with Kajsa Alger & Liz Lachma n

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CLARKSON POTTER

Irresistibly Crispy, Creamy, Crunchy, Spicy, Sticky, Sweet Recipes
SUSAN FENIGER

Kajsa Alger and Liz Lachman
photographs by jennifer may

Clarkson Potter/Publishers
New York

with

Copyright © 2012 by Susan Feniger
Photographs copyright © 2012 by Jennifer May
All rights reserved.
Published in the United States by Clarkson Potter/Publishers,
an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of
Random House, Inc., New York.
www.crownpublishing.com
www.clarksonpotter.com
CLARKSON POTTER is a trademark and POTTER with colophon
is a registered trademark of Random House, Inc.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
is available upon request.
ISBN 978-0-307-95258-5
Printed in China
Design by Stephanie Huntwork
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
First Edition
4

susan feniger’s street food

This book is dedicated to the memory of my
mother and father. They not only gave me
life but also taught me how to love it.

v e g e ta b l e s a n d g ra i n s

5

Introduction 8
organizing the world’s kitchen 11

Starters & Small Bites 14
Travelogue: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

42

Salads 46
Vegetables & Grains 66
Land & Sea 92
Travelogue: Kochi, India 112

curry & tofu & noodles 114
Chutneys & Pickles & other Condiments 142
Travelogue: Bezirgan, turkey

162

basic spice mixes & pastes 164
Travelogue: mongolian steppes, mongolia

Sweets 178
elixirs & tonics & lhassis 202
Acknowledgments 217
Index 220

174

½ cup dried currants

Serves 4 Chicken breast meat will dry out very quickly,

4 ounces (1 cup) jarred
Peppadew peppers, plus
¼ cup of their juice

so be sure not to overcook it. The robust combination of
marinade and relish in this recipe makes the mild-flavored
chicken sing. It’s perfect served warm or at room temperature.

1 large red bell pepper,
roasted, peeled, and
seeded
½ cup extra virgin
olive oil

1 Put the currants in a bowl and add ¼ cup warm water. Let

Kosher salt

2 Drain the currants and put them in a blender. Add the

2 pounds boneless,
skinless chicken breasts,
cut into 1-inch cubes
Tunisian Relish (recipe
follows)

Peppadew Peppers

sit until the currants have plumped, about 10 minutes.
Peppadews, their juice, the bell pepper, oil, and 1 tablespoon salt, and puree on high speed until smooth. Pour
half of this mixture into a bowl, add the chicken, and mix
well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to
4 hours. Save the remaining puree for a later use.

3 Heat a grill or griddle to high.
4 Slide 4 to 6 cubes of chicken on each of about 8 skewers.
Salt the chicken to taste, and then grill, turning the
skewers so that the chicken browns on all sides, 5 minutes
total. Remove from the grill, brush with the reserved
puree, and top each skewer with a spoonful of the relish.

Tunisian Relish
These sweet piquant
peppers (Capsicum
baccatum) are grown in
the Limpopo province of
South Africa. Available
in cans or jars, they can
be found in specialty
grocery stores. If you
can’t find them, any
sweet pickled pepper
could work.

34

susan feniger’s street food

Makes 1½ cups

½ cup dried currants or black
raisins

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 cup pitted green olives (such
as Manzanilla), chopped

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ cup aged sherry vinegar

½ cup Peppadew peppers,
finely chopped

1 Put the currants in a bowl and add warm water to cover.
Let sit until the currants have plumped, about 10 minutes.

2 Drain, discarding the water, and put the currants into a
bowl. Add the olives, Peppadews, oil, vinegar, and salt. Stir
well to combine, and serve. You can make the relish up to
2 days in advance and store it, covered, in the refrigerator.
Bring it to room temperature and stir it before serving.

