It was a special occasion having a babysitter growing up, with my mother’s mother and her youngest sister living with us it wasn’t a perpetual event. However, my grandmother at times would stay with other family members and my aunt was a young lass so escaping in her red Camero without the three of us was understandable. On the rare occurrence when my parents did hire a babysitter from the block, we delighted only when it was one of the boys. The girls merely sat there timidly always apprehensive and uncertain never addressing the entertaining factor for young children—they simple didn’t cut it for us. Mike on the other hand, was always memorable. There was his bright red, wavy hair that made you giddily happy simply looking at him. Then there were the wrestling matches. Sure we had to maneuver the furniture temporarily around to create our mat space and sometimes there was blood, sweat and tears, but overall, I remembered how deliriously happy we were, especially when we all ganged up on top of Mike’s back. Demos wasn’t so physical with us. He would arrive with paddles, remember the ones with the red super ball stapled to it with an elastic band? And when the spirit of the paddles fizzled out, he would find something entertaining in the kitchen. One time with the help of his sister, we competed in an ice cream eating contest. We always had ample ice cream, five-gallon drums of at least three flavors (growing up with a restaurateur as a father we never went without a meal). Our bowls piled high with scoops of ice cream, hands behind our backs and faces smeared with cream…I couldn’t tell you who won, but we always wondered when Demos would be back to sit for us. Then there was the time, when Demos wanted to make us saganaki (even during Lent when we were supposed to be fasting from dairy…shhh.) The ingredients for this dish, has brandy, kefalotyri (cheese) and an open flame—need I say more. Just short of burning down our kitchen, we thought he was the greatest person in the world. So in honor of those crazy kitchen moments with Demos, I have whipped up a slightly modified version of saganaki on top of greens. Eat more greens in your nest—we are always trying to put a twist on a new almighty green in ours. Bon appetite!
Saganaki on top of Chinese Broccoli and Bok Choy
1 bunch Chinese Broccoli
1 bunch Bok Choy
a few Mushrooms
2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
4 cloves of Garlic
a pinch of shredded Ginger
a splash of Port or Brandy
a little fried cheese or Saganaki
Heat olive oil in a pan and sauté garlic and shredded ginger for three minutes. Add mushrooms, Chinese broccoli and Bok Choy (I prefer to slice the greens thinly lengthwise) for another three minutes. Don’t over sauté—you want the greens to retain their amazing crispiness. Remove from heat and place in a dish. Pour your favorite port or brandy in the hot pan and add your cheese of choice, graviera, kefalograviera, halloumi, kasseri, kefalotyri, or feta. I actually used Saint Andre French cheese in this photo and I added just a touch for flavor on top of the greens. Let the liquor of your choice simmer and reduce until cheese starts to melt. Turn off heat and allow the cheese to form again. Don’t wait too long to place the warm cheese on your bed of greens and season with a dash of salt, pepper and more olive oil and of course lemon. I tend to use a generous squeeze. Toss and enjoy!