Only about one out of ten of the small green peppers from the Spanish municipality of Padrón are wildly hot, while the rest are as mild as a green bell pepper. The exciting part is that it's pretty much impossible to tell them apart until you actually get them one your mouth. It's what makes eating them so damn exciting, though I gotta admit: I love their flavor so much that I'd be perfectly content knocking back a bowl without the added adrenaline of a game of capsicum roulette.
Here's a classic and extremely simple way of cooking them.
Why It Works
- Blistering the peppers in canola oil then drizzling them with olive oil provides the best flavor in the finished dish.
- Cooking the peppers without moving them gives them a dark, charred, blistered surface.
- Coarse sea salt adds bursts of crunchy salt for added texture and flavor.
- Yield:Serves 4 to 6 as an hors d'oeuvre
- Active time: 3 minutes
- Total time:3 minutes
- 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
- 12 ounces Padrón peppers
- Coarse sea salt
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Heat canola oil over high heat in a cast iron skillet large enough to fit the peppers in a single layer. Heat until lightly smoking, then add the peppers. Cook without moving until blistered on first side, about 30 seconds. Flip and shake the peppers and continue to cook, turning occasionally, until well blistered all over and tender-crisp, about 1 1/2 minutes total. Season with salt.
Transfer peppers to a serving plate. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with more coarse salt. Serve immediately.