12 September 2007

Saganaki Revisited

My friend, whom I met when I was on my amazing sojourn in Greece last Spring, visited me for the past few days on her way north from Arizona. I have been hiking, touring wineries and soaking up the Okanagan sunshine through new eyes. I have been catching up on all your wonderful posts but will post some of my own in the next few days. I have to get back into cooking and blogging mode. In the mean time I am reposting one of my favourite Greek dishes in honor of our trip to Greece. It doesn't take much to have me daydreaming of warm, sunfilled days.....

On the island of Kea in Greece we shared a delicious lunch of traditional Greek dishes prepared by a local family. With the endless azure of the Agean Sea as the backdrop we danced to the strains of bazouka music, sipped on raki and enjoyed good company and good friends.

According to Greek mythology, Aristaios, son of Apollo and Cyrene, was sent by the gods to give the gift of cheese-making to the Greeks. It was called a "gift of everlasting value", and the value of that gift keeps increasing with age.

We enjoy saganaki at our local Greek restaurant that rivals any we have found in Greece, which has to be due to the quality of the cheese. A variety of cheeses can be used. Kefalotiri is a traditional Greek cheese manufactured from ewe or goat's milk or a combination of the two. It has a salty and piquant taste and a unique rich aroma. Perfect for saganaki. A good substitute would be Kefalograviera which is a hard cheese of high quality with a slightly sweet taste; or Kasseri which is a semi-hard ewe or goats milk cheese. If none of these are available I am told you can substitute a good goats milk feta cheese.

Photo is taken of the grandmother during our delicious dinner at this families home overlooking the azure Agean Sea on the island of Kea.

**Saganaki** 8 oz cheese (see above)
  • 1/8 cup butter
  • 2 T fresh lemon juice
  • 2 T brandy or perhaps ouzo
1. Slice cheese into 1-inch wide, 2-inch long and 1/2-inch slices. Melt butter in a slow-fire frying pan. Fry the cheese in the pan for 3 - 4 minutes on each side, or until melted and lightly browned. Sprinkle with lemon juice, and serve the hot pan with crusty bread or pita breads.

2. Optional: Just before serving, pour the brandy or ouzo over the cheese and light up. Serve.

4 - 6 pieces serves 2 - 3 people

(The Saganaki photo was an afterthought and taken at Theoz Restaurant in Penticton, British Colmbia. Some of the best Greek food outside of Greece). Best Blogger Tips


  1. Fried cheese. It can't get better than that. Is there a cheese that works well? Would like to make this for my brunch on Saturday.

  2. Wow, fried cheese, how decadent! I am enjoying your musings of Greece. I can tell you miss it!

  3. Val, that photo...well I am speechless. It is beautiful! What a memory that one is for you! So happy that you had a good visit with your friend.

  4. Saganaki is great! I have been meaning to try it with ouzo for a while now.

  5. Ewww! Cheese heaven! You are torturing me here! I am still trying to be good!
    I think you have to go back to greece again soon!

  6. Love that photo with the goat! Is that a soda bottle?

  7. Nirmala, Kefalotiri cheese works best. We just buy saganaki cheese at our local market. Not sure what type it is, but , it sure is good!!!!
    Yes Aimee I would go back to Greece in a heartbeat!!!
    Deb..my friend and I had a fabulous 5 days!!!!
    Kevin, do try it with ouzo, but it is great without as well.
    Holler, I know you need to be good to fit into that wedding dress!!!
    Yes Andy, I think it is a soda bottle. But it does have goats milk in it I can attest to that!!!
    It was a very special day!!!!!Great memories there!!!

  8. There is a nipple called a pritchert nipple that fits over a coke bottle, FYI..I would know this since I raise goats.
    VAlli! That is wonderful..You and Dharm are about to derail my diet.

  9. I have been making this a lot lately so great to know I'm not alone. It's just so delicious!

  10. I love cheese! Now I must remember the name- Saganaki, so that I will not forget to order it in the Greek restaurant next time.

  11. The food and photos are giving me a warm relaxed feeling. I can almost smell the sea!

  12. I've always wanted to try this. If only I could get my hands on any of those cheeses.


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