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

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Sunday, March 09, 2008




Cheese and Accompaniments of the Mediterranean


On February 27th I went to a program of the New York Women’s Culinary Alliance presented by the Manager of Murray’s by Mail, Amy Sisti, and Michele Buster of Forever Cheese. Wines were donated by C & P Wines, NY.

The program was presented in the glass-walled second floor auditorium overlooking the cheese shop on Bleecker Street, seating 24. Tables were precisely and generously set with full platters of cheeses and six wine glasses. Michele, with a slide presentation, told about the producers of the cheeses and condiments she joyfully finds and imports from Spain, Portugal and Italy.

We tasted Aragones, a cow milk cheese from Spain, paired with sparkling Campassos Brut Cava and Fig Jam. Followed by an Italian cow milk cheese from Piemonte, the ancient semi-firm Castelrosso, paired with a Rose, Castellroig Rosat Vi de Terrer, and Marcona Almonds in Rosemary Honey from a Co-op.

All the while Michele stressed the importance of having fun with pairing and tasting as different combinations could be put together with the flick of the tongue.

Next tasted was a rosemary coated goat cheese, Cabra Romero, very white and mild, also paired with the Cava and a luscious, raw, Spanish lavender honey.

The fourth cheese, Malvarosa, from milk of a rare, Valencia native breed of sheep, the Guirra, formed by knotting in cheesecloth. This was paired with a red Sonsierra Crianza, and a thick, earthy and delectable Arrope Jam made of concentrated grape and candied pumpkin.

Number five was a goat milk cheese, PataCabra that paired nicely with a tangy Pear Mostarda and the red and oak-y Rejadorado Temple from Toro.

This was followed with a salty, spicy, and smoky (from paprika), Toledo cheese from Portugal, made from a blend of milks. Michele suggested pairing this with the special Largueto Almonds and a bright and fruity white wine, Ermita de Nieve Verdejo.

The final cheese tasted, Michele’s best seller, was the Fulvi Pecorino Romano, a tangy hard cheese made in the Roman countryside from all sheep milk, that paired well with a Lambrusco Wine Jelly and the full-bodied red Rejodorado Temple.

We left to purchase some of the items offered, and to battle a cold night with strong winds, having been fortified by these products from the sunny Mediterranean warming our innards.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

FARMS, TRIPS AND INVENTIONS

February was a great month for looking forward. I attended a meeting for the organization of a new Farm Alliance in Rockland County. There were 400 farms here in 1950 and only 5 now. The Farm Alliance is going to work toward bringing more farms to the County and that will mean, hopefully, more local foods. If you see any land that could be a nice farm, get in touch. Stay tuned.


Executive Chef Lucas
I took a trip to the Electrolux headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. They don't just make vacuum cleaners! I'm going to go to the Chicago Home Show in April to do a chef demonstration on the ultra amazing and futuristic looking Meltoni Podium. I'll be posting photos later.The stove pictured here is one of the older Meltoni ovens that are custom built to chefs' specifications.

Meltoni Stove

My old friend and teacher, Noedrup Rongae was in New York to exhibit his thangka paintings. I provided a small reception for the event and created some interesting new appetizers. Here is the menu:
Lox w/Yogurt Mint Sauce

Barley BiscottiSteak w/Mustard Caper Butter



Fig & Cashew Balls (recipe follows)

Dates Stuffed w/Goat Cheese and Crushed Almonds

Biscot
ti w/ Barley Flour, Rose, Anise Seeds & Pistachios - chocolate dipped

Smoked Salmon on Pumpernickel w/Yogurt Mint Sauce

Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade on Zatar Roasted Naan Strips w/ Pimento Olives

Mushroom Pate (fooled everyone who thought it was liver)

Roast Beef Slices w/Pickle & Cocktail Onion on Crostini w/Mustard-Caper Butter

Spicy Dri
ed Chickpeas & Pakora Crisps

Pineapple chunks, Carrot Sticks, Purple Grapes

Fig and Cashew Balls
Fig and Cashew Balls Recipe:
a package circle of dried figs, cut off the stems and cut into small pieces
3/4 cups roasted cashew nuts
2-3 ounces marzipan
1/4 cup or more Marsala
cocoa powder

Put everything except the cocoa powder into a food processor and pulse until completely pureed. You may need to scrape it down from time to time. The mixture should be fairly thick but pliable. Add more Marsala if you like. Take out of the processor with a spatula and put into a bowl. Refrigerate about half an hour. Sift the cocoa powder into a bowl. Then take out the fig mixture and roll into balls about one inch in diameter. Roll the balls in the cocoa powder. Serve immediately or place in a container and refrigerate. I haven't tested how long they will last in the fridge but probably no longer than three days. You could also make these three days in advance.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

MAKE SURE YOU'RE NOT IN HOT WATER

This article from the New York Times cautions not to drink hot water directly from the tap.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/29/health/29real.html?em&ex=1201842000&en=ab43b4a602dc318b&ei=5087%0A

Sunday, January 20, 2008

VISIT TO THE ROGOWSKI FARM IN PINE ISLAND, NY







I’d wanted to visit the Rogowski Farm for a long time now and yesterday, Saturday the 19th, was the day. A cold and breezy day in mid-winter might not sound like the best day to visit a farm but then again, why not.





