Stuffed Padron Peppers (Recipe)

image_previewThis week on the market report, Laura Avery chats with Charlie and Kathleen Schaffer.  They are caterers based in the Santa Monica-area.  Their focus is sustainability and to prove it, the source a lot of their ingredients at the Farmer’s Market.  On Wednesday, they were buying padron peppers from Weiser Family Farms.  Padron peppers are small green peppers from Spain and eating them is a bit like playing roulette with your tongue – about one in 10 is spicy.

Here is Charlie and Kathleen’s recipe for stuffed padron peppers.  I’d love to hear how you eat them!

Chanterelle-Stuffed Padron Peppers

(12 servings, 36 pieces)

3 dozen Padron peppers
2 cups Chanterelle mushrooms
3 whole shallots
3 slices smoked bacon
3 Tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup white wine
2 Tablespoons parsley
1 Tablespoon thyme
2 Tablespoons lemon zest
½ cup cream cheese
1 cup grated dry aged goat cheese
1 pinch salt and pepper
4 whole eggs
¼ cup milk
2 cups All-Purpose flour
1 tsp Moroccan seasoning
3 cups panko breadcrumbs

Be sure to choose the largest padron peppers that are all consistent in size.

On stove top boil 4 qts of lightly salted water. Add peppers and blanch for 2 mins. strain and cool.

Take each pepper and clip off the stem. With a bird’s beak or pairing knive remove the seeds and membrane inside of the peppers. Place on towel and pat dry. You may want to wear gloves at this point as you may get a spicy pepper with seeds that could burn your fingers a bit.

Cut bacon into small pieces and place in saute pan and render on low heat. Once bacon bits are golden and crispy remove from pan. In residual bacon fat add olive oil. Add salt and pepper. Add minced shallots, and chopped chanterelles.

Sauté until shallots are translucent and mushrooms have caramelized slightly. Add white wine to deglaze and loosen all of the bits from the pan. Reduce until the mushroom mixture is well coated and remove from heat.

In food processor, add mushroom mixture, cream cheese, grated dry aged goat cheese (We love Capricious or Drunken Goat) add chopped herbs, lemon zest, bacon bits. Pulse until smooth. Put filling in pastry bag.

Holding each individual pepper place pastry bag tip inside and pipe out approximately 1 tsp of filling. When peppers are filled you can make an egg wash for them.

In a bowl blend eggs, milk. In another bowl blend AP flour with moroccan spices or your favorite curry powder. In a third bowl add panko crumbs. Dredge each pepper in seasoned flour. Dip in eggwash and then Panko. Fry at 350 degrees for approximately 1-2min until golden brown. Remove from oil and place on cooling rack. Sprinkle with salt to taste.

Serve immediately with a lemon half to squeeze on top. You can also use the stuffed peppers as a first course and serve with a lightly dressed salad of arugula, endive and julienned apple.