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, 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.

Sunday, September 03, 2017


With early September tomatoes it’s worth making a luscious tart. Who needs pizza when you can make this? The fresh tastes and combination of flavors can bring tears to your eyes. I experimented making this to bring to a music and poetry salon in the mountains surrounding Woodstock, NY. I used a rectilinear pan, like the kind used for making a French apple tart, but finding a platter long and narrow can be a problem. Make it in a round pan placing the tomato slices all around and layer them toward the center, or vice verse. Either way it will be a hit. You may want to make two. It’s the ultimate seasonal dish. Can’t freeze it. Can’t store it. Nope. Just enjoy.


The dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon organic cane sugar + 2 teaspoons
4 ounces (1 stick) salted butter + 2 tablespoons
½ cup ice water

Place the flour and sugar in a food processor and pulse to blend. Cut up 4 ounces or 1 stick of butter and add to the flour. Pulse to blend. Add enough water to make everything just barely stick together into a ball. Take out on to a flour sprinkled surface and knead a bit to bring together. Then make into a flattened ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate an hour or overnight.

Take out the pie dough and let it rest about 15-20 minutes or just enough so that you can roll it out. The warmth of your hand can move this process along. If you are using a rectangular tart pan, roll out the dough to fit. For a round pan, do the same. There should be an overhang in either case. Take the rolling pin and roll it over the edge to cut the dough. Put the pan with the dough into the freezer (or refrigerator) for at least 20 minutes to get good an cold. Then fill.

Set the Oven to 375°F. and allow to come to temperature.

2-3 tablespoons Mayonnaise
1 full tablespoon, Basil chopped
Extra-virgin Olive oil
6-8 Tomatoes, medium size, ¼ inch slice, core removed
1/2 teaspoon Thyme leaves
Ground black pepper
2 teaspoons lemon zest, finely chopped (optional)
Coarse salt, Malden
Parmigiano-Reggiono or Grana Padano cheese

If you purchase a bunch of basil and want to preserve it without making pesto first, chop it finely, place it in a glass jar and cover it with olive oil. Use a full tablespoon of it to mix with the mayonnaise. Smear a thin but adequate layer on the pastry dough in the tart pan.

Place the sliced tomatoes on top of the basil mayonnaise in neat rows. For the rectilinear pan place about three overlapping slices across the short side and keep layering until the pan is full. See photo. Using your fingers, rub the thyme and toss over the tomatoes. Do the same with freshly ground black pepper and chopped lemon zest. (You could use a good quality lemon pepper here.) No salt yet.

Place on a sheet pan and bake in the center of the oven until golden, about 20-35 minutes. The crust will brown a bit and the tomatoes will glisten.

Remove to a rack. Sprinkle the coarse salt. Take a fork and plunk it into some honey then quickly drizzle just a little over the tart…like a wand. Using a peeler, scrape the cheese to fall helter-skelter over the tart. Finally, drizzle a bit – not too much - of condiment quality extra-virgin olive oil over the top. Let cook. Remove from the mold. Watch this disappear. (Cut a slice for yourself to be sure.)