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Flaming Greek Cheese (Saganaki)

Rated as 4.75 out of 5 Stars

"This flaming cheese ritual was started by restaurateurs in Chicago, who encouraged customers to yell, 'Opa!' as the plate was being ignited. You can recreate the tradition at home in minutes, whether you'd like to spark up a little romance with an old flame on date night or just try a fast and fun cheese dish on a chilly weeknight. Serve with sliced fresh or grilled bread."
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13 m servings 391
Original recipe yields 2 servings (1 small cast iron skillet)


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  1. Brush each side of the kasseri cheese with water. Dredge both sides in flour, making sure the surface is completely covered.
  2. Preheat a well seasoned cast iron skillet on medium-high heat until smoking. Pour in olive oil. Carefully place the floured cheese in the hot oil. Cook until cheese begins to ooze and a golden brown crust forms, about 2 minutes. Quickly flip cheese over with a spatula. Fry until bottom is golden brown, about 30 seconds more.
  3. Remove skillet from heat and transfer onto a napkin-lined plate. Pour brandy over the cheese. Light the brandy using a fireplace lighter. Now you can exclaim "Opa!" and marvel at the fire. Squeeze some lemon juice on top to extinguish the last few flames and garnish with parsley.


  • Chef's Notes:
  • I've also done this with a cheese called halloumi, which is tasty, but doesn't melt at all, and for me that's the best part. You can also use graviera, kefalograviera, kefalotyri, or even a firm feta cheese.
  • Any high-proof liquor will work.
  • Garnish with oregano if you prefer.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 391 calories; 25.4 15 16.3 61 544 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 7
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I love Saganaki...the whole family does. But after trying this recipe for the first time, I have a couple of tips. First of all....pretend you are Chef John making a video, and HAVE ALL YOUR I...

No changes. Will make again.

So good! And easy to make. A lot of fun too

Super easy and tasty. Used cilantro vs parsley. Will become a staple.

This was just plain fun to make. Had everything ready to go before I started and was glad I did. My honey told me I was going to catch the place on fire. Well when it was lit on fire my smoke d...

Yes , one my favorite dishes??

It turned out pretty good. I did not have the lemon to extinguish the fire, nor the fresh parsley.