Home Cooked for the Holidays: Susan Feniger

Posted on Nov 20, 2013 10:45am

Chef Susan Feniger, owner of Border Grill and the soon-to-open Mud Hen Tavern, returns to THE TALK for "Home Cooked for the Holidays." Susan made a series of Thanksgiving sides that combine traditional holiday dishes with her love of international cuisine.

Baked Yams with Lime and Honey 

Serves 6 to 8

3 large yams (about 4 pounds)

1/2 cup water

6 tablespoons honey

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

Juice of 4 limes

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Crema, crème fraiche, or sour cream, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Wash the yams and place in a baking dish with the water.  Bake until the yams are soft and the skins puffy, about 1 1/2 hours.  Set aside to cool slightly (leave the oven on).

Peel the yams and place in a medium baking dish.  Add the honey, butter, lime juice, salt, and pepper.  Stir and mash well with a potato masher.  Cover with aluminum foil and return to the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until heated through.  Sprinkle the top with crema, creme fraiche, or sour cream and serve hot.

Copyright © 2013, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger,

Fresh Cranberry Salsa 

Makes about 3 cups

1 pound cranberries, fresh or frozen (thawed)

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons grated orange zest

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced

3 oranges, peeled, seeded, and diced

2 to 4 serrano chiles, stemmed and diced (with seeds)

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

1 bunch green onions, chopped

Finely chop the cranberries in a food processor or by hand.  Combine in a bowl with the remaining ingredients and mix together.  Set aside at room temperature 1 hour and then chill until ready to serve.  Store in the refrigerator for as long as 3 days.

Copyright © 2013, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger,

Shredded Brussels Sprouts

Serves 6 to 8

1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons water

1/2 lime, juiced

Soak whole Brussels sprouts in a large bowl of cold, salted water to clean.  Then trim and discard ends and any bitter outer leaves.  Cut each in half lengthwise then slice thinly across width.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Sauté sprouts with salt and pepper until they start to brown.  Add water and cook until barely limp, about 4 minutes.  (The water changes the action from sautéing to steaming.)  Stir in lime juice and serve immediately.

Copyright © 2013, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger,

Mashed Potatoes

Serves 6 to 8

2 1/2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and quartered

1 1/2 tablespoons salt

1 cup sour cream

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cracked black pepper, for garnish

Place potatoes in a bowl and wash under cold, running water until water runs clear.  Place in a medium saucepan with salt.  Add enough water to generously cover.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, until soft, about 15 minutes.  While potatoes are still warm, mash with a fork, in a food mill, or gently in a food processor.

In a medium saucepan, gently warm sour cream and butter.  Fold warm sour cream mixture into potatoes, add salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.  Garnish with cracked black pepper.

Copyright © 2013, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger,

Vietnamese Corn

Yield: 4 cups

8 oz Marinated Pork Belly, diced (see recipe below)

4 ea Scallions, slivered (2 oz)

1 ea Thai Chile, chopped

4 cups Fresh Corn Kernels

1 Tbl Fish Sauce

¼ tsp Kosher Salt

Heat a large skillet.  Cook the pork belly over medium high heat until it starts to crisp and half the fat is rendered out.

Add the scallions and then the corn and cook a few minutes more until the corn is cooked and tender.

Season with the fish sauce, salt, and pepper.

Cook just a few minutes until the corn is cooked to tender.

Serve immediately and garnish with more fresh scallions if desired.

*note: fish sauce is salty, so be careful not to cook down in the pan too much or the dish may become overly salty.

Pork Belly Marinade

For 1 pound of pork belly

1 tsp Mirin or Chinese Rice Wine

1 ½ Tbl Kikkoman Light Sodium Soy Sauce

½ Tbl Oyster Sauce

1 tsp Sesame Seeds

½ Tbl Szechuan Peppercorn

1 ea Star Anise

1 inch Cinnamon Stick

1 tsp Fennel Seed

3 ea Whole Cloves

½ stalk Lemongrass, trimmed and finely chopped

3 cloves Minced Garlic

1 ½ Tbl Canola Oil

4 oz Jaggery Sugar

Cut the pork belly into small, ½" cubes.  Place in a mixing bowl and set aside.

Grind the sesame seeds, peppercorn, anise, cinnamon, fennel seed, and cloves in a spice grinder.  Mix with remaining ingredients and then pour over pork belly.  Toss and rub into meat to marinate well.  The meat should marinate no less than 3 hours, but can be marinated in advance up to 2 days.

*note: this recipe is for 1 pound of meat, the corn recipe above uses half the amount of meat.

2010 Susan Feniger and Kajsa Alger

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