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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Saturday, March 18, 2006

Crespelle alla Fiorentina

Here is a recipe for some delicious crepes that I have been making for years. I learned the recipe while studying in Florence. Customarily, crepes are covered with bechamel sauce but these have a tomato sauce applied. The fillings can be variable depending upon your tastes and the rest of the menu. The ricotta is a good binder and I have been using the low-fat version.

Serves 6 to 8

For the Crepes:
1 cup flour
½ cup milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup water
pinch salt
1 tablespoon (plus ¼ cup) olive oil
Process it all together. Or make it by hand: gradually add the milk to the flour beating vigorously, then add the eggs, salt, olive oil and water. Beat until smooth. Leave to rest for at least half an hour. Either use a crepe pan or a non-stick frying pan to make the crepes. Usually the first one is just a tester. Heat the pan well and add the ¼ cup olive oil to heat. Pour the heated oil into a container that you will keep by the side of the stove.
Every time you want to make another crepe, take a little of the already warmed oil from the container. Okay. With the pan at medium to medium-high heat, pour a ¼ cup of batter into the pan. Move the pan so that the batter covers the surface making a nice round. As soon as the crepe sets turn it over and cook the other side. Repeat, staking the crepes into a pile. Keep warm. Or, you can make the crepes in advance and freeze them.

For the filling:
1-2 packages frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
1 pound ricotta cheese
pinch of nutmeg, freshly ground
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Drain and squeeze out the liquid from the spinach. Add the ricotta, nutmeg, salt and pepper and mix very well.

For the sauce:
1 large can chopped plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano type
1 red onion, small chop
fresh garlic to taste, minced or large pieces, your choice
olive oil
salt and black pepper
Saute the onion in the olive oil. Once the onion is wilted add the garlic and sauté.
Stir in the tomatoes, salt and pepper. Let the mixture simmer for about 20 minutes.
Taste and see. If the tomatoes are slightly bitter, don’t be afraid to add a pinch of sugar or a teaspoon of honey. This is not a very cooked sauce and it will be cooked again in the oven.

To Assemble:
Oven 425F.
Put a small amount of the tomato sauce at the bottom of a ceramic or glass oven dish. Fill each crepe with a generous amount of filling, then roll up and arrange side by side the dish. Pour the sauce over the crespelle. You don’t have to use it all; sometimes just a covering is enough. Sprinkle some fresh Parmigiano cheese and/or mozzarella on the top if you like. A little bit of olive oil sprinkled on the top is nice too, but if you are counting calories leave it out. Bake for about 20 minutes or until it is all bubbling nicely.
Chef tip: adding a little uncooked olive oil over the top right before serving is a very Florentine touch.

The crepes will be pillow-y soft and unctuous to the taste. These can be served in individual portions for a starter or several as a main dish.

Don’t forget a light red wine to drink with these crepes.