The Greek dish souvlaki is considered a peasant dish but is served throughout that country with cuts of lamb and vegetables such as bell pepper. Jim Botsacos, executive chef at Molyvo’s restaurant in Manhattan, tries to elevate this traditional recipe by using higher cuts of meat such as filet mignon. Check out his recipe, below.
SOUR CHERRY SPOON SWEETSJim Botsacos
Yield: approximately 1 quart
Place cherries in a colander and rinse under cold running water to clean. Transfer to a bowl and cover with cold water. Let stand for 2-3 hours, until re-hydrated. Strain the juice into a bowl and reserve.
Add a layer of cherries to the bottom of a small, heavy saucepan. Sprinkle with sugar, and top with another single layer of fruit. Repeat the layering until all of the cherries and sugar have been used. Measure 2-3 oz (a little more than 1/4 cup) of the reserved cherry liquid and add to the saucepan with a pinch of salt. Place over high heat and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, without stirring. To keep the sides from caramelizing, brush (using a pastry brush) with cold water occasionally.
Remove the pot from the stove and let cherries macerate in their syrup at room temperature for at least 2 hours, or overnight. Return the pot to medium-high heat and bring to a rapid boil, skimming the pink froth from the top, if desired. Insert a candy thermometer into the pot, and boil until it reads 230-240 degrees F, the soft setting point. Add the lemon juice, and boil for another minute. Remove from stove. Stir in the sour cherry liqueur and vanilla extract, and set aside to cool.
Store spoon sweets in sealed jars or plastic containers in the refrigerator. Preserved fruits will keep for many, many months. Serve one or two spoonfuls over Greek-style yogurt.
9123696604913143827771cherries0.5pound1/2 lb sun-dried sour cherriessugar 0.75cup3/4 cup granulated sugar lemon juice2teaspoon2 tsp. fresh lemon juice to tastesour cherry liqueur0.25cup1/4 cup sour cherry liqueur to tastevanilla extract0.5teaspoon1/2 tsp. vanilla extractsalt1pinchpinch of salt
Copyright © 2001 by Jim Botsacos of Mollyvo’s Restaurant in New York City.