Following on from the video on cooking Sailors Clams I recently cooked another one of our favourite Spanish dishes. Pimentos de Padrón is another one of these simple dishes that looks more complicated that it actually is. In many ways they are a signature dish for us, as before moving to Almerimar if anyone had said that we would sit in a restaurant and order a plat of small peppers we would have thought they were mad!
Healthy and easy to cook, the hidden secret of Pimientos de Padrón is the spicy one lurking amongst the other waiting to give your taste buds a good kicking! Somewhat like Russian Roulette you never know if the one you pick will be one of the extra hot ones. And believe me if you get a hot one you will know about it!!!
About Pimientos de Padrón
They are small green peppers (5-7 centimetres long) unique to Padrón, a region of South West Galicia in North West Spain, around 22 kilometres from Santiago de Compostela. Galicia is famous for its green landscape, spectacular coastline, high rainfall and delicious organic products from both the sea and land.
The peppers were originally cultivated in the 16th century in the small Padronian village of Herbon by monks in the monastery of Convento Franciscano who brought these peppers back from the Spanish Colonies in South America, probably from what is now Mexico. Since that time, these peppers have been grown by the villagers, and after 400 years the Padronesses know these peppers like they know the members of their own families. When you buy Padrón Peppers, you are getting a product from long tradition and loving care. And now the tradition of Pimientos de Padrón continues in Maleny, in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, organically grown by Richard Mohan at MIDYIM ECO RESORT. (The season extends from December through to May.)
Pimientos de Padrón might be small but they have a load of flavour, with an incomparable sweet taste and delicate flesh. Further, the nutritional value of these seemingly unassuming peppers is extraordinary. They contain vitamins A, B1, B2, C, P, proteins, calcium, iron and virtually no calories. Pimientos de Padrón also have many other special properties; approximately one in ten is hot and that is why they are sometimes known as the culinary “Russian Roulette” Pepper.
The Hot Pepper also has many medicinal properties. It aids the digestive system, quickens scar tissue healing and helps to maintain good blood circulation as well as reducing high blood pressure and lowering cholesterol. But, maybe the most interesting property associated with the Hot Peppers is the fact that they are well known as an aphrodisiac!!!
Cooking Pimientos de Padrón
Cooking time: approx. 5-6 min.
Ingredients: Whole peppers, olive oil, medium coarse salt.
Traditional preparation: Fry the peppers in a few tablespoons of olive oil on a high heat. Is very much a matter of trial and error and personal choice, but the tradition is to fry them until they are blistered. Once cooked tip onto a plate, add the salt, and eat. Eating is easy, pick up by the stem, pop the whole thing in your mouth and prey it isn’t a meg a hot one! Personal preference is with a cold beer of glass of white wine to help them down.
- Spanish sherry vinegar splashed over after cooking and salting
- Stuff peppers with cheese (salty feta, blue, etc) and bake
- Batter raw peppers and deep fry.
Where To Get Them In Almerimar
We have only ever eaten them in La Barbera, Al-rruz, Restaurante Nautico and La Solea.