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Monthly Archives: July 2010

Fried Padrón

Fried Padrón to me must be like potato chips for some people: Stopping at 1 is simply torture.  So far this summer my two plants produced 2. Last year, my entire harvest was 1. Curses indeed. 

Then what do you know. Last Friday at Full Circle Farm, as with all my farm stand shifts there, a band of loyal customers were there before opening. No time to survey today’s bounty, I rushed over to move the line. Rose, our resident farming expert, was hard at work lugging boxes, and answering questions. In the midst of the chattering, I heard “Oh, that’s Padrón.” For the remainder of the rush, my brain was split between adding up decimal points and nervously making sure no one was buying up all the Padrón. 

Since then, every night we fry up a batch. One sip of wine, one bite of Padrón. Life is good … 

Padrón stuffed with cheese

Pimientos de Padrón is a specialty in Galicia of Spain. We first read about it then a foodie friend brought some over. The rest is history.

 Its thin flesh delivers just the right amount of pepperness for each one, and maintains the crunch after the high roast process. Generously sprinkled with kosher salt, it’s sweet, it’s savory, it’s crunchy, I haven‘t met any cocktail that doesn‘t like Padrón. Its little stem is so inviting that one just wants to pop one after another into the mouth.

A word of caution: every now and then (say 1 out of 10), there will be a hot one, very hot. Last summer Hayden, then one and a half, hit the jackpot. It was painful to watch. That’s why José Andrés called it “The Russian Roulette on a plate.” But that just adds a little thrill to this dish.

The traditional way is pan frying it over high heat with a couple tbsp of oil, turning once or twice to get the golden blisters. Liberally sprinkle kosher salt and serve. Ready in 5 minutes.

In his book Made in Spain,  José Andrés features Padrón stuffed with Tetilla, a local cheese of Galicia. I substitute it with Monterey Jack as suggested in the recipe. Man, it is divine. I highly, highly recommend it.