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SAGANAKI . . . trying agin

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I have attempted Saganaki (shallow fried cheese: Greek) with home made flat bread. Although the bread was superb, orchestrating the fried cheese left a whole lot to be desired.

I recently replaced my Kithenaid Architect 30" with an American Range 30" and would like to try again.

However, I thought it would be a good idea to ask y'all to contribute any advice. I will purchase the cheese from an online gourmet store to ensure an authenticity in the results. I have the Ouzo, allclad SS cookware, and a 2.5mm 10" tinned copperware saute pan.

If anyone has a technique and advice for a better outcome . . . as well as a recipe for this wonderful dish please give me a head's up.

Thanks in advance,


post #2 of 5
Finally found a great food community and this is the first post I see. Awesome!

I've had a strained love affair with saganaki over the years. Tried it first when I was ~5 in Crete, Greece and it was love at first bite. Unfortunately I haven't quite been able to duplicate it in my own kitchen. I've been thinking of trying it with the cheese frozen in advance...

Are you going for the authentic Greek kind, or the flambéed variety found in Westernized Greek restaurants? Both are good ;)

You gotta let us know if it works out! Good luck!
post #3 of 5
Saganaki is all technique. What kind of cheese are you using since that could be an indicator of what's going wrong with your dish.

In Greece most often we use kefalograviera, kasseri, or manouri cheese. I have also seen haloumi used but I don't like it quite as much as kasseri. The cheese should be cut in slices no thinner than 1/3 inch.

Coat the slice of cheese with egg (that has been whisked very well) and flour (unseasoned.) Shake off the excess and place in the hot sautee pan. I use a nonstick pan with 2 tbsp olive oil. Butter is not often used in Greek cooking, especially sauteeing. Let one side get golden brown without moving it around alot and then flip over to do the same.

In Kretan cuisine I've never seen the use of alcohol and flambeeing. Instead we remove from the heat and drizzle with fresh lemon juice instead. But if you like that, this is the part where you add the alcohol. When it is finished cooking, add a half a shot of ouzo and set aflame. I'll be in Krete next week though and will research this matter in depth :bounce:

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."


"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

post #4 of 5
In America, I belive most of the restaurants use Kasseri cheese, and that is also I use and have good results.

Ouzo is typically drunk before the meal, but the places I have seen actually use brandy for the flambee of the Saganaki.

The most important part is to use a slab of cheese, about 1/3-1/2 inch thick, and you don't want to melt the cheese, just soften it.

Then at the end toss the brandy on and light it. You can squeeze the lemon over the top to put out the flames.

And yes, the places I have been to in Greece do not serve it flambee, seems that was an American who added that, for marketing, and it seemed to catch on, although some US restaurants, particularly on Long Island, will flambee it in the kitchen as some insurance policies do not permit open flames in the dining room.
post #5 of 5
You should be able to find the Kassari cheese at your grocery store, I've seen it at Dominick's and Jewel's before (Safe-way and Albertson's).

Can you give us an idea of what didn't work that last time? Did the cheese stick? Did it come out too soft, too hard, etc.

I recommend opening windows while making thing, as people have commented that this is a "stinky cheese". :smoking:

PS. Instead of Ouzo, try Metaxa
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