Susan Feniger 2014 Picnic Recipes


appetizermain entreedessertthe bowl

SUSANfenigerJune 21, the summer solstice, is the official opening night at the Hollywood Bowl,
and its star-studded program features a nearly all-girl lineup of Kristin Chenoweth, The Go-Go’s, Pink Martini, Carol Burnett and Lea Michele. Our featured chef for the week, Susan Feniger of Mud Hen Tavern, is a beloved personality whose
innovation and adventurous palate have shaped the contemporary L.A. dining scene
while opening doors for women chefs.
“From the time I was a kid, my parents loved music, so we used to listen to jazz around our house all the time. My dad was a great dancer, so I have pictures of myself dancing to Big Band music from the time I was six years old. Whenever I heard classical or jazz music, I felt like it spoke to me. Furthermore, my partner of 25 years is also a musician and that’s
what made me fall in love with her! So, you could say music is a big part of my life!”

—Susan Feniger

For more information visit:

[+click here] for our weekend entertainment guide




Serves 6


  • 1/2 small seedless watermelon (2-1/2 pounds)
  • 1/2 ripe cantaloupe melon (1-1/2 pounds)
  • 1/4 ripe honeydew melon (1 pound)
  • 2 3-inch “thumbs” of young ginger, finely minced (1/3 cup)
  • 4 tablespoons sesame seed, toasted
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (3 to 4 limes)
  • 1/4 cup light sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1-3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/4 cups raw blanched peanuts
  • 2 cups wide flake coconut, unsweetened
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, chopped


  1. Start by cutting the melon. Trim off all of the rind for all three melons,
    remove any seeds, and cut into a 1/2-inch dice. Place all of the melon
    together in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl combine the minced ginger, toasted sesame seeds, lime
    juice, soy sauce, half of the olive oil, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, and 1/2
    teaspoon of the salt. Mix well and pour over the melon.
  3. Toss and let marinate at room temperature while you prepare the rest of the salad.
  4. Put the lentils and water in a small saucepot over high heat. Bring to a boil
    (approximately 5 minutes).
  5. Reduce heat to low and simmer for another 15 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of the
    salt and cook for 5 minutes more, or until the lentils are tender, but not mushy.
  6. Drain and rinse with cold water to chill and then add to the melon mix. Stir and set aside.
  7. Mix the peanuts, coconut, kaffir lime, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of
    the salt, and the other half of the olive oil.
  8. Toast the peanut mixture in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat
    for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly. The coconut and peanuts will toast,
    somewhat unevenly, to a golden brown.
  9. Turn off heat and set aside to cool. Just before serving, add the peanut
    mixture to the melon mix and stir gently to combine.
  10. Serve in a large bowl, preferably at room temperature.



Serves 4


  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 4 ounces (1 cup) Peppadew peppers + 1/4 cup of its juice
  • 1 large red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and seeded
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry currants plumped in 1/4 cup water (reserve water)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Tunisian Relish (Recipe Follows)


  1. Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes and place in a medium mixing bowl. Set
    aside in the refrigerator until ready to marinate.
  2. Place Peppadews, bell pepper, oil, currants and salt into a blender and
    purée on high speed until smooth and emulsified. Pour half of this
    onto the chicken and mix well.
  3. Return the chicken to the refrigerator and let marinate for at least 30 minutes,
    or up to 4 hours.
  4. Reserve the remaining marinade to use later on.
  5. Meanwhile, make the relish. Set aside.
  6. Assemble your kebabs by placing 4 to 6 cubes of chicken per skewer. Continue
    until all of your chicken is used up.
  7. Salt your skewers to taste and then cook them on a barbecue grill or on a
    hot griddle, turning them so that they brown on all sides. They will cook
    for approximately 5 minutes.
  8. Remove from the grill, brush with the reserved marinade, and top with a spoonful of the relish.



  • 1/2 cup dried currants or black raisins, plumped in warm water (discard water)
  • 1 cup pitted green olives, such as Manzanilla, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Peppadew peppers, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup aged sherry vinegar, such as Jerez
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Place all of the ingredients into a bowl.
  2. Stir well to combine.
  3. Set aside.



