My next-door neighbor, Dale (he and his wife own the quince tree), recently introduced me to Pimientos de Padrón, a traditional, yet surprisingly action-packed, Spanish tapa. When Dale was in college, he spent a semester in Spain. While he was there, he fell in love with Spanish cooking and got hooked on these little green peppers.
What makes this tapa so special, you ask? For some reason, one out of every five or so of these mild, sweet peppers is blisteringly hot! So eating them is akin to playing a casual game of Russian Roulette over dinner and drinks.
Although Pimientos de Padrón are common in Spain, they are extremely rare in the U.S. But Dale managed to track down a source in Palo Alto - Happy Quail Farms. He stopped by the other night to give us a bunch to try (I know, what a great neighbor!)
The preparation is extremely simple - see below for Happy Quail Farm's recipe.
1. Take a pan and pour enough oil to generously cover the bottom of the frying pan.
2. Turn the heat up on the burner. When the olive oil starts to sizzle throw the peppers in whole.
3. When the peppers start having small white blisters they are ready. Take the peppers out of the pan, place on plate with a paper towel.
4. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Hold the pepper by the stem and bite!