C’mon baby light my cheese

4 May

One of my favorite Junior League cookbooks is Beyond Parsley (1984) from the Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri. It’s an oversized 250 page cookbook with a wonderful array of recipes plus beautiful pictures. This is a coffee table book suitable for display!

While I’ve used many of the recipes over the years, I’ve never tried the one for flaming Greek cheese. I remember the Saganaki at first Nicklow’s, later Santorini, both Greek restaurants run by the Nicklow family in Minneapolis. The cheese was flamed right at the table, along with cries of Opa – which is a Mediterranean expression of emotion. Now that I know how easy it is to make, I plan on making it again to surprise guests!

Saganaki

flaming Greek cheese

1 pound Kasseri* cheese or any firm white goat cheese, room temperature

3 tablespoons butter, melted

3 tablespoons brandy

Juice of half a lemon

Cut cheese into 3 pieces and place in a 12-inch oven-proof serving dish. Pour butter over cheese and broil 6-8 inches from the heat until cheese is golden. Pour brandy over cheese and flame. Extinguish flame by squeezing lemon juice over the top. Serve at once on toasted pita bread.

*It’s a type of Greek cheese, usually found with the imported and fancier cheeses.

Note: I cut the recipe in thirds for this first attempt and honestly, it made enough for 4 as an appetizer.

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