WHAT IS SAGANAKI?
It is a Mediterranean twist on grilled cheese. Saganaki is a classic Greek appetizer that is oh-so-simple yet oh-so-irrestistible. The name comes from the type of pan this recipe is made in Traditionally made with Graviera a sheep’s milk cheese from the island of Crete you can also use Kefalotyri an ancient cheese made in Cyprus as well as Greece. These firm cheese stand up well to the frying process necessary for this delicious dish.
SUGGESTIONS WHEN MAKING SAGANAKI
- Gluten Free Possible Too
To make Sagnaki, you first have to dredge the cheese slices in flour but you can use gluten free flours too. Try to find one without xanthan gum, or better yet just use plain rice flour–you’ll get a crispy crust and a melty center.
- Olive Oil Is Important
As we always say, choose your olive oil wisely–it can make or break a dish, especially a simple dish like like this one where it is one of the key components. Choose a good quality Greek olive oil to keep this dish truly authentic. But if you can’t find a good Greek one, then just go with any good extra virgin olive oil.
WHAT PAIRS WELL WITH SAGANAKI?
A white Sauvignon Blanc wine, Chenin Blanc or even a Riesling can work. If you’re feeling more traditional then the anise flavor of Ouzo is a good call. In the case of flambe, part of the flavor you’re pairing to is whatever alcohol you use to light the cheese on fire. While the alcohol will quickly burn off, the rest of the liquid’s flavor will remain. This dish is often served with bread, seafood like mussels or shrimp. (written by Chef Stef)