Doing the Big Apple


I’m going to New York City! Yes…it’s been quite a few years and I’ll be visiting the Big Apple next week and I’ll be spending one glorious week there.

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.

The photo is self-explanatory…the dessert was a hit!

Poached Quince With Manouri

(serves 4)

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

Manouri Filling
8 oz. of room temperature Manouri cheese

1 cup strained Greek yogurt

3 Tbsp. of Greek honey
1 shot of Ouzo

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

NOTE:

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.

© 2008 – 2009,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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54 Comments for “Doing the Big Apple”

Zen Chef

says:

Count me in for a meet-up in NYC Monsieur Kalofagas! It would be fun also to do a blogger dinner if someone could host. Either way i should be around. Let me know.

And zee quince looks pretty damn good.. I like the Manouri filling. Nice!

Marc @ NoRecipes

says:

Looks delicious. I’ve always wondered what to do with quince other than make membrillo. I’d love to explore a Greek place while you’re here in NY.

Lisa

says:

I love quince but have not seen them in markets here. Have fun in NYC! I hope you will be blogging about the places you visit.

Elly

says:

Mm, I love quince but I so rarely get to eat it. Have a great time in NYC! I really need to go back. I went a few times in college because my best friend went to NYU but I was too broke to eat well and do too many things :) I still think it’s a fantastic city.

noobcook

says:

woah how exciting!! I love NYC and I was there two years ago … and now I missed it terribly. Have a great trip! How fitting that you are featuring poached quince in your post ;p

MEDITERRANEAN KIWI

says:

beautiful quince in the photo – i have bought some quince, which will be turned into greek style spoon sweet.

the big apple is one of the main places we’d like to holiday as a family – i’m looking forward to the post on greektown there…

Rosa's Yummy Yums

says:

a very interesting combo! I love both quince and manùri cheese… A delightful recipe!

Cheers,

Rosa

Rosa's Yummy Yums

says:

a very interesting combo! I love both quince and manùri cheese… A delightful recipe!

Cheers,

Rosa

Rosa's Yummy Yums

says:

a very interesting combo! I love both quince and manùri cheese… A delightful recipe!

Cheers,

Rosa

Rosa's Yummy Yums

says:

a very interesting combo! I love both quince and manùri cheese… A delightful recipe!

Cheers,

Rosa

Rosa's Yummy Yums

says:

a very interesting combo! I love both quince and manùri cheese… A delightful recipe!

Cheers,

Rosa

Rosa's Yummy Yums

says:

a very interesting combo! I love both quince and manùri cheese… A delightful recipe!

Cheers,

Rosa

Rosa's Yummy Yums

says:

a very interesting combo! I love both quince and manùri cheese… A delightful recipe!

Cheers,

Rosa

Peter G

says:

Enjoy the Big Apple..I’m sure you’ll “gourmet” it well there! Love the “kydoni” qith that filing Peter…really delicious looking too!

Sylvie

says:

Peter, I’m jealous. The last two years I went Christmas Shopping in New York, but not this year. Maybe in 2009 again. Enjoy your trip, you’ll have a wonderful time!

FoodJunkie

says:

My jealousy is making me very sour indeed! But your tasty sweet might make my day! Have a fantastic time Peter~

Choosy Beggar Tina

says:

I adore poached pears and I love quince, so this would be a win-win! Have a great time in New York – I can’t believe that I’ve never been there, but that’s on my list for the coming year!!

Angela

says:

Thanks for featuring my blog, Peter!! I love your take on the poached pear recipe using quince and Greek ingredients. Great idea! Depending on your dates, I may be able to sneak up to New York for a day. I’ll shoot you an e-mail with some dates that work for me. It would be pleasure to meet you!

Judy@nofearentertaining

says:

How fun is your trip going to be???!!! I urge anyone there to take the time to meet up with Peter!

This dish looks incredible. I was mentioning the other day that I had never made anything with quince…

Lo

says:

Oh, Peter! Do have a great time in NY. Such fun.

The quince recipe is a nice one too. I’d say that makes good use of a rare find!

OhioMom

says:

I can’t get over how many things I have never tried, quince is one of them. Thanks so much for the wonderful tutorial and the explanation of what Petemezi and Manouri cheese are.

This dish looks so pretty :)

Ooops, have fun in the Big Apple!

Mary

says:

Enjoy your trip, Peter. Your recipe looks delicious and I finally have found a farmer who has quince. I’ll definitely be giving this one a try.

