Fried Saganaki Recipe
A simple fried cheese appetizer, as taught to me by the chefs at Nikos Turbo Service on the Greek island of Folegandros
- 1 wedge or block of Kaseri cheese (for those in Los Angeles, it is available at Bay Cities Italian Deli)
- 1/2 cup of flour
- 1-2 eggs (depending on how much cheese you want to fry)
- Sunflower oil (vegetable oil would work fine as well)
- 1-2 Lemons
- 3 sprigs of Italian parsley, washed, dried and finely chopped
- Pour some flour onto a plate. The amount doesn’t matter, since it’s for dredging— so just use enough to coat the bottom of the plate. If you need more, just pour more.
- Crack an egg, beat it, then pour it on another plate. Once again, if you end up needing more, just repeat this step.
- Depending on what shape the cheese is when you buy it, you’ll want to cut it differently. But basically, you want a piece that is roughly 1/4”-1/2” thick. At the taverna it is usually one large square, but it’s hard to find kaseri in shapes other than wedges, so I usually end up cutting big triangles.
- In a medium pan or iron skillet, pour enough oil to fill the pan up about 1/4”-1/2”.
- Bring the pan over a medium heat.
- Dredge both sides of your cheese in egg, then flower, then egg again, then flour again. That’s right. You’re double breading it. So that’s egg, flour, egg, flour.
- Carefully lay the dredged cheese into the pan. If you have a big pan and your cheese pieces aren’t too big, you can fry two at a time.
- (Basic cooking technique will tell you that you want the oil hot enough so that when you place the object inside the oil, it will bubble immediately, but not be so high that it burns. That is certainly true, but at Nikos Turbo Service, they actually put the cheese in the oil and then turn the heat on. Is it the way you would be taught in cooking school? No. But I’ll tell you it comes out damn fine this way too.)
- Once it’s bubbling, you want to leave it be for a minute, then check the bottom. Once it is turning golden brown and crispy, you can turn it over and start to fry the other side.
- (The nice thing about frying cheese is that all that matters is the crust. With meat, you have to worry that the food is cooked properly inside. With cheese, once the outside is crispy, the inside will be gooey.)
- Once both sides are golden and you have a crumbly, crispy crust, you can lay it on the paper towel lined plate.
- Transfer the fried cheese to a clean plate and sprinkle a little chopped parsley on top.
- Serve with a halved lemon and instruct yourself or your guests to squeeze its juice over the top. Like anything fried, it is best consumed soon after preparation
- Eat and enjoy.
Member recipes are not tested by the CHOW food team.