Cast Iron

Flaming Cheese - Saganaki!

March 20, 2011
1 Ratings
Photo by inpatskitchen
  • Serves 2 to 4 as an appetizer
Author Notes

After years and years of trips to Detroit's Greektown for lamb chops, tarama, skordalia, eggplant spread and flaming cheese, we decided that we had to do the cheese at home to get our "fix". Armed with kasseri cheese and brandy we developed this easy recipe and do it frequently in the summer as part of a backyard mezze. Opa!.... - inpatskitchen —inpatskitchen

Test Kitchen Notes

I would like to give a double thumbs up to Flaming Cheese. Oh my, is this good AND easy! The Kasseri cheese is worth seeking out, its flavor and texture are unique and delicious. The addition of oregano and lemon provided additional intrigue. I served it with olive bread, since I had it on hand, and every last morsel was devoured. This recipe will be added to my "favorite" file! - sticksnscones —sticksnscones

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 slices kasseri cheese, about 4 inches in diameter and cut 1/2 inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 lemon halved
  • 3 ounces inexpensive brandy
  1. Mix the flour and oregano in a shallow bowl and set aside.
  2. Beat the egg and milk in a shallow bowl.
  3. Wet the pieces of cheese with water and coat each with the flour mixture, then the egg mixture, and then back into the flour.
  4. In a heavy saute pan or cast iron skillet, melt the butter and olive oil until the butter starts to foam.
  5. Place the cheese into the pan and fry on both sides until golden and the cheese starts to soften.
  6. Quickly take the pan outside, pour in the brandy and ignite yelling "OPA" in unison.
  7. Let flame for effect for about 30 seconds and then squeeze a half of lemon over to douse the flame. ( the second half is "just in case")
  8. Serve this immediately spread on sliced country bread.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • inpatskitchen
  • cheese1227
  • hardlikearmour
  • Sagegreen
  • Pat E. in SLO
    Pat E. in SLO

Recipe by: inpatskitchen

I think I get my love for food and cooking from my mom, who was an amazing cook. She would start baking and freezing a month before Christmas in order to host our huge open house on Christmas afternoon. I watched and I this day I try not to procrastinate when it comes to entertaining. My cooking style is pretty much all over the place, although I'm definitely partial to Greek and Italian cuisine. Oh yes, throw a little Cajun in there too!

16 Reviews

inpatskitchen April 7, 2011
Thanks sticksnscones for your kind comments! This has been one of our favorites for years...
sticksnscones April 8, 2011
The pleasure was all mine! Thanks to you for providing such a great recipe.
cheese1227 March 31, 2011
My first interaction with "Opa!" was in Chicago's Greektown back in February 1993 on the first trip I took with my then boyfriend (no husband)! Thanks for the memory.
karguam March 24, 2011
I can't wait to try looks delicious!
hardlikearmour March 20, 2011
Was hoping someone would post a recipe for this! Sounds perfect.
Sagegreen March 20, 2011
Pat E. March 20, 2011
This is called saganaki and it is wonderful! Taverna Tony's in Malibu serves mountains of it...and I know because I've eaten mountains of it. I have some kasseri in my fridge right now. OPA! Thanks for a great recipe.
inpatskitchen March 20, 2011
Thanks Pat! We have kasseri left and may make more tonight...hopefully I'll be able to get a picture of the flames....
lastnightsdinner March 20, 2011
Love it! I'm Detroit born and raised and this dish is very close to my heart!
inpatskitchen March 20, 2011
Thanks lastnightsdinner....Our favorite restaurant, New Hellas, closed about 2 years ago, so we've been making this more and more often.
MyCommunalTable March 20, 2011
I was also raised in Michigan and have been to New Hellas several times. I didn't even know that it had closed. sigh...glad that you gave us this recipe, so I can make it at home. Who doesn't love flaming cheese?
lapadia March 20, 2011
Love, kasari, love your recipe!
lapadia March 20, 2011
inpatskitchen March 20, 2011
ellenl March 20, 2011
inpatskitchen March 20, 2011
Thank you ellenl.