Most of my food cravings usually include cheese. Even though San Francisco is a great town for ethnic foods, I miss Chicago's Greek Town. A dinner at the Parthenon can't be beat and they actually claim fame to the dish I love so much- Saganaki.
Saganaki is Greek fried cheese. When you order it, the waiter brings it to the table, flambes it and then squeezes fresh lemon juice all over it just before serving. It's freakin' awesome. Dip your bread in all the goodness and sip a glass of crisp white wine. Heaven.
I've never made Saganaki at home but I have these great Calphalon tapas dishes that are perfect for it so I figured to give it a shot. I tried flambeing the dish table side but it was a bust. Second time around I flambed it on the stove and it turned out perfect.
- 8 (1/2-inch) slices Kasseri cheese
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups brandy
- 1 cup flour
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 lemons, juiced
- 8 rounds of pita bread, brushed with olive oil, grilled and quartered
- 1 cup Kalamata olives
Season both sides of the cheese with salt and pepper. Place the cheese in a shallow dish and cover with brandy. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours. Season the flour with salt and pepper. Remove the cheese from the pan, reserving 1/4 cup of the brandy and dredge in the seasoned flour, coating completely. In a large saute pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Pan-fry the cheese for 2 minutes on each side. Add the reserved brandy and carefully flame the liquor, shaking the pan back and forth several times. Add the lemon juice. Remove from the pan and serve with the pita bread and olives.