Susan Feniger is one of my favorite chefs in Los Angeles. She is an award-winning American chef, restaurateur, cookbook author, and radio and TV personality considered to be a leading authority on Latin cuisine in the United States.
After working together in Chicago and Paris, Feniger and her longtime collaborator, Mary Sue Milliken, settled in Los Angeles where they founded the critically acclaimed City Cafe in 1981. They eventually expanded to a larger space on La Brea Blvd., renaming the establishment CITY Restaurant. I used to go there often
In 1985, they opened the Mexican restaurant Border Grill in the original City Cafe space, before moving it to Santa Monica in 1990. The restaurant later expanded to Pasadena (closed) and the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas. Broadening their culinary horizons Feniger and her partner opened the Latin flavor Ciudad in Los Angeles in 1998. The success of the three restaurants has often led Feniger and Milliken to be recognized for single-handedly changing LA’s culinary landscape.
In April 2009, Feniger opened her first solo project Street, a multi-ethnic eatery of “street food” in Hollywood. Sample dishes include: millet puffs, paani puri, Massamum chicken curry, dumplings, Egyptian-style baked fish and peanut butter cookies for dessert.
I have been to Street on several occasions and am never disappointed. The food is exciting, new and you will experience things that you can not get any where else prepared to her level of perfection. Every bite is an explosion of flavor in your mouth. I was thrilled to meet her very briefly at an event last year. I was hoping that by breathing the same air, it might foster a grain of her ingenuity and talent in my brain.
When you sit down at the restaurant, you get a little bowl of millet puffs that baffled me as to how she made them. The recipe was published on Tasting Table Los Angeles and I just had to share. If you are ever in Los Angeles, you must go to Street and sample an array of truly interesting food.
Yield: 70 balls
2 Tbs unsalted butter
5 oz marshmallows
1 Tbs cumin seed
1 tsp fennel seed
1 tsp black mustard seed
¾ tsp chile powder
¼ tsp ground turmeric
2 oz dried currants
½ tsp salt
1 tsp chopped curry leaf
3 cups puffed millet, preferably Arrowhead Mills brand
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the marshmallows and lower the heat, stirring occasionally to keep them from burning.
When the marshmallows are halfway melted, add all the remaining ingredients except the puffed millet. Stir until the marshmallows finish melting and the mix becomes fragrant.
Remove from the heat, add the millet, and stir until the puffed grains are evenly coated with the spiced marshmallow mixture.
Transfer the millet to a large bowl and immediately begin forming very small balls, each approximently the size of a piece of popcorn. If the mixture is too sticky, dampening your hands with water will make it easier to work with. Let the balls sit, uncovered, for about 1 hour before serving.