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Flaming Greek Cheese (Saganaki)

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Chef John

"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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Ingredients

13 m servings 391 cals
Original recipe yields 2 servings (1 small cast iron skillet)

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Directions

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  • Prep

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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.

Footnotes

  • 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 g fat; 15 g carbohydrates; 16.3 g protein; 61 mg cholesterol; 544 mg sodium. Full nutrition

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