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story.lead_photo.caption Lubbock Avalanche-Journal/TNS Cubed Pepperoncini Pork with Orzo

I often cook pork seasoned with New Mexico green chile, if I'm adding a peppery spice to the dish. But I do change it up from time to time. I've always loved the flavor of pepperoncini. This little Italian pepper term can also be spelled, "peperoncini, or pepperoncino." The variety it refers to is generally pretty mild and very similar to a banana pepper.

I buy jarred pepperoncini that have been pickled in vinegar. When I prepare this dish, I am cautious to not dip out too much of the pickling liquid when measuring them out for the recipe. You could even pat them dry with a paper towel if you do not want too much of the flavor, or fumes, when you add them to the hot skillet.

This dish would be perfectly paired with rice, or egg noodles, but orzo, or even couscous or quinoa make a good bed to serve the pork and peppers over.

If using a large skillet or Dutch oven, you can probably add all the pork at one time and not overcrowd it, but be sure there is enough room to allow the cubes to brown, and not steam. If using a smaller skillet, cook the pork in batches and add more oil, as needed.

Cubed Pepperoncini Pork is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner.

Cubed Pepperoncini Pork With Orzo

½ cup all-purpose flour

1┬╝ teaspoons salt, divided use

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

1┬Ż pounds cubed pork

2 tablespoons PLUS 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided use, plus more as needed

1 cup uncooked orzo

2 tablespoons butter

½ cup pickled, sliced pepperoncini, drained and patted dry

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

Place flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper in shallow dish. Toss in the cubes of pork until they are lightly coated with the flour mixture. Shake off any excess.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat in a large skillet or Dutch oven. Drop a pinch of flour into the oil and when it sizzles, add the pork. Cook pork for a couple of minutes on each side until all sides are browned and meat is cooked through. Be cautious not to overcrowd the pork. Work in batches, if need be, and add additional tablespoon of oil, as needed.

Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to boil over high heat. Cook orzo in boiling water according to package instructions. Drain and toss with 1 teaspoon olive oil and ⅛ teaspoon salt. Set aside.

When pork is done, remove from skillet and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Wipe out the skillet with tongs and a paper towel if there is any darkened flour residue. Add butter and melt over medium heat. Add pepperoncini, garlic and ⅛ teaspoon salt. Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add pork cubes to pepperoncini mixture. Serve over cooked orzo.

Makes 3 servings.

Angelina Larue is a food writer, recipe developer and author of The Whole Enchilada Fresh and Nutritious Southwestern Cuisine.

Food on 06/19/2019

Print Headline: Italian pepperoncini adds flavor to cubed pork


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