Award-winning Chef Phyllis Segura has cooked for people in all walks of life both in the U.S. and E.U. Chef Phyllis has been cooking for special people since 2000.
She attended the Apicius Cooking School of Lorenzo de’Medici in Florence, Italy; received a James Beard Foundation scholarship; attended various New York cooking schools; and watched her grandmother very carefully.
As a personal and private chef Phyllis cooks for individual clients and offers cooking demonstrations regularly. She specializes in small elegant dinner parties, and intimate dinners - plated or buffet, weekday meals and private and group culinary instructions.
The chef prepares a wide variety of cuisines. Whereas a restaurant chef might have a specialty that is served daily, as a personal or private chef Segura applies her skills to the requirements and palates of her clients. Fresh and seasonal ingredients make the best dishes. She is not shy with herbs and spices and will go out of her way to source ingredients.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Macrobiotic, Kosher, grain-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, blood type, diabetic and other special diets are available. Chef prefers to use organic, pesticide and antibiotic free, non-GMO and local products as much as possible.
Consultations with nutritionists are recommended for special needs and diets for proper guidelines.

References and a rate sheet are available. She currently lives in Saugerties, NY.
In 2013 she offered cooking classes in her home kitchen in Spencertown,NY www.reddoorcookingworkshop.blogspot.com

Send an email: info@cookingontheriver.com

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

RUGELACH (repeat recipe)

makes 3 dozen

For the dough:
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups sifted AP flour

Blend the butter and cream cheese together with a hand blender or stand mixer until fluffy and well combined. Add the salt. Add the flour a cup at a time. Blend in by hand with a wooden spoon or a silicon spatula. It should come together easily. Knead the dough very briefly, then divide it into three sections, roll into a flattened ball and wrap well in plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

For the filling:
½ cup granulated or turbinado sugar
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
½ cup preserves, either raspberry or apricot
¾ cup currants or sultanas
1-1/4 cups walnuts, finely chopped
optional additions: use other nuts, like pecans or almonds, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, etc.

Glaze: 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 teaspoon of water.
Confectioners sugar, optional

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon together. Melt the butter in a small pan and stir in the preserves to melt, then cool.

When ready to make the rugelach take the dough out of the refrigerator about half an hour prior. Sprinkle flour all over the dough and on the table and on the rolling pin. Roll out to a 12 or 13-inch diameter. It’s okay if the edges are a bit uneven.

On the rolled out dough brush the butter/preserves mixture all over. Sprinkle the sugar/cinnamon mixture over that. Then sprinkle the walnuts and currants or raisins, if using. Roll the rolling pin lightly over the top to set the filling in the dough. If some of the mixture gets on the rolling pin, brush it off with a little bit of flour.

With a pastry cutter or large knife cut the dough into quarters. Section each quarter into thirds (or more if you want small rugelach). Roll up each wedge from the wide end to the point. Turn the ends in to form a crescent. Don’t let too much ooze out as it could burn.

Place each rugelach on a parchment covered baking sheet about
1-inch apart. Continue with the two remaining balls of dough. Brush the glaze on top of each rugelach. Sprinkle with some of the left over sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Bake 30 minutes. Turn and reverse the sheets half way through, or after 15 minutes. Take out and cool on a wire rack. Optionally, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.

Sunday, September 03, 2017


With early September tomatoes it’s worth making a luscious tart. Who needs pizza when you can make this? The fresh tastes and combination of flavors can bring tears to your eyes. I experimented making this to bring to a music and poetry salon in the mountains surrounding Woodstock, NY. I used a rectilinear pan, like the kind used for making a French apple tart, but finding a platter long and narrow can be a problem. Make it in a round pan placing the tomato slices all around and layer them toward the center, or vice verse. Either way it will be a hit. You may want to make two. It’s the ultimate seasonal dish. Can’t freeze it. Can’t store it. Nope. Just enjoy.


The dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon organic cane sugar + 2 teaspoons
4 ounces (1 stick) salted butter + 2 tablespoons
½ cup ice water

Place the flour and sugar in a food processor and pulse to blend. Cut up 4 ounces or 1 stick of butter and add to the flour. Pulse to blend. Add enough water to make everything just barely stick together into a ball. Take out on to a flour sprinkled surface and knead a bit to bring together. Then make into a flattened ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate an hour or overnight.

Take out the pie dough and let it rest about 15-20 minutes or just enough so that you can roll it out. The warmth of your hand can move this process along. If you are using a rectangular tart pan, roll out the dough to fit. For a round pan, do the same. There should be an overhang in either case. Take the rolling pin and roll it over the edge to cut the dough. Put the pan with the dough into the freezer (or refrigerator) for at least 20 minutes to get good an cold. Then fill.

Set the Oven to 375°F. and allow to come to temperature.

2-3 tablespoons Mayonnaise
1 full tablespoon, Basil chopped
Extra-virgin Olive oil
6-8 Tomatoes, medium size, ¼ inch slice, core removed
1/2 teaspoon Thyme leaves
Ground black pepper
2 teaspoons lemon zest, finely chopped (optional)
Coarse salt, Malden
Parmigiano-Reggiono or Grana Padano cheese

If you purchase a bunch of basil and want to preserve it without making pesto first, chop it finely, place it in a glass jar and cover it with olive oil. Use a full tablespoon of it to mix with the mayonnaise. Smear a thin but adequate layer on the pastry dough in the tart pan.

