Thursday, January 3, 2013

Pork-Stuffed Pepperoncini

We're 3 days in and 2013 has been great! I received a lot of positive feedback on my New Year's Day post and a few requests for the pepperoncini recipe I mentioned (surprise! check out below!). Then I had another day off work. You really can't beat that. I also learned first-hand why everyone loves Lululemon.  CaveBoy put a Lululemon headband in my stocking this year. It was super cute! But it didn't fit and fell right off when I tried to wear it. (It was "one size fits all." Does that mean I have an abnormally small head?) I tried to return it to the local store this morning, but couldn't. It turns out, headwear sales are final for sanitary reasons. I understood but was disappointed.

BUT THEN the lovely girl behind the counter offered to give me a free headband (I think the word she used was "promo" but I was too excited to listen closely) because she didn't want me to lose out on a Christmas gift.  She showed me to the headband display, and recommended a different style that she promised would stay on for both running and yoga. I imagined that meant it could also stand up to Tabata squats. She removed the tags, rang up a $0 sale, and handed me my new headband. Can you believe it? I haven't received amazing customer service like that in a loooong time, probably not since we left Texas. And she was right. I tried on the headband when I got back home, and it is going to work perfectly. I also saw a super cute backpack on the way out of the store. It's a little pricy, but after the headband-that-saved-Christmas, Lululemon has a customer for life!

And now the real reason you clicked on this page:

Pork-Stuffed Pepperoncini

These bad-boys were a hit on Christmas Eve. They also re-heated really well.


1 large (15.5 Oz) jar pepperoncini
1/2 sweet red onion, diced
1/2 pound ground pork
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 egg
1 tablespoon olive oil
crushed red pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium skillet, saute diced onion in olive oil until brown.  While the onions are cooking, remove the pepperoncini from the jar and preserve 1/2 cup of the liquid.  Remove the tops and seeds from the pepperoncini.  When the onions are almost completely browned, add the diced garlic and cook until it is pleasantly aromatic (aka it smells like delicious garlic). Deglaze the skillet with the 1/2 cup of preserved pepperoncini liquid.  Season with a pinch of salt, a few shakes of black pepper, and a pinch of crushed red pepper (or more if you like it spicy).  Continue cooking until most of the liquid is gone. Remove from heat and allow to cool. In a medium bowl mix pork, egg, and cooled onion mixture. Using your hands, stuff pork mixture into each pepperoncini, overstuffing them so that pork protrudes from the opening (see picture).  Bake* at 400 degrees until the pork is cooked through. About 20 minutes. Makes about 20,** depending on how many pepperoncini are in your jar.

*Note1: I baked my pepperoncini in a mini muffin tin, placing one pepper in each little cup. I was concerned about dripping grease. But, that turned out to be unnecessary. You could use a large cookie sheet and be just fine.

**Note2: If you have any left-over pork mixture, roll it into meatballs about the same size as your peppers. Bake along with the peppers. This way you can cut one open to be double sure it is cooked through without having to damage a pepperoncini. It also gives you something to snack on while you finish getting the food ready. (Who's looking out for you?)

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