Another chef I’d met at the Rockland Better School Food Coalition conference in September, Cathy Vogt (www.anaturalchef.com), was teaching one of her monthly classes in their kitchen facility; I thought I’d catch up with her. She was teaching some simple natural foods, for people who wanted to change their diets, using Miso, Tamari, Ginger, Beans and Squashes and whatever was growing in the Farm’s winter tunnels. I tasted some of the mixed bean stew and red quinoa, a shiitake-kombu broth, and an orange and ginger squash stew, all of which revived me from the hour long drive. It was a nice ride through the mountains and through the open fields. My eyes caught the occasional cows lolling in mud and some sculptural rusted out farm equipment. All surrounded by the big sky. I got to buy some wintered root vegetables and greet the Rogowski’s. (www.rogowskifarm.net)

This is how you get there: Take 287, the New York State Thruway north, to 17N (Sloatsburg). Go through Tuxedo until you see the sign for 17A to Greenwood Lake, 8 miles - then a bear left at the end of town, another 6 miles through the ups and downs of the mountain pass road and you are in Warwick. When you reach the end you will be at Route 94 having to decide to go right, into Warwick village, or left. Go left and keep going until you get to a light at CR-1; there is an arrow pointing to Pine Island. Take a right and keep going over hill and dale -- until you come to Pine Island. There you will see a place on the left called the Jolly Onion Inn. Take a left on to Glenwood Road and drive about another 3 or 4 miles - on the right is Rogowski Farm. In front are some rustic signs. If you pass it, just turn around and come back. I forgot to take a picture of the front -next time.
If you look on Mapquest you will find an entirely different way to get there; it's up to you.

If you stayed on Rt. 94 you would come to Jonathan White’s Bobolink Dairy after a few turns here and there, but that is for another day.

Pictures posted here are of Carol Vogt at the end of her class, also some arrangements of food for sale in the Rogowski’s barn.

Here is one of my healthy miso recipes:


MISO-PEANUT SAUCE TO POUR OVER HOT STEAMED VEGETABLES
(serves 2 or more)

Sauce:
1 Tablespoon Light Miso Paste
1 Tablespoon Peanut Butter (just peanuts, please) or Sesame Tahini
1 clove Garlic, smashed and pureed

Water
1 Tablespoon Tamari, or to taste

1 Tablespoon Yuzu or Lemon Juice, or to taste

1 teaspoon Roasted Sesame Oil
a dash of Hot Chili Oil
optional
Garnish: Szechuan Peppercorns, ground Cilantro or Parsley

Mix together the Miso and Peanut Butter. Add enough water to liquefy to the consistence of heavy cream. Beat well with a whisk to break up any clumps of the paste. Beat in the garlic clove, then the rest of the ingredients. Stir well.


VEGETABLES:

3 small or 2 large Sweet Potatoes (about 1-inch in diameter, or if larger make vertical slices first)
Peel the entire potato, if you like, or peel in irregular stripes. Use a turn and slant diagonal cut to make chunks.


1 Delicata squash, seeded, cut in rings about 3/8-/12-inch thick OR - any vegetables of your choice.
Steam until fork tender. 1 red or orange bell pepper, seeded, cut in small to medium dice

ASSEMBLE:
Put the bell peppers in a serving bowl. Add the steamed vegetables when they are done. Pour the sauce over and toss lightly to coat all the vegetables.

Garnish if you like with
Roasted and Ground Szechuan Peppercorns, and Cilantro or Parsley.
Serve while warm but also tastes fine room temperature or chilled.

Thursday, January 17, 2008














PHOTOS OF MOMO MAKING
If you started at the top with the basic ingredients you can follow the steps. Excuse photo of actual Momo. I have to do something about that. Will make some more soon and re-shoot. Must have gotten too hungry to take a proper picture!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

TIBETAN STYLE MOMO'S OR DUMPLINGS

These are so incredibly good and you can't eat just one. The first time I ever ate a MoMo an entire family of Tibetans sat and waited to see what was going to happen. For appetizers you can make them smaller and put one onto a ceramic spoon. I'll post some photographs soon. By the way, you will need a steamer to make these. You can get a large bamboo steamer or an aluminum one with two tiers; they're made in Thailand.

1 pound ground beef or chicken
3 finely chopped scallions
1 tablespoon of freshly ground ginger
1 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic
1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon of sesame oil, optional
pinch of salt, optional
3 tablespoons cold water

2-3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
warm, not hot, Water

For Vegetarian MoMo’s: make a mixture of potato, finely chopped cabbage, garlic, ginger, scallions, grated carrots, or whatever you like, and put that into the dumpling instead of the meat. Use the potatoes to hold the mixture together.

