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

Send an email: info@cookingontheriver.com

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Saturday, December 31, 2011

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2012

NEW YEARS GREETINGS

What are you eating for New Year's?  Black-eyed Peas? Noodles? Lentils and Sausage? 

Whatever you choose, wishing you some good times and good health. Don't forget your greens this year. Eat lots of kale, spinach, turnip greens, mustard greens, collards, Swiss chard and broccoli. My gift to you will be some recipes with all of the above. Coming soon.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

POST-CHRISTMAS BIRTHDAY DINNER

BIRTHDAY DINNER
It must be tough for people who have birthdays butted against Christmas. My friend, Vyt, is one of those. This year we'll sit down to a dinner I am making on request. It gives me a good opportunity to try and document it by posting the details here. Of course, shopping is ridiculous as the stores are all packed and not everything is available. I must have picked up the 'last one' of several items.

I've been baking lots of cookies to send out to friends and to sell a few here and there. Some of it is listed at my other blog: www.amorebakedgoods.blogspot.com

I found an interesting video of Jamie Oliver roasting a rib roast:
http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/beef-recipes/perfect-roast-beef

Here is the menu for this dinner :

CANAPES
Shrimp with Avocado Mousse on Brioche (Challah) rounds
Smoked Trout Pate on Westphalian Triangles
Kippered Salmon and Onion Jam on Crostini

SALAD
baby arugula, radicchio, frisee, watercress sprouts, julienned carrots, crispy beet curls
Dressing: Citrus juices, honey, garlic, shallots, salt and pepper, olive oil

ENTREE
Standing Roast Beef
Mushroom Gravy
Potato Pancakes
Creamed Spinach

DESSERT
Pumpkin Pie
Trifle

Shrimp Cooked & vacuum-sealed


Chopped Spinach vacuum-sealed
Much of it I can make in advance, for instance, yesterday I blanched and chopped the Spinach and packed it in a vacuum-sealed bag that will keep it fresh. I also made the Onion Jam with Balsamic and the last of some Port that was carried back to me from Goa (!) by a friend.

I deliberated about the Trifle quite a bit as it depended upon finding a Trifle Bowl and a rather longish drive to the Christmas Tree store where I last saw one for sale. I did it and there was one there. I'm a sucker for this place where you see bargain after bargain and start dropping them into your cart. Before getting on the check-out line I always review my knee-jerk purchases and take about half of them back. I've had discussions with other people shopping there and they do the same thing. So Trifle it is. The next quest was to find Sponge Cake. I suppose the Brits have a ready supply in their markets for this but we do not. We have Pound Cake and Angel Food Cake but no Sponge Cake. Driven, I found a recipe in the Cake Bible (it really is) by Rose Levy Berenbaum (genius) and had all the ingredients, including the cake pan that comes apart and has a hole in the center (what's it called?). Following her detailed instructions to a T, I succeeded, late last night to make a Sponge Cake! The real thing. It's like an Angel Food Cake except that you use egg yolks.

Today, I will prepare the Potato Pancakes and flash freeze them, and make the pie crust.

I've decided to add Parmesan Bread Sticks so I've got to go out now and find some puff pastry dough. I also still need some prepared horseradish for the beef.

SMOKED TROUT PATE

2 smoked trout
3 scallions, small slices
4 oz. cream cheese
¼ cup sour cream
1 stick unsalted butter
a few sprigs dill, plus some for garnish
½ teaspoon dried mustard
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
5-6 dashes Tabasco
juice of 1 lemon

Pick the meat off of the trout, eliminating the little bones. Put about two-thirds of the trout flesh into a food processor and add all the rest of the ingredients. Process until very smooth.

Break up the remaining pieces of trout into small pieces and add the processed ingredients. Mix well. Put into a ceramic or other container and let sit at least one hour.

Garnish with chopped dill.

Serve with Westphalian Pumpernickel slices.
Trout Pate before garnish

 
MINIATURE CRAB CAKES

Melt butter in a frying pan. (I happened to have some Lobster Butter in the freezer so I used that.) Saute about ¼ cup each of red pepper and red onion, both in small dice. Let cool.

Beat together 1 egg and the juice of 1 lemon with its zest, grated.

