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Greek Fried Cheese (Saganaki)

A visit to a Greek restaurant anywhere in the world is likely to feature waiters setting this dish ablaze and parading it through the room, accompanied by an appreciative "OPA!" from the guests.

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • 1/2 pound kasseri cheese*, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

* Available in finer supermarkets and Middle Eastern specialty shops. Parmesan or Romano cheese may be substituted.

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Instructions

  1. Heat the butter in a large heavy skillet over moderate heat.
  2. Beat the egg and flour together, and dip the cheese slices into the mixture. Fry until well browned on both sides.
  3. Remove from the heat and add the brandy. Carefully ignite the brandy with a match, and shake the skillet until the flame is extinguished.
  4. Squeeze the lemon juice over the cheese, and serve from the skillet along with crusty bread.

Serves 6 to 8.