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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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

PASTE & PESTO

See this stuff? It's jars of herbs that have been washed, dried and pulsed in a food processor with some oil. The one with Basil is called PESTO but this one has no nuts or cheese added. Those can be added later. You can use any of these to add to dishes as you like. Putting the herbs in oil also preserves them. I keep them in the fridge and use until they get moldy. The slightest sign of mold and I toss them out. Here we have Cilantro, Parsley and Basil that have been treated in this manner. I also grow Shiso leaves, or what is called Perilla. They are most commonly used with Sushi but they can also be added to salad or smeared on cooked fish, or whatever imaginative use you may imagine.

Next is a dish I made from whatever was around. I had some eggplant, a strange cheese called Provolone-Mozzarella, left-over lamb balls, a jar of Lidia's Marinara sauce (it's really good and not very salty like a lot of jarred tomato sauces...hurrah Lidia!), the pastes as above, Parmigiano cheese, and olive oil. By the time I thought of posting this dish I had already eaten most of it. So excuse a rather messy photo with poor lighting, etc. Pretty bad, huh?

The big issue with eggplant is how do you cook it without 'so much oil'....Okay, you can slice and bake, slice and steam. When you bake you do need a bit of oil. You can do the usual slice and salt, let sweat for about 30 minutes, rinse and dry with paper towels or with a kitchen towel. What I did was to do the slice and sweat routine, then I sprinkled the eggplant with Wondra flour and grilled them in a cast iron frying pan. I stuck some holes through the slices with a fork to make sure they cooked through. Eggplant does not need a lot of cooking. Just get it slightly grilled and toasty on the outside.

Then I poured some of Lidia's Marinara on the bottom of a small rectangular dish, made a layer of the grilled eggplant, added some grated Provolone/Mozzarella, a layer of the sliced lamb balls, some grated parmigiano, a dab here and there of parsley paste and basil paste, more Marinara, another layer of eggplant, and so on...top with the Marinara, and both cheeses. I think I put a  layer of breadcrumbs on top too...yes, I did. And sprinkled the top with one teaspoon of extra-virgin oo. Put into a  350 degree oven on top of a sheet pan, and bake until bubbly and a little bit browned on the top.

Take out. Cool a little. Gobble up. Your dish isn't going to look any nicer than mine but with any luck it will taste just a good. Instead of the lamb balls, use whatever you have....mushrooms sauteed, grilled artichokes,  leftover potatoes, Bob's your uncle.....

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Re the Pesto: so how long does it hold in the refrigerator? I've always made the full monty pesto and frozen in containers, & some in ice cube trays - just pop one or two into whatever would benefit from the addition of those great flavors.

I'm ready to have a portion of that eggplant dish. Sounds yummy.....

Muhasibi -

Phyllis said...

Get away from your prior Pesto preconceptions, please. You didn't read....I said keep it in the fridge until it gets moldy. Who knows how long...not me? It doesn't matter, just toss when moldy. This is not That Pesto. This is a variety of herbs processed with oil and preserved - a paste.

You can still make your ice cube thing but this is not that. And you couldn't clump frozen pesto into this eggplant dish...at least not while I was looking.

I don't mean to beat up on you but, really, no one reads anymore and when they do they make up what they want to have read.