I’ve touched on these briefly in a previous post; but that was using them as a salad-ingredient. Time now to give them a little one-to-one attention, as they certainly deserve it!
Padron is a municipality of north-west Spain. The peppers which take its name, are principally used in Tapas dishes. I can very much see why, as they make the perfect low-carb accompaniment to drinks, or served alongside a selection of other ‘light-bites’ for a dig-in-and-share kind of meal.
Why are they so special? One in ten of them is hot and fiery like a chill-pepper; the remaining nine are sweet, smooth & mild like the classic capsicum. This adds a fun element of ‘Russian Roulette’ into the diner-time-equation. And besides that; they taste wonderful!
Padron peppers are really easy to cook. Heat a glug of good quality olive-oil in a pan. Throw in your peppers, and season with rock-salt and ground pepper. Move them around in the pan until all sides blister into pander-spots (see picture above). Once they’re soft and look as if they’ve aged 100 years in two minutes (the blistering looks like wrinkles); remove them from the heat and shave on a generous peel of Manchego. Failing this, you can use Parmesan, but it would seem somehow disrespectful to our Spanish cousins to make that the default option!
Serve either direct from the pan or in a thick earthenware bowl. Try to make sure each pepper is eaten with some of the cheese – the salty sweet combination is sublime!
Thanks for reading and bon ap!
P.S. – I was given a most beautiful Mauviel copper sauté-pan for my birthday yesterday by NJ. Padron Peppers were its true baptism of fire! Nothing cooks like copper. I love it; so expect to see a lot more of it on this blog!