Add about ½ cup mayonnaise (I used the Smart kind), 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning, 2 tablespoons snipped chives, 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley, about 4-5 splashes of Tabasco. Then add the sautéed onion and red pepper and fold in one 1-pound tin of Crab meat (drain and check for shells). Use Lump and Colossal if you can afford it, otherwise use the Crab Legs that are usually less costly. Mix it all together nicely, then mix in about 1/2 cup of Panko breadcrumbs.
Crab Cake mixture
You can let it sit in the refrigerator covered for a bit or make the crab cakes right away.
Pour some Panko into a bowl. Then scoop up the crab mixture into round little cakes about 1-inch in diameter or enough for one mouthful. Roll it in the panko crumbs and place on a parchment covered baking sheet. Make all the crab mixture into balls then either freeze or refrigerate.
Raw Crab Cakes

Since I am making them in advance of the party I am freezing them. However, I took a few and sautéed them in order to see what they might taste like. You can do this before making all the balls in case you want to alter the seasoning. These are quite spicy which is nice for an hors d'oeuvre.

Make a little bit of sauce for them to have dabbed on top. Just a little bit of mayonnaise is good enough. If you want to make a more complex sauce, add some lemon, capers and chopped cornichons, prepared horseradish and parsley with mayonnaise. Or, just add a bit of Sriracha sauce to the mayo to bring up the spiciness even more.
Ready to Serve








 PUMPKIN PIE
 Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

I used a Cookie Crust made with:
1-1/2 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
10 tablespoons cold butter, cut in small pieces
1 egg
Using a food processor, pulse the flour and sugar together, add and pulse small pieces of butter until a fine crumb, then add the egg and pulse briefly until it holds together. Turn out on to a floured board and knead gently to pull it together, then shape into a flattened ball, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Pumpkin custard filling:
Put all the ingredients into a blender.
2-1/2 cups baked pureed squash
3/4 cup brown sugar, or other sweetener
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 whole eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 heaping teaspoon of each ginger powder, cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon, nutmeg, freshly grated
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
pinch of ground cloves

I like a lot of spice in my pumpkin pie; you may not like it this strong so use less...or more...up to you.

Roll out the crust and place it in a pie dish, crimp the edges the way you like. Pour the custard into an unbaked crust. Place on a sheet pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Check the pie about every 20 minutes.
Cool completely. Chill up to two days, covered. Decorate the pie with whipped cream!

This also works great as just a pudding without the pie crust.

Still don't have any more photos that were taken by Kim's sister, maybe they got deleted by mistake.   I do have a review of the meal by the client. Some people are challenged when they want to post a comment and so she posted this on Thumbtack. I've just copied it (with a few spelling corrections):


"If you are an able enough cook, hiring a chef to come in to the home and prepare a meal is a big deal. It was wonderful to come home from a day at work and have Phyllis Segura at work on a birthday meal. The guests oohed and aahed over the intricate yet hearty canapes. Everyone said the crab cakes were hands down the best they had had. The rib roast was succulent, the potato pancakes crispy and delicious and the creamed spinach was unbelievably light and creamy, elevating this dish to superb. All the little touches, her balsamic onion jam, the tangy salad dressing were of the highest order. It was fun to have a high quality restaurant meal in your own home without the pretension. I can't rave enough about the Trifle, which none of us had ever had before. The presentation was beautiful, the sponge cake, whip cream and fruit tasted glorious and it was a nice alternative to birthday cake. I've had her dense, elegant pumpkin pie before. It did not not disappoint. The servings were generous and planning the meal with Phyllis was easy. We requested the main dish and she followed up quickly with a complimentary menu. I would do this again in a heartbeat!"
Kimberly Lyons

Here is a message from someone who made the crabcakes recently (February 2012). 
It was sent to me in an email:
The crab cakes were excellent.  I tried to make them the usual crab cake size but they wouldn’t keep their shape. [Yes, the recipe says miniature.] As I had about half more to cook, did so last night.  I added more panko, made them smaller and they were so good.   Don’t remember where I bought the crab.  It was the only acceptable kind to buy…big chunks. I hate the other in the can which says “lump” and what you get is shredded.  Restaurants too say “lump” and they either over mix the crab pulverizing the meat or are really not buying chunks.  Norma Assante