Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Padron peppers

My first date with my husband was at Fino in Soho. I drank too much because I was over-excited and because this was the first date I'd been on with someone who had a job and was paying for everything. The only thing that really stands out is when I keeled over gently sideways in the booth and had a short nap while my date went to the loo.

Actually that's not the only thing I remember. I remember the plate of padron peppers we had, fried until they looked like little crumpled green bags, and covered in salt.

"Sometimes you get a really hot one," said my date. Whether I did or I didn't, I don't know. I was so drunk I could have been eating my own dress and not noticed.

Anyway, you don't often see these in the shops. I bought a couple of handfuls from my local holy food shop, Earth, on Kentish Town Road. They're pretty easy to cook, although they take longer than you think they do, about 20 minutes.

If you can't locate a local supply you can buy them online here.

1 Heat some vegetable oil in a pan until it's very hot, tip the peppers in and then turn the heat down to medium.
2 Cook over a medium or low heat for about 20 minutes, turning now and again until they sort of surrender and crumple up.
3 Tip into a bowl and sprinkle generously with sea salt

Watch out because sometimes you really do get an awfully hot one. I got one yesterday and had to spit it out. It was pretty gross.

You are supposed to eat these with a very cold glass of fino sherry, but fino sherry tastes like pencil shavings and not everyone's crazy about it. But my experience is that if you drink enough fino sherry, it ceases to taste like anything at all.

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