Place the sliced tomatoes on top of the basil mayonnaise in neat rows. For the rectilinear pan place about three overlapping slices across the short side and keep layering until the pan is full. See photo. Using your fingers, rub the thyme and toss over the tomatoes. Do the same with freshly ground black pepper and chopped lemon zest. (You could use a good quality lemon pepper here.) No salt yet.

Place on a sheet pan and bake in the center of the oven until golden, about 20-35 minutes. The crust will brown a bit and the tomatoes will glisten.

Remove to a rack. Sprinkle the coarse salt. Take a fork and plunk it into some honey then quickly drizzle just a little over the tart…like a wand. Using a peeler, scrape the cheese to fall helter-skelter over the tart. Finally, drizzle a bit – not too much - of condiment quality extra-virgin olive oil over the top. Let cook. Remove from the mold. Watch this disappear. (Cut a slice for yourself to be sure.)


Sunday, August 13, 2017

August Bachelor Party 2017


Lenny B’s Smoked Trout with butter & pickled onions on Crostini
Hookline’s Smoked Salmon with goat cheese & chives on Crostini
Avocado with goat cheese & parsley on Crostini 

Amuse Bouche: handmade Croatian Bread with olives, herbs & onion

Composed Salad: Arugula, spicy mesclun, parsley, mint, pecans, blue cheese
Pickled beets and pickled miniature cucumbers
Citrus Vinaigrette

Heirloom tomatoes & orange slices drizzled with honey & black pepper
Crispy Bacon & Marinated Shrimp      
Grilled Hanger Steak from Applestone Meats
Venison brochettes from Highland Farms

Caramelized Onions / Chimichurri Sauce / Cognac & Parsley compound butter

Grilled Vegetables on a bed of rice noodles

Peruvian Purple potatoes with Peanut Sauce
& hard-boiled eggs, roasted red pepper, Ricotta Salata

Grilled Corn-on-the-cob with Basil Pesto Mayo    
Cheese Platter with local honey & spreads
Kunik: Nettle Meadow Warrensburg, NY–Goat And Cow
Humboldt Fog: Cypress Grove, California
Raspberry Herb Tea Cheese: Brovetto Dairy, Harpersfield, NY
Five-Year Aged Gouda:  Dutch
Rhubarb Ginger Chutney – Atina Foods, Catskill, NY
Ginger Orange Infused Honey – Phoenicia Honey Co., Phoenicia, NY
Grape Cherry Spread – House made
Peach Galettes with Chantilly Cream

Sunday, June 25, 2017


I tend to make long lists when I go grocery shopping for dinner parties. I need to use them to check that I've gotten everything and not to forget one thing. It's a real practice in organization. Sometimes people stop me in grocery stores to marvel at the extent of the lists. I thought it might be fun to post a few.

This is a drawing of a first course dish.

Thursday, May 04, 2017


Get ready to listen to this. Will post the podcast when it is up. Go to the facebook page: Eating It in the Hudson Valley to make comments and suggestions. Connections with local farms, chefs and producers of goods especially welcome.

You are invited to listen to my new radio show on WGXC 90.7 FM. Hands on community radio for Greene & Columbia counties. "Eating It...in the Hudson Valley" The first broadcast is at 3PM until 3:30PM, Tuesday, May 16th. First guest is organic revolutionary Grace Gershuny. Future shows will cover all topics food-related: agriculture, farmers, farms, farm workers, local food producers (upper Hudson Valley), foragers, farm to school, food policy, food justice, chefs, restauranteurs - and most definitely RECIPES. There will also be a podcast. Use the facebook page to ask questions and get the written recipes when they are posted. A blog may be added later.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


This is an easy spread to put together and it’s both vegan and vegetarian. Usually brown lentils are used but when I made this the other day I only had yellow and orange ones – both Indian pantry staples – so that is what I used. If you don’t have any shallot then use a small onion and a garlic clove. Use whatever mushrooms you have on hand or a combination. The tastes will change slightly with different ingredients but the basic pate or spread will be much the same. I like to serve it on pumpernickel bread or crackers with some pickled red onion on top.


(makes about 1 cup)

1 medium shallot, minced
6 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to coat
5-6 mushrooms, rinsed – caps and stems, cremini or other, chopped
½ cup lentils, yellow, orange or brown
½ cup walnuts, toasted
pinch dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
freshly ground black pepper

1-  Warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium-sized frying pan and add the shallot to sauté until well cooked.

2-  Add the mushrooms to the shallot, adding more oil, if necessary, add the thyme. Stir occasionally. Sauté until soft and cooked through. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

3-  Meanwhile, rinse the lentils in a strainer. Boil about 1-1/2 cups of water and a pinch of salt in a saucepan and add the lentils to cook though about 15-18 minutes. Taste to test doneness. When soft, drain and add to a food processor.

4-  Toast the walnuts in a frying pan, tossing frequently. Remove and set aside. Let them cool.  Optionally, if you want to remove some of the skins (they can be bitter) rub them between your hands.

5-  Add the rest of the ingredients to the lentils in the food processor: the walnuts, mushrooms and shallot. Process, scraping down the sides, add salt and pepper (to your taste), the Dijon. Drizzle in the olive oil to moisten. When everything is smoothly combined, remove to a jar. Drizzle olive oil on top then seal the jar. Keep refrigerated. Bring to room temperature to serve.