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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Monday, November 21, 2011

SMALL DISHES

SLICING AND DICING

Everyone's calling and asking..."what should I make"...you would think that this was the first Thanksgiving. In some ways it is. Either you make everything exactly the same year after year or you want to have something new.

Some friends came by the other day for a paella. I had just purchased a paella pan and wanted to experiment a bit. To start I made a selection of tapas or appetizers. I didn't photograph while I was cooking -- too nerve racking. These are each mostly very simple but with lots of variety. For dessert I made a Chestnut Cake (Rose Levy Berenbaum) covered with a chocolate ganache. I served it with a Chestnut puree and some Rum Raisin ice cream. We drank lots of wine...and enjoyed a post prandial promenade around the block.

Here is the list and a few recipes and photographs:

Celery Root Remoulade
Melon, Artichoke and Hard Salami
Garlicky Mushrooms
Green Beans with Pine nuts
Sweet and Sour Beets
Spicy Oil-cured Black Olives

Celery Root Remoulade  
 serves 4-6


1 egg yolk
1-1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3/4 grapeseed oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt
1 large celery root or 2 medium, peeled
2 tablespoons flat-leafed parsley, minced, optional

Whisk together the egg yolk and mustard. While whisking, pour in 1 teaspoon oil a few drops at a time to create a thick mixture. Continue whisking, adding oil in a thin stream
1 teaspoon at a time, until sauce is thick and creamy. Whisk in 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Season with salt then cover with plastic warp and chill. Yes, this is mayonnaise.

Using a mandoline or a large knife, cut celery root into 1/8-inch thin slices. Stack 2-3 celery root slices and cut lengthwise into 1/8-inch matchsticks. Repeat. Transfer julienned celery root and remaining lemon juice to a large bowl; toss to combine. Add reserved remoulade and toss. Cover salad; chill until celery root wilts slightly, about 30 minutes.

Garnish with parsley.


Sweet and Sour Red Beets

2 beets
about 2 tablespoons each  of sugar or honey, and white vinegar


Boil the beets in water to cover until they are soft enough to slip a fork into. Cover with ice water and peel the skin off. When cool enough to handle, dice into small cubes.

Mix the sugar and vinegar in a small bowl, taste. Mix until you get the right balance of sweet and sour then pour over the beets. Toss well. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour, or put into a jar and leave for a couple of days.

Garlicky Mushrooms

1 package of white mushrooms
1 teaspoon olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoons minced parsley
salt and pepper

Rinse the mushrooms and cut the stems even with the bottom of the mushroom. If some are large, cut them in half. The mushrooms will shrink after cooking.

Pour the oil into a non-stick frying pan and heat. Add the mushrooms and toss gently. Add the garlic. Cook until the mushrooms cook through and release their liquids. Stir in the parsley. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

This can be refrigerated and reheated. Serve warm.

Melon, Artichokes and Hard Salami

1 cantaloupe melon, peeled, cut into large dice
frozen artichoke hearts (Trader Joe's)
hard Salami (or artisanal chorizo), outside paper removed, diced small
olive oil
Dressing: 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar,
1 teaspoon dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon minced parsley, salt and pepper.

Use your own discretion as to how much you want to make. There should probably be a bit more melon than artichoke hearts, but combine how you like.

Heat the olive oil and add the artichoke hearts, saute until slightly browned. Cool.

Toss the melon, artichoke hearts and salami or chorizo together.

In a small bowl, mix the vinegar,  mustard, and salt and pepper, whisk in the olive oil. Pour over the melon mixture and toss well. Serve room temperature.


Green Beans and Pine Nuts

about 1 pound fresh green beans, topped and cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces, roughly
1 tablespoons pine nuts
1/4 teaspoon smoky paprika
1 tablespoon  olive or canola oil
1 shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
mint and oregano, fresh if you have, or use dried, a few pinches of each, or to taste
Dressing: 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar, salt and pepper

Boil the beans for about 5 minutes in salted boiling water then drain and run some cold water over them. They should still be crispy. Place in a bowl large enough to contain them.

Toast the pine nuts in a small frying pan until lightly browned then add the smoky paprika and add to the green beans.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in the pan and add the shallots then garlic to wilt. Add to the green beans along with the mint and oregano. Toss.

Mix the dressing but only add it right before you are going to serve the green beans. The acid in the vinegar will change their color. Mix the vinegar with the salt and pepper then whisk in the oil....you know: make a vinaigrette. [By the way, it's vin-ah-gret and not
vi-ne-ger-et.]

Spiced Oil-cured Black Olives

1 jar oil-cured black olives
zest of half a lemon
a pinch of red pepper flakes or Aleppo pepper, if you have some
a drizzle of good extra-virgin olive oil

Mix all together.

I didn't serve this that night...but here is a nice cheese appetizer...that is very easy.


Easy Cheese Appetizer


1 log of plain goat cheese
2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
½ teaspoon z'atar and/ or fresh thyme, oregano, marjoram
Extra-virgin olive oil

Place the goat cheese, heavy cream and herbs into a food processor and blend until smooth. Into a ceramic serving bowl place a sprinkling of the fresh herbs on the bottom.
Scrape out the goat cheese mixture and smooth the top with a spoon. Sprinkle some more z'atar (or smoky paprika) and fresh herbs on top and drizzle with your best extra-virgin olive oil. Serve with a crusty bread and/or raw vegetables.



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