Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Georgian recipes: fried Suluguni cheese

Fried Suluguni cheese / Praetud Suluguni juust

This recipe is mostly for my readers in countries where you can easily buy the Georgian Suluguni cheese. That pretty much means former USSR, as well as countries with sizeable number of Georgian or Russian migrants (look for "Russian shops" then). Although there are other cheeses that can be fried like this, they wouldn't taste the same, so I'm not even going to suggest any other alternatives.

If you are based in Tallinn, then please look for the cheese at Tallinn Central Market, where several vendors sell white cheese rounds, weighing about 1 kg/2 pounds each, at the main market hall. There are two main makers - the Kehra cheese being slightly saltier and the Vaida cheese slightly milder in flavour. It's recommended you buy the whole round - use half of it for for this recipe and the rest for making khatchapuri, the Georgian cheese bread.

Fried Suluguni cheese
(Praetud Suluguni juust)
Serves six to eight as nibble

500 g Suluguni cheese
2 Tbsp plain flour
butter, for frying
finely chopped fresh mint or tarragon

Cut the cheese into thick slices, dust with flour.
Heat butter on a heavy frying pan over a moderate heat. Fry the cheese slices on both sides, until golden brown.
Sprinkle with fresh herbs and serve at once.

For a gluten-free alternative: omit the flour (you won't get as nice and crispy finish, but it'll taste as gorgeous).


Elis said...

See on lihtsalt imehea! Sulugun on üldse üks suurepärane juustusort, aga sellisel kujul vist isegi kõige parem.

easy recipe said...

Can I use basil in this recipe?

Pille said...

Aitäh, Elis!

EasyRecipe - of course you can use any herbs you like, but mint or fresh tarragon would give a more 'authentic' flavour :)

Kalyn said...

Never heard of this cheese, but I wish I could taste it!

A in NL said...

It looks a bit like halloumi. Do you know how it differs from halloumi in flavour?

Pille said...

Kalyn - come visit! :)

A in NL - it's not as much the difference in taste (both are rather salty and acidic), but texture. Halloumi is much more squidgy and "crisper" and not nearly as melting as suluguni. Mozzarella, on the other hand, would be too creamy and soft for this recipe...

A in NL said...

Thanks for the explanation. If I'm ever in Estonia maybe I'll try making my favorite halloumi salad[*] using this cheese!

[*] Salad with Halloumi
- mixed lettuce leaves
- strawberries or pomegranate, depending on what's in season
- basil
- halloumi
- crema di balsalmico

If using strawberries, cut them and marinate a bit in the crema to get a nice deep color. If you're using the pomegranate instead, use that time to remove all the seeds (I recommend immersing it in water so the pith floats to the top). Mix the fruit in with the lettuce when ready to serve. Put some crema on it as well. Cut the halloumi into small pieces and stick a piece of basil on top of each. Fry until light golden, then turn over and get the basil side until it, too, is golden. Arrange the halloumi around the salad. The salty flavour of the cheese contrasts nicely with the fresh fruit.

Capability Mom said...

Wow - this looks amazing! Glad to find your site.

cheese India said...

Hey that's a good blog. There are many cheese company in the local market. The recipe is very good. I will try it. Thank you.

Kelly K said...

That looks SO delicious -- anything like Kaseri cheese (saganaki?) When I made it I used a little beaten egg before the flour . . .

LD said...

Easy to find this cheese in parts of New York City, Brighton Beach has lots for example, and probably the Queens communities too.

Have to try is fried as straight it's not very distinctive...