In the Kitchen with Sigona’s Featuring: Local, Organic Padrón Peppers
Blistered Peppers Sprinkled with Ancient Sea Salt
I had this simple appetizer at a dinner party a few weeks ago, and have made it several times at home and in the store for everyone to try. I think it is a knock-your-socks-off way to eat Pardón or Shishito peppers, which have a mild kick to them. You can also top with a little freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano if you want, or leave it off it you’re looking for a healthier option. Enjoy!
- Padrón peppers or Shishito peppers
- Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- A couple pinches of an ancient salt, such as our Appalachian Ancient Sea Salt, for sprinkling
- Optional: freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Directions: Heat about 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium high. Once the skillet and oil are hot, add the peppers in a single layer (cook in batches if necessary). Do not move them or turn them for 1 minute or until the bottoms are blistered and browned. After 1 minute, use tongs to rotate the peppers a quarter turn.
Sprinkle the peppers with the salt and then continue cooking and rotating about every minute until the peppers are browned and blistered on all sides. Remove peppers to a serving dish when they are done (smaller peppers cook faster).
The peppers will wilt down a bit after they’re removed from the heat and the seeds inside will soften. To serve, drizzle a little additional olive oil over the peppers and add a pinch more salt, if desired. Add cheese, if using. Guests can simply pick up the pepper by the stem and eat the pepper, seeds and all, discarding the stem.
Spicy Chorizo and Padrón Pepper Corn Chowder
While there aren’t many ingredients in this dish, it’s still packed with flavor from the chorizo and blistered padrón peppers. The pureed potatoes make for a creamy-like texture while keeping it dairy-free. You can add a dollop of sour cream when serving, if desired, otherwise this is a fantastic vegan summer soup. Adapted from Sunset magazine. Serves 4.
- 3 Tbsp. Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 4 to 8 Padrón or Shishito peppers, more or less to taste
- 12 oz. chorizo, casing removed
- 3 ears of corn, kernels removed
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups small-cubed red potatoes
- 1 shallot, slivered
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 avocado, sliced
- Lime wedges, for serving
Directions: In a small skillet, heat olive oil over medium high. Once the skillet and oil are hot, add the peppers in a single layer (cook in batches if necessary). Do not move them or turn them for 1 minute or until the bottoms are blistered and browned. After 1 minute, use tongs to rotate the peppers a quarter turn. Continue cooking and rotating in 1-minute intervals until all sides of the peppers are blistered and browned, then remove peppers from skillet. When cool enough to touch, chop and set aside.
To a large soup pot, add the cubed potatoes and chicken broth. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. When tender, use a potato masher or an immersion blender to mash/puree the potatoes.
Meanwhile, add chorizo to a sauté pan over medium heat; break up the meat into small pieces with a spoon. Cook meat until meat and fat have separated. Strain through a fine strainer and discard fat.
Add cooked chorizo to the soup pot, along with the corn. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer, add the chopped pardón peppers and cook 2 minutes more to blend flavors.
To serve, ladle soup into bowls, sprinkle with shallot and cilantro, top with avocado slices and serve with a lime wedge for squeezing on top.
Roasted, Feta-Stuffed Padrón Peppers Topped with Italian Herbed Panko
Another delicious appetizer made with these excellent little peppers! The salty feta is an excellent match for the semi-spicy Padrón. You can use Shishito peppers here too. They’re just a little sweeter than the Padrón. This really comes together in no time, and goes well with beer or a chilled white wine. Makes 10 peppers, but you can easily make more.
- 10 Padrón or Shishito peppers
- 3 to 4 Tbsp. crumbled Feta cheese
- 3 Tbsp. panko
- 2 Tbsp. Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for greasing pan
- 1 1/2 tsp. mixed dried Italian herbs, such as basil, oregano, thyme and garlic
Directions: Lightly grease a baking pan with oil. Preheat oven to 450°F.
Slice a slit down one side of each pepper. Stuff a bit of the Feta, about a teaspoon, into each pepper; set the peppers in the prepared pan.
In a small bowl, mix together the panko, 2 tablespoons olive oil and the dried Italian herbs. Spoon a bit the mixture over each pepper.
Bake the peppers for 8 to 10 minutes or until the panko has browned, but isn’t burned. Allow to cool a few minutes before serving. Eat all but the stems. Enjoy!