Szalonna (Hungarian Dirty Bread)
Being of Hungarian heritage, this is something that I grew up having. If you want to try an ethnic twist on the typical "cook out", I highly recommend giving this a try. If you like the flavor of a good BLT, you will probably enjoy this.
Szalonna (pronounced sulena) is the Hungarian word for bacon. This particular recipe calls for a smoked szalonna. Essentially it is a very thick layer of pork fat with the rind. see the attached image
1 Large piece of szalonna (as thick a piece as possible - usually available in a good Hungarian or Polish deli or provisioner)
2 Loaves of sliced, fresh, baked bread of your choice
4 Cucumbers - peeled and sliced (English or Hot House cucumbers don't need to be peeled)
3 Red or green peppers - seeded and sliced into rings
2 pints of grape or cherry tomatoes - sliced in half
2 Large onions of choice - sliced thin
Salt, Pepper, Hot and sweet paprika for seasoning
In a safe location, build an open wood fire. Adding chunks of hickory wood to the fire will enhance the flavor.
Take a knife and carefully slice the szalonna into pieces about 4 x 6 inches. Now take one of the pieces and again with the knife, cut two small slits in the rind. One slit should be close to one end and the other should be close to the other end.
Now take a wooden dowel about 3/8 of an inch in diameter and sharpen one end. Insert the sharpened end of the dowel into one slit in the rind. Tunnel underneath the rind and bring the end of the dowel out of the other slit.
Now take your knife and cut a criss cross pattern into the fat side of the szalonna. Don't cut all the way to the rind. Make your cuts only about a 1/4 inch deep.
Layer slices of bread onto an aluminum foil lined tray and place on a table near the fire.
Put all your fresh sliced vegetables on a seperate tray.
Take your skewered szalonna and hold it over the fire while slowly turning it. Soon the fat will begin to run. Now drip the fat onto the bread. You will probably be able to thoroughly cover only a slice or two with drippings. Return the szalonna to the fire and repeat the process until all the pieces of bread on the tray are sufficiently covered with drippings.
Now begin layering your fresh vegetables onto each slice. Begin with cucumbers, then peppers, tomatoes and onions.
Drip more szalonna over the vegetables. At some point, the outside of the szalonna will become crisp. Slice the crisp pieces off and add them on top of the vegetables. Now season with a bit of salt, pepper, and paprika. You can even add some crumbled feta cheese too.
24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case, coincidence?
-- Stephen Wright