PADRÓN PEPPERS LOOK LIKE BABY GREEN CAPSICUMS (PEPPERS) — BUT ONE IN TEN HAVE A KICK LIKE AN ANGRY MULE. IN THE PAST 20 YEARS THEY HAVE BECOME INCREASINGLY POPULAR IN BARS, WHERE THEY ARE SERVED FRIED OR GRILLED WITH PLENTY OF SALT. THE OCCASIONAL HOT ONE IS THE THRILL OF THE CHASE, AND IT’S ALWAYS FUN IN PADRÓN SEASON WATCHING YOUNG MEN THROW BACK BEER TO QUENCH THE FLAMES AND YOUNG LADIES FAN THEIR OPEN MOUTHS TO COOL THEM DOWN. THIS IS A DISH I NICKNAMED FUEGO Y SANGRE (‘FIRE AND BLOOD’) — A LITTLE PADRÓN STUFFED WITH MORCILLA (BLOOD SAUSAGE), THEN DEEP-FRIED AND SPRINKLED WITH SEA SALT. IF YOU CHOOSE TO USE ZUCCHINI (COURGETTE) FLOWERS INSTEAD OF THE PADRÓNS, INCREASE THE AMOUNT OF MORCILLA SAUSAGE TO
Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Add the crumbled morcilla and cook, stirring continuously, for 5 minutes, or until a smooth paste forms. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes.
Cut the tops off the padróns and reserve the tops. Using the end of a teaspoon or a skewer, scrape out and discard the seeds. Stuff the padróns with the morcilla mixture, then replace the tops and secure with a toothpick. Dust with the seasoned flour.
Fill a deep-fryer or large heavy-based saucepan one-third full of oil and heat to 190°C (375°F), or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil browns in 10 seconds.
Deep-fry the padróns in batches for 2–3 minutes, or until the skin blisters. Drain on paper towel and sprinkle with sea salt flakes. Serve hot, with cold beer or a Spanish wine such as mencia, a light red wine from the Bierzo region.
© 2009 All rights reserved. Published by Murdoch Books.