To make the dough:
Put the flour into a medium sized bowl and gradually add the water while mixing. Keep adding water until the flour holds together without making strands. About ½ cup of water should be enough depending upon your climate and if the flour is dry. Just add the water gradually. Knead the dough until it is smooth and feels like your earlobe. Cover and let stand about 30 minutes at room temperature.

Pinch off about a handful of the dough and pull into a snake shape. Cut off about one-inch pieces. Roll each piece out to about 4-inch rounds. Alternately, roll out the dough as thin as possible on a well-floured surface and cut into rounds. If you want to make appetizer-sized momos, roll out to about 2-3 inch rounds and use less filling.

Filling:
Mix the meat, scallions, ginger, garlic and soy sauce together until everything is well-blended. Use your hands. Then mix in a small amount - about 3 tablespoons - of water. Let stand covered about 15 minutes.

Start boiling water in the steamer.

Put a teaspoon or more of the mixture on each round and fold over into a half-moon shape, pinch edges tightly to seal. Or, for the more classic MoMo, pull the dough up over the filling and using a turn-and-pinch motion go all around, leaving a hole in the center. This takes some practice and best to actually see someone do it. The half-moon shape is easier to do initially.

Smear oil on the inside of the steamer, or line with Napa cabbage leaves. Put MoMo’s in the steamer; make sure they don’t touch each other. Cover and steam for 15-20 minutes or until the steam feels sticky to your palm.

Serve with chilli sauce and a dipping sauce mixture of soy sauce, rice vinegar and roasted sesame oil, to taste.


** 1 pound of meat makes 25 MoMo’s (or Momos).
If you are in a rush, and who isn’t when making MoMo’s, you can proceed to make these without the waiting times indicated. You can also eliminate the ginger and garlic or anything else..
CHICKEN LOLLIPOPS

Make these appetizers for a very down home sort of party or something more upscale by putting gold tips of foil on the bone ends. The funny thing is they don't taste like chicken. Go figure. You can freeze them prior to cooking and take them out to bake whenever you like. 

 

Chicken Wings , wing tip cut off and the wing cut into 2 pieces
Honey
Dijon Mustard
Pomegranate Molasses, optional
Breadcrumbs

Preheat oven 450 degrees.

Create the Wings:
Loosen the flesh at the top of the bone by the knuckle, then push the flesh
down the bone, sort of inside out, like turning your socks. With the wing part that
has two bones, do the same thing but remove - pull out - the smaller bone.
Clean the bone that is exposed. Either chop off the ‘knuckle’ part or clean it well. I chose to chop it off which leaves a rough broken edge that can be covered with aluminum foil.

In a small bowl, combine the Honey and Dijon Mustard together in a quantity that pleases you; either equal or favoring the sweet or spicy. Prepare another bowl with plain breadcrumbs. Dip the meat part of the wing into the Honey-Mustard mixture then into the breadcrumbs. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden and crispy. You can also bake slightly less and then heat up at the time of service.

Make some additional Honey-Mustard sauce as a dip - not necessary but nice.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

ALLEZ CUISINE!

That's the cry that supercilious fellow makes at the start of
'Iron Chef', just in case you missed it. I put it here as I post
a recent menu for a New Year's Eve party by Cooking on the
River. Story follows. There are no photographs, alas, since I
was so busy I didn't have a moment to take any.

NEW YEAR'S EVE DINNER
White Sturgeon Caviar with Potato Pancakes, Crème Fraiche
Sea Scallops wrapped in Prosciutto
Stuffed Mushrooms
Beef Dumplings with Dipping Sauce and Chili Dab
Crab Cakes with Tartar Sauce
Honey Mustard Chicken Lollipops
Wasabi Sesame Tuna Tartare on Crispy Wontons
Corn Panna Cotta with Salmon Roe and Radish Sprouts
Dogs in a Duvet with Deli Mustard
Mac n’Cheese Cups

Butter Poached Baby Lobster Tails
with Artichoke Hearts and Green Pea Puree, Crispy Shrimp
and Pesto Sauce

Rack of Lamb with Rosemary and Garlic with Lamb Jus
Potato and Mushroom Gratin
Swiss Chard

Mizuna and Baby Lettuces with
Medoc Poached Ficelle Pear stuffed with a Fig and Hazelnut paste;
Assorted Sheep, Goat and Cow’s Milk Cheeses; and Brioche Batons

Assorted Breads

A Spot of Hot Chocolate
Chocolate Truffles
Medley of Cookies
Frozen Chocolate and Raspberries

Pomegranate Champagne Punch
Hot Spiced Cider
Assorted Wines and Champagne


Of course that is much too much food but somehow most of it got eaten and there was enough left over to have some close relatives come by the next day. According to the client everyone had their favorite dish and each one was mentioned. More later....