Sautéed Pork Scallops with Scallions and Capers

Fettine di Maiale con Cipolline e Capperi

This is the last recipe that I worked on for this book. I had left Venice after completing the rest of the manuscript to recuperate for a few winter weeks under the tender sun of Longboat Key, Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico. As I was browsing through the meat counter of the local Publix market I saw pork loin that had been sliced almost as thin as scaloppine. My father used to cut it that way and cook the slices quickly in a pan in which he softened some cut-up young spring onions with a few capers. I never see here those sweet young onions which in Italy come to the market with their edible green tops on, but there are scallions available, a variety of onion that Italian farmers seem to ignore. Their flavor is even richer than that of onions, and not at all unsuited to this dish.

Ingredients

  • 15 scallions
  • tablespoons capers, drained if packed in vinegar, rinsed and drained if in salt
  • 1 pound sliced boneless top pork loin chop
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Flour, spread on a plate
  • Salt
  • Black pepper ground fresh

Method

  1. Wash the scallions in two or three changes of cold water, and slice them into ½-inch pieces, bulb and green tops included. You should get about cups.
  2. Chop the capers.
  3. Using a meat pounder, or the flat side of the blade of a heayy knife, lightly pound the pork scallops to a thickness of about inch.
  4. Put all the oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a 12-inch skillet and turn on the heat to high.
  5. When the oil is hot, turn both sides of the pork scallops in the flour and slip them into the pan. Brown them well on both sides; then, using a slotted spoon or spatula, transfer them to a warm plate.
  6. Turn the heat down under the skillet to medium low and put in the cut-up scallions, add salt and pepper, and cover the pan. Cook, stirring from time to time, until the scallions are very, very soft, about 20 minutes.
  7. Uncover the pan and add the chopped capers, turning them over once or twice.
  8. Put the remaining tablespoon of butter in the pan and put the meat back in. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and turn the meat over once or twice. Cook just a few minutes until the scallops have been thoroughly reheated—but not much longer, or the meat may become tough. Turn the contents of the skillet out onto a warm serving platter and bring to the table at once.

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