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, March 31, 2010


This braised dish fell together, almost by itself, just from what was in the pantry and fridge. I love the way eggplant melts down to taste and feel very meaty. The addition here of the fennel, instead of celery, adds a bit more flavor interest. You can spice it up with the jalapeno and red pepper flakes if you must, and I must, but it tastes good without them. just a touch of sweetener removes any possible bitterness. I don't know a good substitute for the Zatar and it is a major component here so well worth locating - try Fairway and Kalustyans or any Middle Eastern grocery. Some friends had raved about Trader Joe's frozen artichoke pieces so I bought some. Right they are. Sometimes frozen artichoke hearts still have tough outer leaves but these do not. A few squirts of lemon and a dash of finishing salt add mouth-watering appeal. It's not a pretty dish - very dark - so you will need to garnish it well. Worth the effort.

©2010 Phyllis Segura

2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, large dice
1 medium eggplant, large dice
1 fennel bulb, large dice
leafy part of fennel tops, chopped
10-12 artichoke pieces, Trader Joe’s frozen artichokes
2-3 garlic cloves, sliced
½ cup diced sundried tomatoes in oil
3-4 tablespoon flat-leafed parsley, chopped, plus more for garnish
1 jalapeno, seeds removed and diced (optional)
2 teaspoons Syrian Zatar
red pepper flakes
honey or agave nectar
sea salt
fresh lemon juice

Saute the onion in the heated olive oil. Add the eggplant and fennel with some of the chopped leafy part of the tops, then the garlic pieces. Add the sundried tomatoes and some of the oil, and all of the artichokes. Stir and toss to get all the pieces amalgamated, oiled and heated. Stir in a sprinkle of the Zatar and few red pepper flakes, the chopped parsley, and a squirt or two of honey or agave nectar, your choice. Add a pinch of salt. Stir well for about 2-3 minutes.

Add about ¼ cup of water then lower the heat and cover to let the vegetables steam briefly. Either continue cooking slowly on top of the stove or place in a
300˚F. oven well covered for about 1-1-1/2 hours to braise slowly.

Taste and season.

Serve hot or room temperature with a squirt or two of fresh lemon juice and some freshly chopped parsley.

*Juggle: rearrange adroitly

This is what Eggplant Juggle looks like with a wreath of parsley and lemon.


Flame Schon( Diane Rochlin) said...

this looks very good..eggplant juggle. I have some zatar that was sent to me long ago...wondering if it may still be good and whether it is "Syrian zaatar", I don't know the ingredients of mine but what is in Syrian zaatar? I believe that they all must have sumac ..right?

cookingontheriver said...

There are different kinds of Zatar. You can use any of them. They all seem to have sesame seeds. I am not certain that they all have Sumac. Some have hyssop, thyme, etc. Usually the ingredients are listed.