3 tablespoons canola oil

Makes 6 cups; serves 6 to 8 I learned about

2 tablespoons unsalted
butter

this combination of lentils, rice, and pasta in Israel. I was
living on a kibbutz outside of Tel Aviv at the end of my junior
year in high school, and my friends and I took a week to travel
around the country. With no money, we slept on the beaches
in sleeping bags and got around by bus. It was at one of the
bus stations that I first tasted this dish, which originated in
Egypt. I love this method of browning pasta in butter after
cooking it, which changes the texture of the pasta, making
it firmer and creating a toasted wheat flavor that enhances
the dish.

2 cups chopped white
onions
1 cup dried brown lentils,
rinsed
¾ cup basmati rice
1 tablespoon ground
cumin
Kosher salt
2½ cups vegetable stock
or water
1 cup straight-cut
macaroni (ditalini)
¼ cup extra virgin
olive oil
1 tablespoon harissa (see
page 49)
1 bunch fresh Italian
parsley leaves, chopped

1 In a large saucepan set over medium-high heat, heat the
canola oil and butter. Add the onions and cook until they
start to caramelize, about 4 minutes. Add the lentils and
rice, and toast, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Add the
cumin and 1 tablespoon salt, and stir to combine. Cook
for 1 to 2 minutes to toast the cumin. Then add the stock,
reduce the heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, until the
liquid has been absorbed and the mixture is starting to
crackle and toast on the bottom, about 30 minutes. (You
may need to stir the mixture occasionally to make sure that
the rice and lentils don’t burn on the bottom of the pan.
You will know that the mixture is done when the rice and
lentils are tender and cooked through, but are not mushy
or soft.) Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and
set it aside to cool at room temperature.

2 Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until
al dente. Drain well.

3 Heat a sauté pan over medium heat and add the olive oil.
Add the drained pasta and cook until it starts to crisp and
brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, and
add the harissa and a pinch of salt (or to taste).

4 Add the pasta and the chopped parsley to the rice mixture,
and stir to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature.

86

susan feniger’s street food

{ trav e log ue }

Kochi, India
It is better to travel well than to arrive.

—buddha

S

I am traveling lazily down the “back­

comes by, climbs up one of the palms,

wooden boat, with a journalist friend

slices the fronds, and captures the juice

sitting alongside me. Our destination is a

in a small jug. This they cork and set

small island in the middle of a maze of

aside for it to ferment all day. When it’s

winding channels, and our intention is to

done, it will be a lovely opaque coconut

lunch with a coconut farmer. As we pull

beer. Another neighbor—you can see how

up to the landing, I see a little pink house

close the community is—brings Thomas

surrounded by haphazard vegetable

a number of freshly caught whole fish in

gardens: vanilla bean plants that wind

exchange for coconuts. Jaycee, Leelama,

their way up palm trees, gorgeous orchids

and I take the fish to the river to gut and

everywhere, black pepper plants . . . a

clean them. I spent a year working at a

Shangri-la of my dreams. Thomas, his

fish market in upstate New York, so it

wife, Leelama, and their twenty-year-old

definitely takes me back (although in the

daughter, Jaycee, are the hosts, while a

United States I worked with a sharper

score of neighbors keep dropping by to

knife!). At this point, what was planned to

give or trade some taste or delicacy.

be a couple of hours for lunch is turning

As soon as we arrive, a neighbor
offers to take me fishing for mussels, and I
immediately accept, eager to get a chance

112

At some point another neighbor

waters” of Kochi in a slender fifteen-foot

into an entire day spent eating, drinking,
and cooking.
Early in the afternoon we take the

to see mussel fishing in India firsthand.

boat and Thomas shows us the canals.

