It’s a blustery night in February with a cozy fire crackling in the fireplace and four old friends catching up. That was the setting for my Greek Dinner Party that began with this “spectacle” for a starter. I had set up the coffee table in front of the fireplace to serve the appetizer for a nice casual beginning to our Greek-inspired evening.
Just a quick lesson here about “saganaki“. It’s not a type of Greek cheese, it actually refers to the two-handled cooking vessel that dishes like this are served in when you are in Greece. Not having a saganaki dish on hand, I opted for my trusty cast-iron pan. DANGER WILL ROBINSON!!! Do not use one with a ridged-grill bottom like I did, as you can’t flip the cheese in the pan without ruining the beautifully brown “skin”. Lesson to be learned, but it certainly didn’t affect the taste or texture of the gooey yumminess that is a hot cheese appetizer.
When you are choosing your cheese (I’ve listed some good choices in the recipe notes), make sure that you get a piece that’s about a half-inch thick, as you want it to be able to heat through, but not melt into a puddle when fried and served. Make sure you coat both sides well with flour, as you want to have a nice crust form as it fries in the hot pan. Better a bit thicker skin than barely any skin at all I say!
This is a great dish to try any time you have friends or family around , don’t wait to throw a Greek dinner party before you toss back some Ouzo and Flaming Saganaki Cheese!
I’m giving you an assignment! If you make this fabulous Greek appetizer, how about doing a little video and posting it at The Fab Life, our Facebook group community? We’d love to see your cheese “in action”!
Come join the gang in our Facebook group and get in on the gabfest at, The Fab Life, where we show off our triumphs and share our pursuit of “the good life” with each other all week long.
Don’t forget to sign up for your twice weekly visits from Ingredients For A Fabulous Life. You don’t want to miss out on something fabulous, do you? Use the form on the right of this page to start receiving our fabulous posts and newsletter today! We can’t wait for you to become a member of our community!
- 2 - 1/2 inch thick chunks of cheese (wedges/squares), rind trimmed*
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- AP flour, for dredging
- 1/2 oz. brandy or ouzo
- 4 lemon wedges
- French bread, thinly sliced and toasted
- Ouzo, served in shot glasses
- Preheat a heavy-bottom skillet (I used my trusty cast-iron pan) over a medium-high heat. Pour some flour onto a plate. Dip the cheese pieces into a bowl of water and then dredge in the flour. Tap off excess flour.
- Add oil to the skillet, sprinkle in a bit of flour to test oil. When it sizzles, add the cheese and sear for a few minutes. Carefully flip the cheese with a spatula and cook until lightly browned on the second side.
- Turn off heat, transfer hot pan to your table and pour the brandy or ouzo over top. Carefully ignite with a long fireplace match, throw your head back, and shout "Opa!".
- Have your guests squeeze the lemon wedges to snuff the flames and go at it!
- Serve with toasted bread slices.
*These varieties of cheese will work well in this recipe:
Graviera / Kefalograviera / Kefalotyri / Kasseri / Haloumi