Makes 18 Cups


  • 3/4 cup popcorn kernels
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 cups Candied Peanuts (Recipe Follows)
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded, unsweetened coconut, toasted
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon mace or nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons chopped curry leaf (optional)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda


  1. Preheat oven to 250°F.
  2. Prepare an extra large mixing bowl (not plastic) by spraying liberally with olive oil spray. Set aside.
  3. First, pop the popcorn.
  4. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, over medium-high heat, place the oil and the corn kernels.
  5. Cover and keep over heat, shaking occasionally, until popping begins (approximately 5 minutes).
  6. Once popping starts, shake continuously over the heat until popping slows down dramatically (another 3 to 5 minutes).
  7. Remove from heat but continue shaking until popping stops entirely.
  8. Uncover and transfer the popcorn into the prepared mixing bowl. Try not to let any un-popped kernels into the bowl.
  9. Add the toasted coconut.
  10. Prepare the candied peanuts and add to the bowl. Set aside.
  11. Before beginning the caramel process, spray a rubber spatula, wooden spoon and 2 cookie sheets liberally with olive oil spray.
  12. In a medium saucepot place the butter, brown sugar and corn syrup. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally with the sprayed rubber spatula, until butter is melted.
  13. Continue cooking, stirring constantly at this point, being careful not to splatter the hot caramel. When the mixture thickens or the temperature on a candy thermometer reaches 255°F, turn off heat. If you do not have a candy thermometer, you will know when it is ready when the bubbles of the mixture get noticeably larger and slower (approximately 7 minutes).
  14. Add the salt, baking soda, and all of the spices. Stir quickly to incorporate and pour immediately over the top of the popcorn mixture.
  15. Stir with your sprayed wooden spoon until all of the popcorn is well coated.
  16. Divide onto the 2 prepared cookie sheets and spread out evenly.
  17. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes and rotate the pans in the oven, if needed, to keep from burning.
  18. Remove cookie sheets from the oven and let cool to room temperature. Popcorn will crisp as it cools.
  19. When cool, you can serve immediately, or package in airtight bags for storage.



  • 2 cups peanuts
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut milk
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped kaffir lime leaf (approximately 10 leaves)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon reshampati or cayenne chile powder (optional)


  1. Place all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl and stir to combine.
  2. Place the mixture in a non-stick sauté pan and cook over high heat for
    approximately 2 minutes, undisturbed, until the nuts have started to brown and toast.
  3. Stir, and continue to stir occasionally, over the same level heat for another
    5 minutes, or until the peanuts have browned. The nuts will brown unevenly
    and the pan may smoke slightly from the coconut milk, this is all ok if you
    are stirring continuously.
  4. Remove from heat and transfer to a plate, at room temperature, to cool. The nuts
    will still be somewhat moist at this point.
  5. Once the nuts are cooled, break them up and add them to the popcorn/coconut mixture.
    Stir and set aside while you prepare your caramel.

This popcorn, perfect for the Hollywood Bowl, will keep well for 4 days.




MYFM Presents My Big Night Out

Ed Sheeran, Demi Lovato, Colbie Caillat, Andy Grammer (Lease Event)

Monday, June 16 at 7:30pm

[for tickets]

Opening Night at the Bowl

With performances by 2014 Hall of Fame inductees Kristin Chenoweth, The Go-Go’s and Pink Martini

Saturday, June 21 at 8:00pm

Celebrate summer at this star-studded benefit for the LA Phil and its education
programs honoring music legends in the 15th annual Hall of Fame concert with
presenter Carol Burnett, special guest Lea Michele, and fireworks!

[for tickets]

Janelle Monáe

Sunday, June 22 at 7:00pm

Nominated for six Grammys since her debut album, Janelle Monáe has become
one of the most iconic women in music with her mix of R&B, soul, hip-hop, funk
and science-fiction surrealism. Youngest son of Fela, Seun Kuti leads his
father’s final band, Egypt 80, with passionate lead vocals, fierce horn
hooks and unbridled hard-hitting grooves. Monáe’s smooth soul label
mate Roman GianArthur opens.

[for tickets]


To download a pdf of this recipe, [click here].


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