Saturday, May 8, 2010

Friariello Barese Pepper Snacks

A delicious snack, Pimientos de Padrón is a Spanish dish of fried peppers with sea salt. Most of the peppers are sweet, but occasionally you come across a hot one. However, Padrón peppers are not all that easy to find in the States, so for this, use Friariello Barese peppers especially since they are all sweet and you never get one that is very hot.

Yes, part of the fun of Pimientos de Padrón is the surprise of getting a hot and spicy pepper, but if that is your wish, you can always throw in some hot peppers when you make this.

What you need is a decent amount of peppers, some olive oil, course sea salt, and a pan.

Add the oil to the pan, enough to sauté the peppers in. The real dish from Spain, Pimientos de Padrón, has it done a bit differently. The cooks pour in enough oil for an inch or so to cover the bottom of the pan, heat it to around 350 degrees, and fry the peppers in the oil. Either way works, especially since the peppers will float on that inch of oil and will not soak up much of the oil at all, but I prefer not to use up that much olive oil at one time. Plus, the polyphenols of olive oil only survive up to 320 degrees.

When you are frying the peppers or sautéing them, they will split and cause hot pepper juice and oil to fly throughout the kitchen, so invest in a splatter screen.

Once they begin to get wrinkled and blistered, they are done. Try to remove them by grabbing onto the stems, otherwise you could cause them to deflate.

Drain them, salt them, and enjoy them! These are just as good and tasty cold as they are piping hot.

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