Greek flaming cheese, or saganaki, is a popular Greek appetizer. In fact, so popular is this hot cheesy delicacy, that in Greek culture it is often referred to as "opa," which is simply a expression of pure joy. In the Greek tradition, saganaki is delivered to the table sizzling in butter, at which point it is doused with brandy and set on fire. So not only is saganaki delicious, it is quite the scene-stealer and destined to be the hit of your party.
Things You'll Need
2 lbs. soft kasseri, kefalograviera or kofalotiri cheese
Oven-safe serving dish
5 1/2 tbsp. melted butter
1/4 cup warm brandy
1 lemon (halved)
Fried or toasted pita chips
Preheat oven to broil. Prepare your serving table with pita chips and 1 halved lemon.
Slice 2 lbs. fresh, soft kasseri, kefalograviera or kofalotiri cheese into 2-inch wedges. Lay the wedges into an oven-safe serving dish.
Melt 5 1/2 tbsp. butter in the microwave or on the stove. Do not allow the butter to boil.
Pour melted butter over cheese wedges. Place cheese in oven and broil, 5 inches from heat, for 5 to 6 minutes or until cheese is light brown and bubbly.
Warm 1/4 cup brandy in your microwave for 15 to 25 seconds. Place it on your serving table with the pita chips and lemon halves.
Remove cheese from oven and immediately take it to your serving table. Pour warm brandy over cheese. Ignite with candle lighter.
Squeeze lemon halves over cheese to extinguish flames. Enjoy with fried or toasted pita chips. Serves 12 to 15.
If you are unable to find kasseri or kofalotiri cheese, use fresh, whole milk mozzarella cheese.
Flames can jump high when cheese and brandy are first ignited; stand back and take reasonable precautions.