Welcome!

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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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

AWARD-WINNING DELICIOUS NEWS

Last night, January 31st, was the Annual Winter Potluck for the New York Women’s Culinary Alliance. This year’s theme was Chinese New Year. The event was totally sold out as all the members like to come to this gathering and see and meet each other. The membership is comprised of women in all areas of the culinary field. About 120 members gathered this year at the Institute for Culinary Education (ICE) on 23rd Street in Manhattan. Gotham Wine Mart supplied all the wines and alcoholic beverages.

Three prizes were awarded: one for the best presentation; most delicious, and best use of theme. I won for most delicious! The prize was a beautiful Analon non-stick wok. My good friend, Judy, won for best presentation with her fried dumplings with stir fried napa cabbage. The best use of theme was for a dish of jelly fish that also tasted good.

The dish I made was Soy Sauce Chicken. This is something I have often purchased ready-prepared in Chinatown, but I learned how to make it almost as good. The way I do it, it is almost a reverse marinade. First I boil the chicken in the marinade and then let it sit in the juices. Making it the day before seals in the flavors. And, the marinade, once strained, becomes a master sauce than can be used again and again.

Here is the basic recipe from the Chinese Cooking book of the TimeLifeBooks Foods of the World series, followed by what I did:

1 4-5 pound roasting chicken
2 cups cold water
2 cups soy sauce
¼ cup Chinese rice wine, or pale dry sherry
5 slices peeled, fresh ginger root
about 1 inch in diameter and 1/8 inch thick
1 whole star anise, or 8 sections star anise
¼ cup rock candy broken into small pieces,
or substitute 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon sesame-seed oil

I used: approximately!
8 pounds chicken wings, separated and well-washed
1 cup light tamari
1 cup double black soy sauce
½ cup of thick soy sauce
1 cup Shao Hsing [Shaoxing] rice wine
1 cup or more cold water
½ pyramid of piloncillo sugar
½-1 cup light brown sugar
8 slices fresh ginger with peel
5-6 star anise
1 tablespoon Sechuan peppercorns, roasted
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon anise seeds
2-3 cinnamon sticks, or Chinese cassia bark*
4-5 pieces dried orange or tangerine peel**

Boil everything up to the ginger together and stir until the sugars melt.
Put the rest of the ingredients into some cheesecloth and tie it up. Or just add the spices to the marinade and strain them out later. Boil together for a few minutes. Taste to see if more soy or water, and so forth, is required.

If you are using chicken wings put them in now. Or, if you are using a whole chicken, you can put that in at this time. Bring it back to a boil while immersing all the chicken parts. Lower to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 20-30 minutes, depending on the size and quantity of the chicken. Then turn off the heat, cover the pot and let the chicken marinate 2 to 3 hours.

If you have cooked the whole chicken, take it out and cut the chicken up ‘Chinese-style’, which means hack or chop the pieces across the bones with a cleaver. If you used the chicken wings, just leave them.

If you make this a day or two in advance, refrigerate the chicken with a little sauce. Strain the sauce, or take out the cheesecloth sack with the spices, and pour into a clean container. It is now a master sauce and can be refrigerated for about 2 weeks or put into the freezer for several months. When you want to make Soy Sauce Chicken again you can add a bit more of everything to refresh the sauce and use it again.

To reheat: Preheat oven at 350F and lay the chicken out flat until it is warmed through, about 15 minutes.

To serve: pile up and brush with roasted sesame oil, sprinkle with chopped green onions. If you like, put some of the warmed sauce on the side. Don't forget the chili sauce in a little bowl. Eat with fingers.

Notes:
*The bark-like cassia is better for this, but I had run out of it, so I used the common cinnamon sticks
**If you peel an orange carefully, without the white pith, and let it dry, you have dried orange peel (or tangerine, or grapefruit...whatever)

I used the piloncillo sugar because I had it for a long time. It lasts forever and is a good substitute. If you only have white sugar, you could use that too.
There is no good substitute for the Sechuan Peppercorns.

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