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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Monday, February 01, 2010


A few days ago I went to my friend Sam Weinreb's apartment to learn how to make tofu. Sam has been making tofu for years as LOCAL TOFU. He is now semi-retired and wants to teach people how to make tofu in their homes. This is something I have always wanted to know how to do and now I know how. A few days later I made some by myself at home. One of the by-products of tofu making is Okara which is essentially the ground up soy beans that have been squeezed out to make the initial soy milk from which tofu is made. Okara is used in a lot of ways and one way is in the making of soy burgers. I came up with my own recipe for a soy burger and think it is really good tasting. If you want to know how to make tofu send a message and I will post the process. Scroll down for the recipe for my soy burger.

Sam's back while he is grinding the soy beans.
Here is what Sam's tofu looks like in a package. It is not made in his home.
Here is what the curds of tofu look like freshly made. You can still see the whey in the pot.
Okara (close up)
Here is the tofu I made after it was pressed it a bit.


It is recommended to toast the Okara in order to dry it out. So spread it out on a sheet pan and put it into a 350  F. oven for about 20 minutes. Move the Okara around after about 10 minutes. Don't brown it. The flaxseeds should be freshly ground. They also serve as a substitute for eggs once liquid is added. There is no wheat in this mixture. It is also vegan.

1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 carrots, grated
2-3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
grapeseed oil
2 cups Okara, toasted
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup dried shiitake mushrooms, ground
1 teaspoon cardamom seeds, ground
1/4 cup flaxseeds, ground
1/4 cup oat flour
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely grated
1 teaspoon turmeric, freshly ground, or 1/2 teaspoon powdered
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon Black Soy sauce
olive oil spray

 Put about 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil into a frying pan, warm then saute the onion, carrots and garlic until soft. Season and put into a food processor.

Add all the rest of the ingredients to the food processor and process until finely ground.  Add water to the mixture so that it is moist and holds together. I used about 1/2 cup of water but the mixture could use some more. Take out of the processor and place into a bowl. Knead together well with your hands. You can cover it at this point and let it rest about 20 minutes, or proceed immediately. Letting it rest will bring out the flavors.

  Form the mixture into patties about the size of a hamburger. They hold together pretty well. Place all the patties on to an oiled sheet pan.  Lightly spray the tops. Place into a preheated 350F. degree oven for 20 minutes turning them over after 10 minutes. They are ready to eat. You can refrigerate them and warm them up in a lightly oiled frying pan for about 10 minutes or your favorite way of warming a soy burger. Makes 4-5 soy burgers.

Here is what it looks like on some whole grain bread with ketchup, red onion & lettuce.

Sliced in half. Looks just like meat! REALLY DELICIOUS!


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