In just about every high end bar in San Francisco this time of year you will find padron peppers on the menu.
Padrons are mostly mild frying peppers, sautéed until blistered and limp then showered with sea salt and eaten while warm with your fingers, preferably sipping something high octane.
I saw mostly mild because there is always one sneaky pepper that is h-o-t, zippy enough to make you yelp and throatily say, “Whoo!” and reach for your glass. What clever bartenders, eh? Round two coming right up.
Padrons are also nice snacks before dinner at home or for lunch with goat cheese and crackers to quench the heat.
Today for lunch I did just that, I warmed up my skillet to medium high, sloshed in a bunch of olive oil and sautéed the peppers for a few minutes.
Spooned out onto a plate to cool a minute and sprinkled with Maldon crunchy salt, the padrons glisten invitingly, begging to be picked up by a tiny stem and chomped in one bite.
Padrons are also full of Vitamin C so I felt no guilt devouring the whole bowlful.
Chiles are like sunshine for your soul.