FOODalogue: Meandering Meals and Travels

says:

Peter, Your blog always makes me drool but this time it wasn’t from the food. As a former NY-er and forever of the heart, I’m envious of your trip. You might want to check out this website http://www.eatingintranslation.com/ for current food happenings and reviews of very ethnic and cheap eat places. If you’re looking for an upscale treat ($$$) by a new wave Greek, who has appeared on Iron Chef, check out Michael Psilakis and his Anthos restaurant on W. 52 Street. I look forward to your posts. Have a great time!

Núria

says:

New Yorkers… watch out… Mr. Kalofagas is landing there ;D!!!!

How great Peter! This is one trip I want to repeat with my husband, he’s never been there before. I was but it was ages ago… I’m dying to see a Musical in Broadway!

Your “bloody” quince looks so pretty with that “hat” on! So you are also going to the sweet side ;D

Marjie

says:

All I could think of was the children’s poem “The Owl and the Pussycat” where they dined on mince and slices of quince. The curse of having a brain stuffed with nonsense!

Jan

says:

Love that apple dessert you’ve done and I LOVE NYC!!
Have been 5 times and every time I’ve discovered something new.
Have a great time Peter – just wish I was coming with ya!

Jeff

says:

So jealous of both the dish and the trip. I was in NYC once this year and it was work so not much fun was had.

Have a wonderful trip and be safe!!

Alejandra

says:

So exciting! I hope you have a wonderful time here in NY. When are you coming? I would love a blogger dinner!

Love the poached quince! I’m quince obsessed this month.

Proud Italian Cook

says:

Jet setting again? You lucky guy! I’m sure you’ll make the most of every minute there. You’re going to be meeting some great bloggers I hear, take lots of pics for us.

Peter M

says:

Zen, it would be my pleasure to meet you in NYC.

Marc, let’s find out about where the Greek stores are and we can certainly visit them.

Lisa, come on up to NYC…gonna be fun!

Kiwi, NYC is a must…fab city!

Ioanna, I’m sure you’ll urge M to take you on a trip to NYC.

Tina, no way? Ya gotta go!

Kittie, stop…you’re going on a 6 mon. holiday!

Angela, my pleasure and again, you’re food is a thing of beauty. I look forward to meeting you!

Joan, I hope to dine at Anthos and the other new wave Greek restos…wish you could be in NYC.

Nuria, you have to show hubby around NY!

Natashya, the Danforth and some Asian markets have them.

Alejandra…I hope we can meet in NYC!

Marie, you betcha!

Emiline

says:

What a beautiful quince!

You’re going to have the best time in NY. I’m so jealous! Report back all the details.

You should see a TV taping while you’re there.

Veronica

says:

What an absolutely elegant looking dessert. I’m going to make a point to look for quince. Have a wonderful (safe) trip!

Maria

says:

Count me in for any blogger get togethers here in good old NYC!

And as a native Astorian let me know if you need any tips!

As for “trendy” Greek fare, there are a few both in Astoria and Manhattan worth visiting.

WE Are NEver Full

says:

OMG… me too! would love to meet for a few drinks. we leave for england on thurs. night, so it would have to be before then… i’ll email you.

Lori Lynn

says:

Bon Voyage Peter. Can’t wait to hear about it, Ahhh, New York, a great destination for foodies.
My, that quince looks great, I have to admit I have never cooked anything with it but only bought the paste to pair with Manchego. This is inspiring, indeed.

Paula

says:

Sounds like you have a fun, action packed trip planned! Looking forward to hearing about your trip! As I was reading this recipe, I thought it sounded terrific, and I got to the Ouzo part and said “SOLD”! Yum!

The Short (dis)Order Cook

says:

If there is a NYC blogger get-together, I’d totally be up for it. I’ve been dying to meet some of you people.

Do you know I’ve never had quince? You have my interest piqued.

Now don’t clean Astoria out of all of its food while you’re here! ;-)

Grace

says:

i don’t believe i’ve never knowingly eaten a quince, but i want my first one to be just like this–it looks stellar!
meanwhile, i’m terribly jealous of your trip. have a blast (as if it was possible not to…)!

Anonymous

says:

Peter,
This is the second food blog where I read that quince is not edible raw. We always ate these raw as children, it was a seasonal treat. You cut in half and sprinkle some powdered chile and enjoy. The texture is different from apples or pears. But good and sour.

Jeanne

says:

Just look at the wonderful colour on that quince! I never know what to do with quinces – thanks for the inspiration.