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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, November 23, 2011

MAPLE & GINGER SWEET POTATOES WITH A PECAN CRUST


One more Thanksgiving recipe:
A silky sweet and chunky dish that has very satisfying textures of soft and crunchy. While the compound butter is optional it certainly is recommended as it ups the taste a good deal, but if you don't opt to use it then unsalted butter will do fine. Also recommended is somewhat hard to find Grade B Maple Syrup (Trader Joe's). It has a stronger maple flavor than Grade A, so I prefer to use it. Make sure you put enough crust over the top as no matter how much you put, within reason, it won't be too much. Though pecans are used here you can use any nut and even combination of nuts (not peanut).

Sweet Potatoes - about 6 medium
Maple Syrup, preferably Grade B
Fresh ginger, peeled
Ground dried ginger
fresh nutmeg, grated
Compound maple/ginger butter - recipe below

Unsalted butter, room temperature
Salt

Organic Sweet Potatoes (or use Yams)
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.

Maple/Ginger Compound Butter:
Mix a softened stick of unsalted butter with about a 2 tablespoons maple syrup and about a 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated. Mix well and place on some waxed paper or plastic wrap and roll into a sausage shape. Place in refrigerator or freezer until needed.

Topping Crust:
1-1/2 cups of pecans, roughly chopped
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup fresh cranberries, optional

Rough grind of the pecans.
Procedure:
The sweet potatoes can either be peeled, boiled and mashed, or peeled and cut into wedges the long way. Use about half a potato per person or more to have leftovers.



Boil Potatoes
Boil then drain
If using mashed sweet potatoes then boil them in a pot with water to barely cover. Cook until soft, then drain well. Put them through a food mill or mash really well. Place into a bowl. Pour over about a 1/2 cup of maple syrup and grated fresh ginger to taste, about 1 teaspoon ground dried ginger, about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, and a sprinkle of salt. Mix well and add in about four 1/4-inch slices of the Maple/Ginger Compound Butter.
Put potatoes through a food mill or mash really well.
The Maple-Ginger Compound Butter

Smear some butter in a baking dish and add the seasoned sweet potatoes. Sprinkle the topping on to the sweet potatoes and smooth and press down to cover evenly. Put some compound butter pieces on top. Place into the oven and bake about 20-30 minutes for the dish to heat through and the topping to melt. The dish will start to bubble. Take out and let set about 5 minutes. Serve hot.

Smear dish with plain butter.
Add mashed sweets to baking dish.
If using the peeled wedges of sweet potatoes, do not cook them first. Pour the maple syrup, ginger, nutmeg and compound maple/ginger butter and salt over the wedges and toss well. Put the topping over the wedges and press down to fill in the gaps. Put some maple butter pieces on top. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft (may be less time). Test with the point of a knife.
Cover with topping and pieces of compound butter.
The dish will freeze well and can be reheated!


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