Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Pan Roasted Padron Peppers

Plate of Pan Roasted Peppers Drizzled with Oil, Sprinkled with Salt
Your Choice: Is it Hot or Not?

Recipe by Live Earth Farm

Eating pan roasted padron peppers is like playing Russian roulette. Sooner or later, somebody’s going to get burned. Fortunately, we'll eventually recover from even the hottest padron, though it might seem to take an eternity. Approximately one in ten padron peppers is seriously hot and spicy, others have an earthy, savory crunch and vary from mild to middlin’. Though odds favor the “bigger is hotter” aphorism, it’s always a gamble to eat them all in one bite. Beware of large padrons bearing big seeds! When in doubt, nibble a conservative amount from the no-seed end. You might choose to remove those seeds (with knife, not fingers!) before proceeding.

Tongs Moving Peppers Around Frying Pan
Turn Frequently for Even Roasting
This simple recipe showcases the unique taste of the padrons, which have started coming into season at local farms during the past two weeks. The idea is to fry the peppers without oil at an extremely high heat. For this you’ll need a cast iron frying pan or comal so the pan won’t warp. After frying, simply drizzle peppers with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. You can substitute any thin walled semi-hot pepper with an elongated shape if you can’t find padrons, for example Hungarian wax peppers. Do use your kitchen fan, because this process can get smoky.

Enjoy these as an appetizer or side dish. Or cut off the stems and pop them onto a pizza or into tomato sauce. Try a platter or two of these as an ice breaker at the beginning of a party or potluck. Depending on the size of your frying pan and your patience, you can double this recipe ad infinitum.

Closeup of Peppers Frying
Almost Ready to Eat
Pan Roasted Padron Peppers
serves 2 - 3

1 lb. padron peppers
~1 tbsp. good quality olive oil
¼ - ½ tsp. fine sea salt

If padrons are refrigerated, bring them up to room temperature. Make sure they are clean and dry before frying. Leave peppers whole with stems intact; you’ll use the stems to hold them for eating.

Heat a cast-iron skillet or comal over high heat. Do NOT put any oil in the skillet; you are going to dry-pan roast the peppers. Turn on the kitchen fan.

Lay peppers on hot pan and, using tongs and/or shaking the pan back and forth, turn and cook until blistered and blackened in places. They will start to soften and their shiny surfaces will start to look dull.

When peppers are roasted to your liking, remove to a serving plate. Drizzle and toss with a good, flavorful olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve warm.

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