This installment I go a bit further east along the Mediterranean Sea to the middle east for a spice blend. Thyme is not the only herb in Za’atar, the particular version I used also has the requisite sesame seeds, sumac and salt but also marjoram and oregano. A very aromatic blend.
If you haven’t guessed this is another cooking at home entry. Za’atar is used a lot of different ways from adding it to olive oil dipped pita to sprinkling it into hummus to adding it to meat and vegetable dishes. I opted to try the last of those by using pork as my protein. While pork is not a huge middle-eastern favorite I had that 2lb slab of pork left from the sausage making so it would do. I had about 2 tbsps of the spice so mixed it with olive oil to make a paste to spread on each side of the pork and then let it marinate (sort of) for a while.
I wanted it tender so I decided to sear it on both sides and then throw it in the pressure cooker with some chicken stock for the pressure liquid and a small onion sliced thin. It came out tender, however in hindsight I think baking it would have preserved more of the spice blend on the pork. It still tasted nice with the thyme and oregano coming through well. I captured more of the other flavors using some of the juices later.
To keep the meal in theme I made some couscous and homemade pita bread and then added some mixed vegetables for color and just because they’re good.
After taking the picture I added the aforementioned juices to the couscous and pork and that perked up both.
I’ve used za’atar before in chicken dishes from Blue Apron so I know it goes well with chicken too. My favorite way to date though was using some on a pita with olive oil and a bit of feta and baking it just a bit. It’s a very versatile blend and worth trying out.