Super Fast Fried Cheese Appetizer - Saganaki Recipe

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3 votes | 2488 views

If you have a cast iron skillet, you can make a simple, delicious appetizer - fast! A cheese lover's delight! The Greeks call it 'saganaki' and you can use several different semi-firm cheeses to make this delicious and interesting treat in less than 15 minutes.

The best cheeses to use are kefaloteri or kaseri, so try to obtain a nice 3/4 to 1 pound piece of one or the other. We prefer kefaloteri.

Plan to serve this very hot, with (preferable) a crusty, sesame seed-topped bread.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Servings: 4-6
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Ingredients

Cost per serving $0.61 view details
  • 1 lb kefaloteri cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 C all-purpose flour (gluten free works here just fine)
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 2 lemons, cut into quarters

Directions

  1. Warm asmall dishe for each guest as you prepare the cheese
  2. Slice the cheese into 1/2' thick pieces 1 or 2 pieces per guest
  3. Put the flour in a pan or on a plate
  4. Heat the skillet over medium flame
  5. Wet each slice of cheese in a flat bottom pan that has cold water in it
  6. Lay the pieces of cheese on a paper towel next to the flour, jut to remove the excess water
  7. Coat the cheese slices with flour, shaking off any excess flour
  8. Give each piece of cheese another quick dip in the water - you'll gain a better crust
  9. Add the olive oil to the hot skillet
  10. Lay each slice of floured cheese in the skillet
  11. Let the cheese fry for about two minutes, then lift the first piece you put in with a spatula to judge browning - you want a nice golden fry color
  12. When the pieces are golden on the first side, turn each peice and fry the second side
  13. Put one or two peices on each small individual warmed dish
  14. Garnish with a couple slices of lemon to squeeze on the cheese
  15. Serve with a crusty country bread
  16. NOTE: Greek restaurants sometimes pour a 1/2 a shot glass of brandy on the cheese and ignite it prior to serving. This is risky (but delicious) at home. If you must attempt this embellishment, do so while the cheese is still in the iron pan, on the stove, just before plating, and stand away when flaming. This is dramatic and colorful, BUT CAN BE DANGEROUS. The above recipe is wonderful without the flambe.

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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 44g
Recipe makes 4 servings
Calories 181  
Calories from Fat 121 67%
Total Fat 13.7g 17%
Saturated Fat 1.9g 8%
Trans Fat 0.0g  
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1mg 0%
Potassium 38mg 1%
Total Carbs 13.36g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0.9g 3%
Sugars 0.43g 0%
Protein 1.78g 3%
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Reviews

  • Arturo Féliz-Camilo
    What a cool idea!
    • A.L. Wiebe
      Yum, I do love cheese, and this looks delicious, Chef!

      Anyone out there know where we can find kefaloteri or kaseri cheese in or near Port McNeill?

      Which semi-firm cheese substitutes would you recommend?
      2 replies
      • Amos Miller
        January 17, 2012
        Hi, Chef - I think if I had to find a reasonable substitute for either of the recommended Greek cheeses, Kasrei or Kefaloteri, I would probably look for a nice chunk of Pecorino-Romano, since you do want a hard, somewhat salty cheese that may be a little oily when room temp, and has a high melt point. These are sheep or goat cheeses. HOWEVER, you can by a 1 pound block here:

        http://www.christosmarket.com/Greek-Kasseri-Cheese-1-lb-cut-from-bulk-Matis-Br-p/kasb1.htm

        It is worth a try, if at all possible, to do it the traditional and recommended way the first time, and then spin off from there. let me know what you end up doing. As always A.L., my very best regards - Amos
        • Amos Miller
          January 17, 2012
          Hi, Chef - I think if I had to find a reasonable substitute for either of the recommended Greek cheeses, Kasrei or Kefaloteri, I would probably look for a nice chunk of Pecorino-Romano, since you do want a hard, somewhat salty cheese that may be a little oily when room temp, and has a high melt point. These are sheep or goat cheeses. HOWEVER, you can by a 1 pound block here:

          http://www.christosmarket.com/Greek-Kasseri-Cheese-1-lb-cut-from-bulk-Matis-Br-p/kasb1.htm

          It is worth a try, if at all possible, to do it the traditional and recommended way the first time, and then spin off from there. let me know what you end up doing. As always A.L., my very best regards - Amos
        • Amos Miller
          Hi, Chef - I have found a reasonable substitute for either of the recommended Greek cheeses, Kasrei or Kefaloteri is a nice chunk of Pecorino-Romano, since you do want a hard, somewhat salty cheese that may be a little oily when room temp, and has a high melt point. These are sheep or goat cheeses. HOWEVER, you can by a 1 pound block of Kasseri here:

          http://www.christosmarket.com/Greek-Kasseri-Cheese-1-lb-cut-from-bulk-Matis-Br-p/kasb1.htm

          It is worth a try to do it the best way, the first time and then spin off from there. As always, my very best regards - Amos
          I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
          This is a variation

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