Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Za'atar Chicken Tenders and Pickled Ginger Honey Yogurt Slaw Hot Dog Bun Snack Sandwich

     A Gourmet Hot Dog Bun Snack Sandwich!
     There is no shortage of flavor on today's little hot dog bun snack sandwich!  Za'atar Spice Mix has been popular since long before the ancient age of the Egyptian Pharaohs.  Za'atar is commonly used as a topping on Khubz Arabi (pita bread).  Za'atar spiced chicken is popular too.  The toasted sesame and exotic spice flavors of Za'atar Chicken are perfect for a snack sandwich.
     There are many Za'atar Spice Mix recipes.  There are regional and local variations of Za'atar.  Some of the family Za'atar recipes have been passed on from one generation to the next since the days of ancient Egypt and some recipes are closely guarded secrets.
     Usually the base spice mixture for a traditional Za'atar is a combination of cumin, coarse ground toasted sesame seed, wild thyme, dried red sumac berry, fenugreek and ground peppercorn.  Several other spices can be part of the mixture too.  Purchasing the separate spices to make Za'atar can be expensive and Wild Thyme is rarely available.  Wild Thyme is required and this herb tastes nothing like the Thyme species that is used in European cuisine.
     Honestly, it is much more cost effective to purchase a container of pre-mixed Za'atar.  Using a Za'atar Spice Mix that is crafted in the old world also allows a cook to become familiar with the flavor, so it is easier to mix a custom variation of the recipe at a later date.  Containers of Za'atar are available at Mediterranean food markets and they sell for a modest price.
     Regular buttermilk or mayonnaise based coleslaw would not be a good choice for today's recipe.  The light flavor of a Pickled Ginger Honey Slaw is a perfect match for the flavor of Za'atar Chicken.

     Pickled Ginger Honey Coleslaw:
     This recipe yields 2 cups.  (Enough for about 6 hot dog bun snack sandwiches.)
     After the cabbage wilts, the total volume of the slaw will decrease.  
     Step 1:  Place 2 1/2 cups of very thin sliced Napa Cabbage in a mixing bowl.
     Add 2 tablespoons of finely chopped green bell pepper.
     Add 1 tablespoon of finely chopped roasted red bell pepper.
     Add a little bit of very thin sliced carrot strips for color.  (about 2 tablespoons.)
     Step 2:  Add 3 tablespoons of very thin sliced pickled ginger strips.  (Sliced sushi style pickled ginger is perfect for this recipe.)
     Add 2 tablespoons of honey.
     Add 1/4 cup of goat milk yogurt (Greek Yogurt).
     Add 2 pinches of sea salt and black pepper.
     Step 3:  Thoroughly mix the ingredients together.
     Place the coleslaw in a container.
     Chill the coleslaw for 1 hour, so the flavors meld and the cabbage wilts.  Stir occasionally.
     Stir the slaw before serving.

     Za'atar Chicken Tenders: 
     This recipe yields 2 chicken tenders.  (Enough for 1 hot dog bun snack sandwich.)
     Pre-mix Za'atar is available in Mediterranean food markets.
     Step 1:  Heat a sauté pan over medium heat.
     Add 2 teaspoons of blended olive oil.
     Add 2 chicken tenders.
     Lightly season with sea salt.
     Step 2:  Briefly sauté the chicken tenders on both sides till they are almost halfway cooked.
     Remove the pan from the heat.
     Step 3:  Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of virgin olive oil over each chicken tender.
     Sprinkle a generous amount of Za'atar Spice Mix on top of the chicken tenders.
     Step 4:  Place the sauté pan with the Za'atar Chicken Tenders in a 350ºF oven.
     Roast the chicken tenders till they are fully cooked and till the Za'atar Spices are lightly toasted.
     Keep the the Za'atar Chicken tenders warm on a stove top.

     Za'atar Chicken Tenders and Pickled Ginger Honey Yogurt Slaw Hot Dog Bun Snack Sandwich:
     This recipe yields 1 hot dog bun snack sandwich.
     Chicago style Poppyseed Hot Dog Buns are nice for this recipe.
     Step 1:  Warm 1 Poppyseed Hot Dog Bun in an oven.
     Place the bun on a plate.
     Step 2:  Spread about 1/3 cup of the Pickled Ginger Honey Yogurt Slaw on the hot dog bun.
     Place the 2 Za'atar Chicken Tenders on the slaw.
     Step 3:  Garnish the plate with a Persian Pickled Wild Cucumber and an Italian Parsley sprig.

     Gourmet hot dog bun snack sandwiches are a trendy item and this one is loaded with great flavor!

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