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From: New York’s 25: Taste Of Greece – Oct 16-Nov 18, 2006 "Greek flavors “just sing together”, says chef Jim Botsakos, “Although the cuisine is very simple, the Greeks like to celebrate the freshness of ingredients. The foods may be simple but some flavors can be quite complex.” - Jim Botsacos & John Piliouras of Molyvos. Prep time is a guess, Cook time is an approximation.
- 3 loaves tsoureki bread
- butter, as needed
- 2 pints fresh figs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1⁄4 cup mavrodaphne wine
- 1⁄2 piece vanilla bean, scraped
- 6 ounces manouri cheese
- 1 cup strained Greek yogurt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 1⁄4 cups almonds, sliced and lightly toasted
- 1⁄4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon water
- 1⁄4 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 3⁄4 cups milk
- 1⁄4 cup heavy cream
- steamed foamed milk (to garnish)
- Prepare the Figs: Remove the stems from the figs and cut.
- into quarters.
- Toss the figs and sugar together in a bowl.
- Place the Mavrodafni wine and vanilla bean in a stainless steel.
- pot and heat over medium flame.
- Pour the figs and sugar into the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the figs become very soft and bubbly, about 20-25 minutes.
- Remove the vanilla bean, let the liquid cool slightly and puree with an immersion blender.
- Chill completely before using.
- Prepare the Cheese Filling: Fit a table-top mixer with the paddle attachment.
- Place the cheese and yogurt into the bowl and paddle at medium speed 1-2 minutes, until light and fully.
- Switch to the whip attachment and mix another 30 seconds or until completely smooth and free of lumps.
- For the Almond Milk: Take the lightly toasted almonds and place them in a bowl of a food processor along with the sugar and water.
- Pulse until you make a thick paste that is slightly chunky. (The paste will pull away from the side of the bowl and form a small ball.).
- Combine the almond paste with the milk and cream in a stainless steel saucepan.
- Place over medium heat, bring to a light simmer, lower to a bare simmer and cook 10-12 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat, stir in the almond extract, and let milk cool to room temperature.
- Strain, discard the almonds and reserve the strained almond milk.
- When ready to use, reheat the milk and keep warm until ready to serve.
- To assemble the Warm Tsoureki Sandwich: Cut the Tsoureki.
- into 36 1/4-inch oval slices, lightly coat each half of the slices with.
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of the whipped cheese and yogurt.
- Coat the other half of the remaining slices with 1/2 a teaspoon of the fig spoon sweet.
- Place the bread slices with the cheese spread and fig spoon sweets together to make 18 sandwiches.
- Take 3 tablespoons of butter, at room temperature, and lightly coat each sandwich on both exterior sides of the bread.
- Place a 10” non-stick pan over medium-high heat.
- Place 4-5 sandwiches in the pan buttered side down and cook until golden, 2-4 minutes (as you would French toast).
- Turn and continue to cook until golden on both sides.
- Remove the sandwiches from the pan, set aside and keep warm.
- Repeat this process with the remaining sandwiches.
- On a long plate, place 3 warm sandwiches slightly overlapping like shingles and place a small shot glass or other small cup filled with the Almond Milk. Top the Almond Milk with foam to resemble a cappuccino and serve.