Susan Feniger’s Street Food
By: Susan Feniger with Kajsa Alger & Liz Lachman
Publisher: Clarkson Potter
I know I’m dating myself here, but one of my all-time favorite cooking shows was Too Hot Tamales. It was on The Food Network, way back when it was a fledgling cable channel, and starred chefs Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken. The camaraderie between the two best friends made the show fun to watch and the recipes were wonderful. Whenever I spot a show featuring either one of these ladies now I always make a point to tune in. They are one of my foodie crushes. Meeting either one in person would be a squee-worthy moment.
Recently I won a Barnes and Noble gift certificate and I decided to spend it on beautiful cookbooks. As I was browsing the selection I came across Susan Feniger’s Street Food. The book went into my shopping cart immediately. I am a big fan of street food. I’ll make u-turns on a busy road to stop at a food truck. Often the menus on trucks and carts are just as unique and tasty as anything served in a restaurant. I see Ms. Feniger is also a fan, since she has traveled the world and then brought back some of the street food recipes for her restaurant, STREET. A restaurant offering street food delicacies? Awesome. I just wish it wasn’t on the other side of the country, in Los Angeles.
The recipes in this book are some of the dishes that are or have been offered on the rotating menu at the restaurant. Tasty treats from around the world are featured in categories ranging from Starters & Small Bites to Elixirs & Tonics & Lhassis. So basically snacks to drinks and everything in between, including spice mixes and condiments. While some of the recipes have more exotic ingredients, things you’d need to find a specialty or ethnic markets, there are plenty made with easily attainable ingredients. In most cases, substitutes are also listed for those hard-to-find items. While this book is a pleasure to read, with pictures of every dish and tales of sampling street food in exotic locales, this is definitely a cookbook I will use. Just a few of the recipes I want to make are Korean Chopped Salad with Sesame Dressing (a riff on bi bim bap) and Romanian Sweet and Sour Eggplant. So far I have only tried the Egyptian Bus Stop Kushary, which is a blend of rice, pasta and lentils. I wasn’t sure how the combination of ingredients would work together, but I really enjoyed the recipe which is featured on Page 11 of this Scribd preview. Even my hubby, who is not fond of vegetarian meals, liked it. I had to make a few substitutions and I would make one change in the future. I replaced the vegetable broth with chicken broth and the harissa with Thai red chile paste because that is what I had on hand. Also, I would’ve liked the lentils to be a bit more tender, so in the future I’ll add those in a few minutes before the rice.
If you are a fan of street food or just looking for unique recipes from many different regions around the world I would definitely recommend this book. You can take a journey in words to exotic places like the Mongolian Steppes and Bezirgan, Turkey. Then head to your kitchen and make some of the foods from that region. To find out more about the book you can visit: http://streetfoodbook.susanfenigersite.com .