Saturday, April 2, 2016

Grilled Smoked Hog Jowl and Garlic Peppers on a Poppyseed Bun

     A Gourmet Hot Dog Bun Snack Sandwich!
     Hot Dog Bun Snack Sandwiches were a trendy item for a short time back when the Gourmet Street Food trend first got underway.  Chefs were putting every gourmet item imaginable on a hot dog bun, with the goal of creating an irresistibly good tasting snack sandwich that could be eaten in just a few bites.    
     Old time ethnic food favorites and interesting secondary cuts of meat are good choices for making a hot dog bun snack sandwich.  Hog Jowl definitely fits the bill of fare, because this is a secondary cut of pork that has ethnic roots no matter where it is prepared.
     Hog Jowl is the cheek meat of a hog.  There is a thick section of fat and thick section of meat in a hog jowl.  Smoke houses in the Chicago meat packing district produce very high quality smoked pork products.  The Smoked Hog Jowl that is featured in today's recipe was purchased in Chicago.  The Smoked Hog Jowl had a classic hickory and white oak smoke flavor.
     Slowly grilling a slice of Smoked Hog Jowl on a cast iron griddle really enhances the smoky pork flavor.  Mildly spicy grilled Garlic Peppers compliment the rich flavor of Smoked Hog Jowl in a nice way.
     Serving pickles with a sandwich is the classic way to go.  The only pickles that I had on hand was a variety of traditional Persian pickle products.  Pickle products from Iran and Iraq are superb in quality and they should be, because ancient Mesopotamians were among the first to perfect the pickling process.  Colorful Persian pickles always look nice on a plate.
     Grilled Smoked Hog Jowl and Garlic Peppers on a Poppyseed Bun:
     This recipe yields 1 hot dog bun snack sandwich.
     Step 1:  Cut a 4 thin slices of smoked hog jowl.  (Each slice should weigh about 3/4 ounce to 1 ounce.)
     Step 2:  Heat a cast iron griddle or skillet over medium low heat.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of blended olive oil.
     Add the sliced hog jowl pieces.
     Slowly grill the hog jowl slices till crisp light brown highlights appear on both sides.
     Step 3:  Add 2 thick strips of green bell pepper.
     Add 1 seeded Cubanelle Pepper that is cut into long strips.
     Add 1/2 of a julienne sliced seeded green jalapeño pepper.
     Add 2 chopped garlic cloves.
     Add 1 pinch of coarsely ground black pepper and sea salt.
     Gently grill the peppers, garlic and hog jowl slices together, till the peppers are tender and lightly caramelized on the edges.
     Step 4:  Add 5 or 6 thin strips of roasted red bell pepper.
     Toss the ingredients together.
     Step 5:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Keep the smoked hog jowl and garlic peppers warm on a stove top.
     Step 6:  Warm a Chicago style Poppyseed Hot Dog bun in an oven.
     Place the bun on a cutting board.
     Place the grilled smoked hog jowl slices on the bun.
     Place the Garlic Peppers on the smoked hog jowl slices.
     Step 7:  Place the sandwich on a plate.
     Garnish the plate with parsley sprigs and pickles.
     *The pickles in the photos are Persian Pickled Wild Cucumber, Pickled Pink Turnips and a Pickled Mild Red Paprika Pepper.
     This is a good tasting gourmet style hot dog bun snack sandwich for a Saturday afternoon!

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