Tapas some of my favorites things when visiting Spain. Tapas are appetizers or snacks that are generally eaten in the evenings before dinner. We usually enjoy them with a pitcher of Sangria.
Tapas are usually smaller servings of Spanish favorites and are a great way to sample a variety of dishes. They can be hot or cold and range from olives to small bowls of scampi style shrimp. One of our favorites are Blistered Peppers, they go great with Blistered Olives which can be green or black olives.
In Spain this particular tapa is made with Padron or Shishito peppers. Those peppers are about 10 times milder than a jalapeno pepper; blistered peppers are generally on the sweet peppery side not the spicy side like jalapeno or habanero peppers.
But Padron and Shishito peppers are not easy to find in the US. So I had to look for an alternative. After experimenting with different types of green peppers I can honestly say that you probably won’t be able to find anything equivalent, however you may be able to come close. I’ve found that the closest substitute are Anaheim Peppers although they will have more heat and are bigger than either Padron or Shishito Peppers. Another option I’ve used are Serrano Peppers which are easier to find in Hawaii. Serrano Peppers are about the same size as Padron or Shishito Peppers but have more heat than either pepper and a bit more heat than the Anaheim pepper.
Whichever you ultimately use the process of making Blistered Peppers are the same. So here’s my recipe.
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10-12 Fresh Peppers (Padron, Shishito, Anaheim, or Serrano Peppers which ever one you can find or prefer)
1 Tbs. Olive Oil
Coarse Sea Salt
Wash Peppers leaving the stems on.
Dry peppers on a paper towel.
Heat Olive Oil in small frying pan.
Add peppers and gently cook in hot oil until skin starts to blister and turn sort of white.
Remove from heat and toss in coarse sea salt to taste.
Serve hot or cold. I like to serve them in small ramekins or mini cast iron skillets