We pole out, and he uses a shovel, which

Thomas navigates a low stone bridge—

doubles as his pole, to dig down into

so low we have to lean back in the boat—

the mud and bring up the small black

and then we zigzag our way through ever

shellfish. We return with about fifteen

narrowing canals that are surrounded

pounds, which will end up being our

by acres and acres of palm trees. Thomas

afternoon snack. They steam the mussels,

stops the boat and we lie back, looking at

remove the meat, then salt, fry, and curry

the canopy of coconut palms above. We

them with coconut and spices. They’re

doze for an afternoon nap, with nothing to

eaten as a crispy snack, the way we would

disturb us but the sounds of the river, and

eat peanuts at a bar. Delicious!

eventually return to the house for tea.

susan feniger’s street food

Fish curry is to be our next meal, so
Thomas shows me how he splits coconuts
with one swipe on a hooked spear planted

hollow bamboo shoot and steamed yucca
from their garden.
We put up a folding table among the

in the ground. This is definitely a honed

goats, ducks, orchids, and vanilla beans

skill. I help grate the white coconut flesh

for a lovely dinner in another world.

on a raw steel “fork” attached to the table,

We’ve been here so long that the beer

while Leelama grinds an amazingly

has finished fermenting, so we uncork

aromatic blend of spices with a stone

it and drink it along with the meal. The

roller on a stone slab. She throws coconut

neighbors join us while we talk of politics

scraps to their pet parrot while she

and overbearing fathers, and after dinner

works. While I’m working away, five ducks

Thomas carves the coconut shells into

waddle around behind me and three

animal toys for his grandchildren.

curious goats watch the whole process.
Jaycee purees the grated coconut

At dusk, we pole away from the
island, carrying with us twine made from

into milk, picks limes from a nearby tree,

coconut fiber that Thomas sells on the

and takes the paste of ground spices and

mainland. The river is green and silent

fries it with garlic and ginger. Meanwhile,

except for the water dripping off the

Thomas pours us some of his homemade

poles. Other boats go by occasionally, and

wine. The fish is sautéed in a pan over

people wave or call out a greeting. I could

a wood-burning fire; then the coconut

come back here and stay for a month with

milk and spice paste are added and the

Thomas and his family, but instead will

whole thing is quickly braised. The dish

keep the enchantment of our wonderful

is finished with rice that was cooked in a

food-filled day fresh in my memory.

land & sea

113

Makes 11 pieces I ate so much matzo when I lived

Olive oil spray

on a kibbutz in Israel that I wasn’t sure I could ever eat it
again—and to be honest, unless it’s loaded with butter and
salt, who would want to eat this stuff in the first place? But in
this recipe, the smooth, velvety texture of the halva combined
with the saltiness of the cracker is the way to eat matzo going
forward in life. Big statement, I know.

1 (11-ounce) box
unsalted matzo crackers
(11 crackers)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted
butter
2 cups packed dark brown
sugar
½ cup light corn syrup

1 Preheat the oven to 300°F. Spray 3 baking sheets with
olive oil spray.

2 Lay the matzo out in a single layer on the prepared baking
sheets.

1½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ pound semisweet
chocolate, roughly
chopped
¼ pound (1 cup) halva

3 Put the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a small
saucepan set over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally,
for 3 to 4 minutes, until the butter melts. Raise the heat
to medium and cook until the mixture is bubbling rapidly,
3 minutes. Add the baking soda, turn off the heat, and stir.
The caramel mixture will be thick and bubbly.

4 Spread the caramel over the top of the matzo crackers,
covering their entire surface. Put the baking sheets in the
oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.

5 Remove the baking sheets from the oven and immediately
sprinkle the chopped chocolate over the caramel-covered
matzo. Using a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon,
spread the chocolate pieces so that they melt and coat
the caramel matzo evenly. Then, while the chocolate is still
warm, sprinkle with the halva. Let the matzo cool in the
refrigerator for 1 hour or longer.

6 Break the cooled matzo into smaller pieces, and serve.
Store any extras in the refrigerator in an airtight container
or plastic bags.

sweets

183

Pur
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eacopyof

S
US
ANF
ENI
GER’
S
S
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REETF
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CLARKSON POTTER