The Inadvertent Gardener Rotating Header Image

Kettle padróns

Trust me. You want to eat this. Last night, Fatemeh assigned me the job of side dishes to go with pork chops. Roasted fingerlings, I decided, and roasted green beans tossed with preserved rangpur lime, because in the Bay Area, summer is so damn chilly and foggy that it’s quite normal to be able to roast up some vegetables a la winter.

While she was off gallivanting around the neighborhood, I pulled the vegetables from the crisper and realized I had some baby padróns that I needed to cook. “I’m making them as an appetizer,” I said when she arrived back at the apartment. I sautéed them up in olive oil, and dumped them in a bowl to add salt.

At this point, Fatemeh was mixing a marinade for the pork. “One of these days,” she said, gesturing at the bag of brown sugar on the counter and then at the peppers, “I want to hit those with that and caramelize them.”

“Do it,” I said. “Now.”

She tossed some brown sugar into the hot pan, and I dumped the blistered padróns back in. “Can I add salt to them?” I asked.

“Of course,” she said, in the tone that finishes the sentence with the implied dumbass.

“Kettle padróns,” I said. “We’re making kettle padróns!”

We made them, and then we ate them. All of them. With our fingers. While standing up at the counter.

“The kettle padróns were gone in under five minutes. We have a problem,” Tweeted Fatemeh. “Either that or a business plan.”

Kettle Padróns
(Serves 1-2, hastily)

1 pint padrón peppers (No need to seed or stem them…)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 ½ Tbsp brown sugar
½ Tbsp kosher salt or sea salt

  1. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is just about to smoke, toss in the padróns. Sauté them until they’re starting to blacken and blister.
  2. Add in the brown sugar and continue stirring for about three or four minutes, until the sugar’s melted and starting to brown.
  3. Transfer the caramelized peppers to a bowl. Add the salt.
  4. Eat the shit out of them. Then email me and Fatemeh and thank us for this discovery.

16 Comments on “Kettle padróns”

  1. #1 Janet
    on Aug 11th, 2010 at 9:04 am

    Oh wow. I want those now!!

  2. #2 inadvertentgardener
    on Aug 11th, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Janet, actually? So do I. Wish I had some at my office.

  3. #3 Kristina
    on Aug 11th, 2010 at 9:48 am

    Oh……my……..God!!!!!! Genius! I put in five of these plants this year so I’d have enough.

  4. #4 inadvertentgardener
    on Aug 11th, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Kristina, were your ears burning last night? ‘Cause as we were making this, we were talking about you and your padróns. :-)

  5. #5 katie
    on Aug 11th, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Genius! And now I have photographic evidence to convince my husband that our padrons are big enough to pick (impatient, much?) Thanks for solving my what-to-have-with-BLTs-tonight dilemma!

  6. #6 inadvertentgardener
    on Aug 11th, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Katie, these were the tiniest I’ve ever seen, but they were delicious. We ate the stems and everything!

  7. #7 thyme2garden
    on Aug 11th, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    The first question I had after looking at your picture was: “do you eat the stems, too?” But you’ve already answered that question in the previous comment!

    I had to google padron because I had never heard of these peppers before. I’m guessing these are some sort of a farmer’s market or specialty store find? I don’t think I’ve ever seen them at a local Kroger (big box grocery store), but maybe I need to look harder. This looks really delicious!

  8. #8 inadvertentgardener
    on Aug 12th, 2010 at 7:10 am

    Thyme2Garden, I’ve only ever gotten them at farmers’ markets. Do you have one in your area you could try?

  9. #9 thyme2garden
    on Aug 12th, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    The “big” farmer’s market in my area (Indianapolis) is about 15 miles away, and I haven’t been there since early summer, when the pickings were still pretty slim. They probably have more now, but I get lazy just thinking about driving out there just to see if they have anything good, you know? Maybe I’ll try to find the seeds and see if I can grow them myself next year. Hmm…

  10. #10 Kristina
    on Aug 13th, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    My ears weren’t burning but my mouth was. In our crazy home renovation haze, I once again let my padrons get too big and Marcus is too big of a wuss to help me eat them. Wish you lived closer because I could use some help finishing them off! :D

  11. #11 inadvertentgardener
    on Aug 24th, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Thyme2Garden, I definitely think they’re worth growing. Just watch to make sure they don’t get huge!

    Kristina, damn it all! I would LOVE to help you finish them. I am addicted to the burn. :-)

  12. #12 S.F. Locavores, For Your Labor Day Weekend — Off The Grid & What’s In Season NOW « Together In Food
    on Sep 2nd, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    [...] [...]

  13. #13 Stephanie Morimoto
    on Sep 2nd, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    Hi there!
    Tried this recipe last week and it was AWESOME…so awesome, in fact, that I wrote about it on my blog about gardening and great local eats and gave you full credit, of course:
    Apparently, my aunt-in-law, Kathy Simpson, knows your mother! Glad we could connect via our blogs. Hope you enjoyed Burning Man.

  14. #14 inadvertentgardener
    on Sep 11th, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    Stephanie, thanks so much for the shout-out, and that is so funny about the small-world connection! Definitely glad to connect via blog. Hope to meet you IRL soon!

  15. #15 Chris Rusak
    on Sep 17th, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    O. M. G.

    I must say, the brown sugar is especially perfect on the hot ones… almost makes me want to get a full batch of overgrown ones.


  16. #16 inadvertentgardener
    on Sep 19th, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Chris, glad you enjoyed them!

Leave a Comment