Tuesday, 14 August 2012

ITTP Prague: Smazak (Fried Cheese)

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Smazak, the shortened version of Smazeny syr, means literally fried cheese. Fried cheese is served either on a plate with potatoes or french fries, or on its own in a bun. This is a perfect snack for when you have been out drinking and your stomach tells you to eat something fatty and preferably fried. Finding a place which sells Smazak in a bun is pretty easy - any of the Wenceslas Square food kiosks for example sell them - making it yourself though will ensure that you use fresh oil because I'm sure the oil those kiosks use is often days old. This is a very fatty snack but once you try it you'll be hooked for life. Czech style Eidam cheese is the more commonly used cheese for Smazak (and I think the best cheese option) but for this one I used all that was available: a small wheel of Camembert (Hermelin). This form of Smazak can be found in restaurants but the downside is that once you take a bite into the bun the cheese immediately oozes out, whereas with Eidam cheese it holds its form and is easier to eat. The process for making either cheese versions is exactly the same.

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1 small wheel of Camembert (Czech Hermelin syr)
1 egg
1 tablespoon of milk
Vegetable oil
Breadcrumbs (Strouhanka)
1 bread bun
A sachet of Tartar sauce
Salt and pepper


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Completely cover the cheese with flour.

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In a bowl mix the egg and milk and add the cheese so that the cheese is completely covered with this mixture. At this stage you should also season the cheese with salt and pepper.

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Cover the cheese in the breadcrumbs. Repeat the process by then placing the cheese back in the milk and egg mixture and then back in the breadcrumbs for a second time.

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Place oil into a pan, heat up the oil and fry the breaded cheese until it is a golden color. Spread the tartar sauce onto your bun, place the cheese on top and enjoy the sensation of eating this awesome snack.

Preparation Tip:

It's important not to use olive oil for the frying as a). olive oil would be too expensive and b). olive oil burns quicker than vegetable oil. Be very careful not to make the oil too hot and of course if in the worst case the pan should catch fire make sure that you have a damp cloth ready at hand to place over the pot (NEVER add water to the hot oil).

Pimp it up:

You could add something sweet instead of the tartar sauce, such as cranberry sauce. This would really bring out the flavor of the cheese. However, tartar sauce is traditionally served with smazak and also works really well. Drink a beer with this dish and you will be in Cesky Raj :-)

Hope it helps!

Dobrou chut!/Bon appetit!

Neville :-)