with the general public; it was named Fish of the Year by the New York Times at the end of 2012.

There are plenty of amazing recipes out there for stuffed branzino, one of the most popular (and delicious) preparations of this versatile fish. Of those recipes, one of Peter Salerno’s personal favorites comes courtesy of Chef Lindsey of TheDateDish.com. A simple preparation with complex flavors that adheres to the classic preparation of Italian branzino, you’re sure to love this recipe as much as Peter and his family do.

To give all proper credit, this recipe is copyrighted by (and the brainchild of) Chef Lindsey of TheDateDish.com – as stated before, Peter just loved it so much he had to share it. For the original recipe post, click here.

Stuffed Branzino

Your ingredients:

  • Two 1-pound whole branzino—scaled and gutted
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 1 bunch fresh oregano
  • 1/2 cup seeded and chopped kalamata olives
  • 2 Tbsps capers
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers
  • 3 lemons—2 thinly sliced, 1 cut into wedges
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Finely chopped parsley, for serving

Preparation: 

  • Light a grill or preheat a grill pan.
  • Season the fish cavities with oregano, salt and pepper.
  • Stuff each cavity with a thyme sprig, olives, capers, roasted red peppers, and 3 lemon slices.
  • Rub the outside of the branzino with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Grill the branzino over high heat, turning once, until browned and crisp and just cooked through, about 7 minutes per side.
  • Serve right away, and garnish with salt, lemon wedges and parsley.
  • Serve with rosemary roasted potatoes.

Enjoy this Italian classic, stuffed branzino, with your friends, family and loved ones – and keep checking our blog for even more news, updates and recipes from Peter Salerno’s kitchen!

Again, special thanks to Chef Lindsey and TheDateDish.com for this outstanding branzino recipe. It’s become a Salerno family favorite! For more information about Peter Salerno Inc. and our award-winning custom kitchen, bathroom, cabinetry and interior designs, please visit our website or call 201.251.6608.

Custom Italian Elements Incorporated in Beautiful French Kitchen

This beautiful kitchen by Snaidero features Italian and French blended designs.
This beautiful kitchen by Snaidero features Italian and French blended designs. (Credit Snaidero, Nouveau Home Cuisines & Bains)

Sometimes, incorporating the very best of two worlds creates a design that is both modern and striking. Such is the case with our next featured French kitchen, which implements some beautiful custom design work from our friends at Italian design house Snaidero (and their Ola20 collection) into a customized, flexible French kitchen.

Featured in the September/October/November 2013 edition of Nouveau Home Cuisines & Bains, a leading French kitchen and bath design publication, this Italian/French blended kitchen design features expansive open space, clean design, and some unique elements – notice the ultra-chic curved bar mount!

As Nouveau Home Cuisines & Bains comments (translated from French):

“Uncommon in the kitchen area, the curve upon which the bar provides aerial dimension and a sense of lightness to the kitchen. Fully flexible low elements, raised elements and cabinets adapt to centimeter close to the dimensions of your room, the better to customize the kitchen.”

The use of earth tones, leafy plants and large-scale windows set against white walls allows the room to feel sunny, fresh and alive – just the way you’d want to start your day in a beautiful southern European kitchen. With mixed French, Italian and Mediterranean design elements, this work of art will surely provide as much inspiration to you as it did to Peter Salerno on his recent visit to France. Amusez-vous!