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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Monday, December 18, 2017


     A traditional Italian dinner is what was requested. But what exactly to do you mean? From what part exactly? It was mostly Italian-American but with some other parts thrown in. And wine.

     Taking those chokes out of the artichokes before you stuff them is the thing to do. And it wasn't so difficult since I steamed them first, took out the chokes and refrigerated them until the next day. Then made the stuffing and filled the 'chokes. The combination of steaming and baking worked well. 

     The Orecchiette needed the best pasta and I found one from S. Martino of Abruzzo. A little pepperoncino perked it up. The veal got pounded and the sauce freshly made with few ingredients including capers though pungently tomato-y. The fennel got micro-minute blanched and then bathed in a warm bath of olive oil and a few tasty additions to melt in the mouth.

     Though the salad wasn't necessary it added a bit of freshness. A large bowl of bright shiny red-purple Radicchio with Endive cuttings, handful of Arugula and some torn green olives. Dressed with a whisper of lemon juice, balsamic and best evoo. An additional salad of sliced Bosc pear, piquant Gorgonzola schmeared on a toasted slice of Ciabatta, and a toss of toasted almonds.

The Crostini with the flaky crust dotted with rosemary-sugar and a multitude of apple slices and lemon juice set all bellies to the couch. (photos soon)


Stuffed Artichokes

Orecchiette with Pancetta, Mushrooms & Sun-dried Tomatoes

Veal Scallopine  with Tomatoes
Olive Oil braised Fennel

Radicchio, Endive, Arugula, Green Olive Salad
Pear and Almonds

Apple & Rosemary Crostini



Taken after the salad course (when I remembered to take a photo).

The Radicchio salad partially consumed.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Osso Buco Menu

Going through my files looking for ideas for a dinner I came across this menu that was a dinner for two. I especially like the idea of this menu and can't wait to make it again soon. Wish I had photographs. Here it is:

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
with Pine Nuts and Roasted Garlic Cream


Stuffed Rolled Sole and Crispy Shrimp
with Avocado and Black Olive Tapenade
in a Mornay Mustard Sauce


Osso Buco on Risotto Milanese
with Gremolata

Carrot, Shallot, Celery Root, Artichoke Heart, Rosemary Mirepoix


Salad of Mesclun, Toasted Pecans, Grilled Goat Cheese
with Carrot Dressing


Chocolate Soufflé with Crème Anglaise

Sunday, November 05, 2017


I'm sharing this menu I made last night for two people. There were lots of allergy and other restrictions. It is an all vegetarian menu, gluten free. Sorry no photos. They seemed to have liked it.

·      Carrot & Ginger Soup with Coconut & Cilantro puree
Sesame seed-crusted Roasted Cauliflower
Crispy Corn Tortilla Strips

·      Mixed Salad – Brussels sprouts, cucumber, cress, endive, radish, tomato, parsley
with Lemon & Extra-virgin olive oil dressing

·      Roasted Red Bell Pepper stuffed with 
Toasted Quinoa with carrot, onion, pine nuts, fennel seed & parsley -
topped with Sweet Potato and Avocado
·      Black Pepper crusted Portobello Mushroom Slices
Tomato Emulsion with fresh thyme
·      Sautéed Swiss Chard with Shallots

*Coconut Cake with Sautéed Banana
*Berry Pomegranate Compote
& *Vanilla Cashew Cream

--> * Monkfruit sweetener

Monday, October 23, 2017


It's the season for the availability of some fresh beans in their pods. I just purchased a pile of Cranberry beans. They are much prettier when raw, as you will see. But much tastier cooked. The first thing to do is shuck the pretty pink-red shells. You'll see some of them are not quite fully formed and green. I usually leave them in but you can decide. Then you can add water and cook them for about 20-25 minutes. Or parboil them if you are going to add them to another dish. Cranberry beans are also known with different names: Borlotti, Roman, Romano, Saluggia, Rosecoco.

Here are some photos of my process:
The raw beans in their pods straight from the fields.

The raw beans released from their pods.

The empty pods. 

You can simply boil them in water. I added half an onion, a carrot, a couple of unpeeled garlic cloves, a few bay leaves, a few sage leaves, and a glug or two of olive oil. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer gently.

Slowly heating up.

Coming to a boil.

Boiling now. See how the colors are changing.

The fully cooked beans covered with olive oil. They are ready to use in other dishes.

Cranberry or Borlotti beans are very compatible with Winter Squash, Kale, jalapeno, garlic, tomatoes. They can be cooked with a soup stock and pureed. Add a mole and stir together with a fresh tomato passata, pour into a claypot and place into the oven. They are also good cold or room temperature mixed with tuna in olive oil.

Once you have all your nice beans in a jar covered with olive oil you can leave them in the fridge for a few days. They make a great addition for a fast meal. If you have some stock in your pantry, pour it into a pot then add some julienned kale, a cut-up carrot, and whatever leftover or frozen vegetables you have. I added a few Brussels sprouts, some corn kernels, frozen peas, garlic pieces. Bring to a boil and as soon as the kale is cooked through pour a serving into a bowl. Add some of the beans and their olive oil. I like to add a good grinding of black pepper! Fast and healthy and filling. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

RUGELACH (repeat recipe)

makes 3 dozen

For the dough:
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups sifted AP flour

Blend the butter and cream cheese together with a hand blender or stand mixer until fluffy and well combined. Add the salt. Add the flour a cup at a time. Blend in by hand with a wooden spoon or a silicon spatula. It should come together easily. Knead the dough very briefly, then divide it into three sections, roll into a flattened ball and wrap well in plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

For the filling:
½ cup granulated or turbinado sugar
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
½ cup preserves, either raspberry or apricot
¾ cup currants or sultanas
1-1/4 cups walnuts, finely chopped
optional additions: use other nuts, like pecans or almonds, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, etc.

Glaze: 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 teaspoon of water.
Confectioners sugar, optional

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon together. Melt the butter in a small pan and stir in the preserves to melt, then cool.

When ready to make the rugelach take the dough out of the refrigerator about half an hour prior. Sprinkle flour all over the dough and on the table and on the rolling pin. Roll out to a 12 or 13-inch diameter. It’s okay if the edges are a bit uneven.

On the rolled out dough brush the butter/preserves mixture all over. Sprinkle the sugar/cinnamon mixture over that. Then sprinkle the walnuts and currants or raisins, if using. Roll the rolling pin lightly over the top to set the filling in the dough. If some of the mixture gets on the rolling pin, brush it off with a little bit of flour.

With a pastry cutter or large knife cut the dough into quarters. Section each quarter into thirds (or more if you want small rugelach). Roll up each wedge from the wide end to the point. Turn the ends in to form a crescent. Don’t let too much ooze out as it could burn.

Place each rugelach on a parchment covered baking sheet about
1-inch apart. Continue with the two remaining balls of dough. Brush the glaze on top of each rugelach. Sprinkle with some of the left over sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Bake 30 minutes. Turn and reverse the sheets half way through, or after 15 minutes. Take out and cool on a wire rack. Optionally, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.