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Appetizers + Tapas, Food + Drink, Food Recipes, Imported

sizzling cheese saganaki

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Heat up the flames of passion with this wonderful Greek classic–saganaki. When saganaki is served in a Greek restaurant, often the waiter or chef brings the dish to the table and pours an ouzo-based sauce over the grilled cheese then ignites the dish for a dazzling effect. As you bask in the fiery glow, the waiter and patrons give a festive shout out –OPA, a Greek word used to express joy or approval. A real show stopper, this recipe is sure to win the heart of that special someone.

I fell in love with this dish while dining at Molyvos in NYC. I had to buy the cookbook to learn how to make this classic dish with a twist: the added seduction of a butter lemon sauce poured over the cheese doused in ouzo.

Saganaki can be served as an appetizer or as part of a mix of meze or tapas dishes. Or better yet, as a main dish for a sexy midnight snack for two. Now that will definitely set the tone of what’s to follow.


flaming_saganaki.jpg
Ingredients
Three 8-oz pieces of Haloumi Cheese
1 cup cornstarch
About 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
about 1/2 cup blended olive oil
6 Tbsp Ouzo

2 cups Chicken Stock
Juice of 2 lemons
Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper
1/2 lb (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Cooking the Cheese
Start by cutting each piece of cheese with a serrated knife in equal size slices (3 per serving). Place the cornstarch on a shallow dish. Lightly coat each piece of cheese on all sides. Set aside.

Place the oils to a depth of 1/4″ in a large skillet and heat over very high heat until very hot but not smoking.

Add the coated cheese slices without crowding the skillet. You may have to do this in batches. Fry for about 2 minutes or until golden. Turn and fry the other side for another minute or two until golden brown.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cheese to a double layer of paper towels to drain. Prepare the lemon sauce.

Lemon Sauce – Makes about 2 cups
2 cups Chicken Stock
Juice of 2 lemons
Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper
1/2 lb (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Place the stock in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to boil, Lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until reduced by half

Add lemon juice along with a pinch of salt. When hot, begin whisking in the butter a few pices at a time.

When the butter has been completely incorporated and the sauce is emulsified cover, reserve, and keep warm. When ready to serve, fold in the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Plating the Dish / Fire it Up!
Heat up the lemon sauce again to get it hot. Turn the flame off. Place
3 pieces of cheese in a HOT saganaki (or other heat proof) dish. Plate
both dishes in this manner. The key to getting a good flame is that the
dish is hot. Take the dishes to the table and spoon a tablespoon of
ouzo over each one. Be sure there is nothing above or near the dish
that will catch fire.  Using a fireplace match oro a long butane
lighter, ignite the ouzo, allowing it to burn out.

Pour the
hot lemon sauce over the top and enjoy the spectacle. Repeat with your
second dish.  Pour yourself a really good bottle of Greek white wine,
toast and give a good shout- OPA!

saganaki.jpg

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About the author / 

Terry Dagrosa

Terry Dagrosa, founder and publisher of SeductionMeals.com. As President of Digital Marketing Collective and Tara del Mar Productions, she has extensive experience in sales, design, digital marketing and social media. "Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget, so we’re thrilled to introduce our very special and highly-talented contributors and friends.  They’ll share their mouth-watering recipes, cheeky anecdotes and delightfully creative perspectives with all of us. Be sure to check out their websites and follow them, too – we promise you’ll learn to love and cherish them as much as we do!" xoxo

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About Seduction Meals

Seduction Meals is about Food + Romance, and everything in-between. . . a sumptuous menu, alluring presentation, sensuous music, luscious cocktails and the right ambiance. Like a precious gift, preparing a romantic meal for two is about making that certain someone feel extra special. With just the right combination of ambience and culinary delights, you too can create a memorable, delicious experience for your loved one. Seduction Meals. Everyone has one - what's YOURS?

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Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away.