I was on vacation on the Greek island of Mykonos with my two friends, Richie and Sam, the first time I saw it.
Waiters carrying flaming dishes.
As they placed the dishes on the table they would say, “Opa!” A big wedding party reception was being held at the restaurant, which had an incredible view overlooking the Mediterranean. I called the waiter over and asked him what the dish was. “Saganaki, a Greek cheese!” (Crashing noises.) We were distracted by people throwing plates into a fireplace. “What’s with that?” I asked the waiter.
He said it was a Greek wedding tradition. So of course we couldn’t break the tradition… we threw some plates too.
Saganaki flaming cheese:
One pound of Kefalotyri cheese
Couple of tablespoons of olive oil
2 ounces of brandy
½ cup of flour
Pre-heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
Place 1/2 inch sliced cheese under running tap water then dredge through flour.
Add olive oil to skillet, then the sliced cheese and sear on both sides.
Shut off stove and pour the brandy over the cheese.
Light with a match or lighter, as it flames yell “OPA!” Squeeze wedge of lemon on cheese and serve. (If you really want to be all Greek use Metaxas Brandy.)