HG Picks a Peck of Peppers

September 27th, 2012 § 0 comments

No, HG doesn’t pick a peck of peppers but he buys a lot of them at the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market. The pepper in question? Shishito peppers (sometimes called Japanese peppers). These are slim little peppers about two to three inches long. Great with any number of dishes — fish, meat or fowl and equally great on their own. HG likes to put out a big bowl of them — sauteed in a hot pan with lots of garlic — alongside slices of good, toasted bread rubbed with oil, garlic and tomato. HG gathers some friends and pours red wine (Rioja, Tempranillo or Malbec). Lively conversation ensues and much scorn is heaped on Mitt and other enemies of women. HG learned about these peppers in Madrid where a Shishito lookalike is dubbed Piquillos al Padron. These are omnipresent in Madrid bars and bistros, HG and BSK devoured hundreds accompanied by Pulpo al Galego — very tender chunks of super tender octopus cooked in the Galician style (tomatoes, garlic and Spanish hot paprika (pimenton). Bread sopped up the sauces and sangria washed them down. OlĂ©! There’s a minor problem with these peppers. Most of them are mild but every now and then you encounter a hot guy. Then you might need artificial respiration. My pepper guy at the Farmers’ Market also carries piquillos al padron. He steered me away from them. “Molto, molto picante,” he warned. When a Spanish speaking New Mexican farmer says a pepper is hot, you better believe him. They know hot.

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