Crispy Pig Ear!

We had a great dinner at one of Austin’s new restaurants, Juniper. Both the chef/owner and the executive chef used to work at Uchi/Uchiko, Tyson Cole’s amazing “modern Japanese” Austin sushi places. Being adventurous eaters, we tried the “Shaped Pasta With Crispy Pig Ear”:
another version of Juniper's Shaped Pasta with Crispy Pig Ear

It’s orecchiette pasta in a light cream sauce, with strips of crispy pig ear. The sauce has a slight acidic tang to it which really played off of the dish’s richness. The piève de resistance, though, was the crispy strips of pig ear: a cross between bacon and chicharrón/pork fat cracklings, but far crunchier and harder than either can ever hope to be. The dish was a revelation!

Here’s another version of it:
Juniper's Shaped Pasta with Crispy Pig Ear