Padrón peppers - what to do?
I smoked some this weekend, along with some chocolate habaneros and serranos. Mine tend to be large and hot. Haven't tried them though.
Ok, I am totally biased, my friend grows them for a farm in Sonoma and she does an excellent job cooking them as well.
Per her instruction; get a cast iron skillet good and hot, add a TINY bit of olive oil, maybe even swipe it around and out, you don't want too much! Add the padrons, sear briefly on all sides, you will get some color not too much, but the skin will blister. Sprinkle with sea salt. Eat immediately.
These are delicious and so simple. Typical of what you'd find in Spain.
If you want to get more elaborate, some of our friends have been taking out the seeds (I don't think this is necessary, but I like heat) and stuffing them with queso fresco before roasting them in the oven. These are really good too, and the larger chilis work well here.
Enjoy, they are a treat.
ps you can get them at the Green String stand in Petaluma right now!
As others have mentioned, I also blister them in a cast-iron pan with olive oil. I especially like to season them with Spanish smoked sea salt.
Pics from earlier discussion:
I've also had this technique of stuffing them with tetilla cheese bookmarked; will have to try it soon!
Yeah, it is really the salt that makes these. I imagine you could play with all sorts of salt.
I guess the appeal of these is having bite-sized, delicate, mildly hot roasted peppers that can be popped in the mouth. From what I've been reading, the larger the pepper the more likely it is to be hot ... and you don't want to eat them when they turn red because they are searing at that point.
Still, it interests me that there are so few other preps. I guess don't fool with a classic, eh
I'm sorry that I didn't think to try one before fryiing.
Here's one of the few recipes (other than stuffed with cheese) where they were mixd with corn, onions and tomates
I guess you can fry them up and freeze them since this comapny sells them frozen.
Sort of interesting article about a California pepper grower's experience
Some restaurants had some interesting ideas
- PADRON PEPPERS. with fresh tomato sauce, crispy garlic and breadcrumbs
- Padron peppers with chickpeas, mushrooms and spinach
- Ceviche de venado (sliced raw venison with horseradish and Padron peppers)
- fresh squid and small whole padron peppers
- pizza topped with padron peppers
- burger with jack cheese, chorizo sausage & padron peppers
- Fried Japanese eggplant and Padrón peppers with aged aceto balsamico and pine nuts
- Spanish tortilla potato and onion omelet, with caramelized onions, wild mushrooms, capers, padron peppers, aioli and salsa verde
Someone added a bit of Manchego shaved on the top of the traditional fried peppers. That sounds good.
Thanks for the informative links!
I think I prefer them just blistered and salted because the flavor of these thin-skinned peppers are so different - I'm addicted to them. If you have back issues of Gourmet, a few years ago (11/99, p 112 - "The Pepper Chase"), Calvin Trillin wrote a wonderful article on Pimientos de Padrón .
I've actually found the red to be the same as the green - some mild, some hot - in the beginning of the season. But those were Padrons grown locally in Phoenix, AZ. Up to this year, I had always ordered from La Tienda (grown in Virginia I believe), so it was interesting to see the difference in those grown locally here in the heat. As the weather got hotter, so did the peppers. By late June, the last few batches bought from the farmer's market had a lot of red ones, but both green and red were fiery hot, even the very small green ones. I started using them as I would spicy chilis.
Thread with some other ideas for using "too-hot" Padróns:
Pics from another discussion of Pimientos de Padrón, along with a smoked sea salt I like:
we grow a lot of these in our backyard in brooklyn. if they get too big to saute in olive oil and salt, i stuff them with cream cheese, wrap in bacon, and roast, like you might jalapenos. rich but good.
Also, does anyone know what makes the pimientos turn red? I know hot weather makes them hotter, but this year we have a lot of plants producing red peppers. It doesn't seem like it's because they are maturing. some turn red when they are small and some turn red when they are bigger. some never turn red. just curious.
forgot to add that i have tried using them like other hot peppers many times, having quite an abundance of them every august-september. i find they work well for things that are very savory, but not so good for things in which you want a bit of sweetness, as they tend towards bitter-hot, not sweet-hot.
so, they are great in dal or indian food, but not so great in thai food or anything with coconut milk.
I guess i would use them instead of jalapenos in mexican food, but not instead of scotch bonnets in caribbean food, as scotch bonnets have a fruitiness to them.
smoky savory hot--yes; sweet sour hot--no