Sunday, September 27, 2015

Grilled Shishito Peppers

Shishito Peppers and other thin skinned peppers like Spain's Padron Pepper are easy to grill on an open fire, charcoal grill or a grill pan on your stove top.  All the rage as an appetizer, sprinkled with coarse salt to accompany a cold beer, these also make a simple, pure side dish to grilled steaks or a topping for a burger.  The key is to use high heat to blister the skin and get a light char.

If you have some thin-skinned peppers, whether hot or sweet, in your garden try them grilled like this. Even if the variety is not thin-skinned, home grown peppers tend to have a thinner skins since these varieties are not bred for travel to supermarkets. 

We skewer the peppers whole using the double-skewer method that keeps narrow items like small peppers and asparagus from rolling between the grates and into the coals.  The peppers get a light coating of vegetable oil and cook once the steak is off the grill and resting.  Keep an eye on your peppers since these tender mouthfuls cook quickly.  Turn as the skin blisters, remove and salt lightly before serving. 

It is OK to eat these with your hands. 

To get the effect on a stove top, use a very hot grill pan.  Place the oiled peppers in the pan and turn as they blister  remove, salt and serve immediately.

On open coals (or a bonfire) use a long skewer or a "frank fork" to keep you cool and unblistered while the oiled pepper cooks over the open flame.