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Susan Feniger Dishes On Cooking Career, What's Cool For Summer

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Feniger
Border Grill

Susan Feniger

Susan Feniger has been at the forefront of the Los Angeles dining scene since the early 1980s.

Along with her business partner Mary Sue Milliken, they own restaurants, a food truck, a grab-and-go kiosk and a catering business.

Oh, and by the way – their Border Grill restaurants are located on the Strip in Mandalay Bay and the Forum Shops.

Feniger attributed their success to remaining hands on with their restaurants.

“I’m still in our restaurants five or six days a week,” Feniger told KNPR’s State of Nevada. “I’m very involved, very part of a team and that’s where I think we’ve been able to weather the ups and downs of the restaurant business.”

She said it is the unusual restaurant that is always on the up. Usually, Feniger says, you go through ups and downs and “whether you can survive those is really a matter I think of luck or how involved you are to stay connected with what’s going on.”

Feniger said her favorite summertime pastime in Las Vegas is to sit out on the patio at the Border Grill at Mandalay Bay with a margarita, enjoying a ceviche.   

So, as the temperature hovers above 105 in Las Vegas – Feniger offers two unique ceviche recipes for summer.

Baja Ceviche Tostada

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Border Grill

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Baja ceviche at Border Grill in Las Vegas

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Border Grill

Peruvian ceviche from Border Grill

Serves 4

1 pound skinless, boneless Pacific halibut*, finely diced

1 pound domestic, wild-caught jumbo shrimp*, cleaned and finely diced

1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

1/2 red onion, finely diced

1/2 to 1 jalapeno, stem and seeds removed, finely diced

1/2 bunch cilantro, finely chopped

2 Roma tomatoes, finely diced

2 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced

Salt, to taste

Vegetable or canola oil, for frying

4 6-inch corn tortillas

1 bunch cilantro

Juice of 1 lime

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/2 cup mayonnaise

Sliced California avocado, for garnish

In a large bowl, combine halibut and shrimp and enough lime juice to cover.  Allow to marinate for 20 minutes.  Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of lime juice.

Combine seafood with remaining ingredients and reserved lime juice, to taste, and stir gently to combine.  Chill thoroughly. 

Meanwhile, pour oil to a depth of 1/2 inch in a small pan for frying.  Fry the tortillas on both sides until crisp and drain on paper towels.

To a food processor, add cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper.  Pulse until cilantro is very finely chopped and a paste begins to form.  Add mayonnaise and combine thoroughly.

To serve, spread a thin layer of cilantro mayonnaise on each crispy corn tortilla.  Top with seafood ceviche mixture and garnish with avocado. 

Peruvian Ceviche

Featuring South American aji amarillo chiles, freshly grated ginger, and lime, this ceviche is an ambassador to the exotic flavors of Peru.

Serves 4

1 pound skinless, boneless sustainable fish*, cut in 1/4-inch dice

1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

1/2 red onion, diced

1 jalapeño chile, stem and seeds removed, diced

1 aji amarillo chile (jarred), stem and seeds removed, minced

1 1/2 teaspoons aji amarillo paste

1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced or grated

1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt, to taste

Plantain chips or tortilla chips, for serving

Pickled Red Onions (see recipe below), for serving

Sliced California avocado, for serving

In a large bowl, combine fish and enough lime juice to cover.  Allow to marinate for 20 minutes.  Drain fish, reserving 1/4 cup of lime juice.  Combine fish with remaining ingredients and reserved lime juice to taste and stir gently to combine.  Chill thoroughly.  Serve in a chilled martini glass, garnished with plantain chips or tortilla chips, Pickled Red Onions, and slices of avocado.

Pickled Red Onions

Makes 5 1/2 cups

1 pound red onions, thinly sliced

1 cup white vinegar

1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1 teaspoon roughly chopped cumin seeds

1 teaspoon dried oregano

4 cloves garlic, sliced

2 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 beet, trimmed, peeled, and cut into 8 wedges

Place the onions in a medium saucepan and pour in enough water to cover.  Bring to a boil, and remove from the heat.  Strain and set the onions aside.  Combine all the remaining ingredients in the saucepan.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook 10 minutes.  Add the blanched onions and simmer an additional 10 minutes.  Transfer the mixture to a container, cover, and refrigerate at least a day before serving.  Pickled onions will keep in the refrigerator up to a month.

Guests

Susan Feniger, chef and co-owner of the Border Grill

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