I spent much of April and May 2009 traveling in Spain and Portugal, and still dream about the food: Jamón ibérico, 5-year-aged Manchego, porco Alentejana (pork and clams)... When I came across these peppers at the farmers market, I immediately thought of recreating pimientos de Padrón.
Even without true Padrón peppers, you can prepare this dish at home. Compare the pictures of my peppers with those from a restaurant in Lisbon, Portugal.
Step 1: Get Peppers
Unlike true Padron peppers, apparently none of these will be hot. Part of the fun of Pimientos de Padrón is coming across a hot one, but these will still taste great.
Wash and dry the peppers.
Step 2: Heat Oil
I used a mixture of olive oil and canola oil, because I ran out of olive and had plenty of canola. Though, I prefer to use olive oil. Steve McCulley of Apollo Olive Oil -- my favorite producer -- suggests that olive oil's polyphenols survive up to 320°F. Considering the peppers don't absorb much oil and the frying temperature is relatively low, it's probably irrelevant what type of oil you use.
Step 3: Drop the Peppers Into the Oil
Step 4: Fry the Peppers
Step 5: Drain and Dry the Peppers
Step 6: Salt the Peppers
Step 7: Serve
I was surprised to discover that unlike most fried food they were just as tasty after cooling as they were hot just out of the oil.
Grab the stems and bite the peppers!