For those that haven’t been to New York, bump your travel itinerary up to include a visit to one of the world’s best (if not best) cities in the world.
New York is multi-cultural, it’s hospitable, quite safe for a city of it’s size, culturally vibrant, beautiful, a food lovers paradise and full of energy.
I’ll never forget the first time I landed in New York: it was night and I never before had seen a city lit up so brightly by lights. Maybe it’s just me but my body is constantly a’rush from adrenalin, being in the action, amid so many people and feeling the pulse of this great city.
While in New York, I’m going to further explore the city and many of it’s storied neighborhoods, check out the Greektown in Astoria, the exciting restaurants that are part of the “new wave” of Greek cuisine and with some good fortune, meet some fellow food bloggers who live in the New York City area.
If you’re in the area, contact me via email and I’d love to meet you …this would be a highlight of my trip!
Since we’re on the topic of the Big Apple, I made a elegant dessert using quince. Us Greeks call quince “Kydonia” and the French call them Pommes de Cydon.
Quince look like an rugged apple and the flesh is quite firm – not edible raw. Quince are used in sweet and savory cooking and it’s often paired with pork or made into a preserve or this case, poached.
The first attraction one has to quince is it’s aroma. One only needs to walk past a tree of ripe quince or pass a fruit stand to know that some quince are nearby.
Plutarch reports that a Greek bride would nibble a quince to perfume her kiss before entering the bridal chamber, “in order that the first greeting may not be disagreeable nor unpleasant” (Roman Questions 3.65).
Inspration for this dish came from Angela’s Food Love. About a month ago she shared a poached pear dish that immediately made me perk up and bookmark this dish. Angela usually posts one dish per week and each and everytime I get notice of her dish, I’m never disappointed, often delighted. I encourage you to visit Angela’s blog…tell her “Kalofagas” sent ya!
Taking inspiration from Angela’s dish, I applied some Greek ingredients (including quince) and poached it an aromatic bath of Greek red wine, spices and I made a mixture of strained Greek yogurt, Manouri cheese and honey and piped it into the center.
1 bottle of good Greek red wine
4 quince, peeled and cored
1 cinnamon stick
4-5 whole cloves
1/2 cup Petimezi
1/2 cup honey
splash of vanilla extract
8 oz. of room temperature Manouri cheese
1 cup strained Greek yogurt
3 Tbsp. of Greek honey
1 shot of Ouzo
- Into a pot large enough to hold your quince, add all the ingredients of your poaching liquid and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and gently drop your quince and poach your quince for about 20-30 minutes or until fork tender (you may have to flip your quince to poach both halves).
- Carefully remove the quince from the poaching liquid, strain the the liquid to remove the spices and return to your pot. Reduce over medium heat until you have a thick syrup. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- In a small bowl, add the Manouri cheese, strained Greek yogurt, Ouzo and honey and mix well with a spatula or a hand mixer. Spoon the contents into a piping bag or make your own with a disposable plastic bag and snip a small hole in one of the bottom corners.
- Assemble your dessert by spooning the wine syrup onto the plate’s bottom and then set the quince on top. Now pipe the Manouri filling into each hole in the middle of the quince and serve.
Petimezi is a syrup boiled down from the grape must during the wine harvest. Italians have a product called Saba and similar products can be found in Mid-Eastern stores called “grape syrup”.
Manouri cheese is made from the whey leftover from the cheese making process. It’s a young cheese that’s cross between a firm ricotta and mild but still tangy cream cheese. It works wonderful for savory and sweer dishes.
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