This savory herb-flecked sauté tastes just like stuffing, but without the bread—goodbye carbs! It embraces celery’s crisp texture and distinctive flavor. Found in a decade-old issue of Fine Cooking Magazine, it intrigued us enough to include as a side dish for our Smothered Chicken with Bourbon and Miso.
One rarely thinks of cooked celery as the star of a side dish. It typically takes a back burner as a mix-in to salads, additive to soups, or an accompaniment to hot wings. But here it shines and surprises. We have now added the recipe to our favorites and plan to serve to guests, especially those who are vegetarian.
Boneless country-style pork spareribs are a rich, flavorful cut that stands up nicely to the bold Mediterranean ingredients in this recipe for tigania, a Greek vegetable and meat dish similar to a stir-fry. There are copious amounts of leeks, which turn soft and savory, practically melting in your mouth by the time the dish is ready.
Don’t forget to wash and dry the leeks after slicing them. Leeks’ many layers trap sand and grit. After adding the pork to the skillet, don’t stir the pieces until they’ve formed a nice brown crust on the bottom.
You can serve it over a bed of steamed rice like us, or perhaps simple boiled potatoes is more your style. And if you’re cruising down that low-carb highway, simply eat it as is.
Spicy Pork with Leeks and Roasted Red Peppers (Tigania)
2 lbs. boneless country-style pork spareribs, trimmed and cut into 1½-inch chunks
1 Tbsp. grapeseed or other neutral oil
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
6 large leeks, white and light green parts sliced ½-inch thick, rinsed and dried
4 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 cup dry white wine
1 7-oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained and diced (about 1 cup)
½ cup pitted green olives, chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh oregano, minced
Lemon wedges, to serve
In a large bowl, stir together the pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper, and ¾ teaspoon of the dried oregano. Add the pork and toss.
In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat the grapeseed oil until smoking. Add the pork in a single layer and cook without disturbing until dark golden brown on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Stir and cook until no longer pink, about another 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a large plate.
Pour off and discard the fat from the pan, then return to medium-high. Add the olive oil, leeks, garlic, the remaining 2 teaspoons dried oregano and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits, until the leeks begin to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the pork, then the wine. Bring to a simmer and cover, then reduce to low and cook until the pork is tender, about 30 minutes.
Stir in the roasted red peppers and olives. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with fresh oregano. Serve with lemon wedges.