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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Tuesday, November 01, 2011


Mushroom, Blue Cheese & Fennel Galette

This past Saturday I taught a small cooking class of six participants in a home kitchen. The day started off with a freak snow storm that was totally unexpected. All but one of the six arrived. The small river village that I live in, Piermont, was an exception as, for some unknown reason the storm spared this village though all around was covered with snow and people endured days of being without electricity. The menu for the class consisted of this galette, a Bouillabaisse, and a Plum Clafoutis. I had made the dough for the galette earlier and brought it with me. For some reason, the dough did not cook up well and fell apart like sand. Yesterday I made the same recipe and it was fine. As the instructor of this class, I was not happy. Two of the participants just couldn't stop chattering and this made it really difficult for the others to follow. I was not very skillful in getting them to quell and I almost could not teach. I never found a way to interrupt their conversation.  My experience proves that when I am in a situation that irritates me and I don't love the people, the food turns bad.

We also made a Bouillabaisse with fresh red snapper, sea bass, mussels, clams, squid, and head-on shrimp. It was accompanied with two types of Rouille to show that you can make Rouille, a saffron mayonaisse  mixture even from breadcrumbs and no eggs.

But the day got worse because the electricity went out just about the time we were going to make the Clafoutis, so that never happened. The recipe and photographs for that are in the previous post...so scroll down past the Thanksgiving menu and you will find it.

Then it got worse still as the home got it it's water from a well...so there was no water to do any clean-up and I had to take all the dirty pots and utensils home to clean.

The next day the sun come out.

Here is the recipe for the Galette, a rustic open type of pie, and some photos:

Savory Galette Dough
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup fine cornmeal
(or use 2 cups of all-purpose flour)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
6 tablespoons olive oil
4-5 tablespoons ice water (water with ice cubes)

Place everything but the ice water into a food processor. Buzz/Pulse about six times until the pieces are distributed. Gradually add the ice water until the dough holds together. You may not need all the ice water, or, depending upon how dry the dough is, you might need a little, and I mean a little, more. Take out and place on a floured board. Pull and knead together gently. Form into a ball, then flatten into a disc about 1-inch thick. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

When ready to make the galettes, take out of the refrigerator and leave for about 15 minutes then roll into a circle about 1/8th of an inch thick. Trim the outer circle, if you like. The photo above shows how rustic it can be.

The Filling:
1 pound of mixed mushrooms
1/2 fresh fennel, shaved thin, tough parts cut off
Blue cheese, crumbled (extra-creamy Blue, Gorgonzola, etc.)
2-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, small dice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
1 egg mixed with a tablespoon of water

Sauteed Mushrooms: Shiitake, Oyster, Paris

Sauteed fennel

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Choose a mixture of shiitake, oyster, white, crimini, and portabello mushrooms, or, if you are feeling very flush add some chanterelles, maitakes and other pricey wild mushrooms. Slice or break them up into thin bit-sized pieces then saute in batch in about 2 tablespoons of heated olive oil, add the shallot, garlic, rosemary, thyme. Saute until the liquid begins to leave the mushrooms. Adding some salt will make the mushrooms weep out a bit. Don't add too much salt because the blue cheese you will add later is very salty. Add a few grinds of pepper.

In another pan, take the thin shaved pieces of fennel and saute them briefly in olive oil. Add some of the fennel fronds.

Preparing the Galette:

After you have rolled out the dough place some sauteed fennel in the center of the circle.

Then add the mushrooms:

Mix the crumbled blue cheese on top, or mix them in with the mushrooms. Leave about a 1-inch border. Turn the sides of the dough up and over the ingredients. Leave the center open. You are not enclosing the filling. Brush the turned up part with the egg mixture. Place on a baking sheet that is covered with parchment.
This is roughly what it should look like prior to baking.

Here it is cooked. I sprinkled a little bit of freshly ground pepper on the dough.

Bake until crispy, golden and bubbly. Remove and serve hot.
As you can see, a galette is a rustic pie. The irregularity and insouciance is part of its charm.


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