Thursday, October 7, 2010

Opa!


Alex's favorite thing that we ate in Greece was the saganaki. We pretty much ordered this as an appetizer in every restaurant that we ate in. It is truly amazing that we did not come home 400 pounds heavier. The best saganaki that we had was at a tiny restaurant in the port of Piraeus. It was a bit sketchy and neither of us can remember the name, but it was great

Saganaki is fried Greek cheese. I think that pretty much says it all. Some restaurants served it plain, some with lemon, some with honey. But, no matter what, it was always tasty!

Saganaki
(recipe adapted from Not So Humble Pie)

  • 1 6oz block of kasseri cheese
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • olive oil for frying
Directions

First, combine the flour, pepper, and sea salt in a small mixing bowl and pour on to a large plate.


Dredge cheese block in egg. Then coat with flour mixture.


Heat the olive oil in a frying pan on medium until it barely begins to smoke. Add the cheese and fry until golden brown on each side, turning once. Serve immediately.

Add Some Flair

At no restaurant that we visited, did any of our servers light our dish on fire and yell opa! In fact, we heard only one person say opa the entire time that we were in Greece and it sounded much more like "oh damn" than it did like "yippee!" I, for one, was disappointed by this.

However, I've had saganaki at Vlora in Boston and Pan on Danforth in Toronto and both times the cheese has been served en flambé, so if you'd like to give your dish a little flair, here are the extra steps:
  1. Place the cheese into a serving dish,
  2. Pour a little of the hot olive oil on top.
  3. Pour 1 ounce of brandy over the cheese and ignite.
  4. Extinguish with the juice of a lemon wedge.

2 comments:

  1. This looks awesome. Can you make some for Friday ;) Have you ever tried freezing cheese before frying it? I've heard it helps with the ooze factor. I once made mozzarella sticks - they were tasty but not so much stick-like!

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  2. You know, I was afraid of the ooze factor and surprised when it wasn't much of an issue.

    Maybe it depends on the type of cheese? Kasseri is a pretty solid cheese. Mozzarella is definitely softer, so freezing it would probably make it hold together better. Thanks for the tip!! Now I want to make mozzarella sticks!

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