Padron Green Peppers

Padron Green Peppers

Baked, Easy to make, Healthy

Spanish Version

There’s people important in your life and sometimes they are not aware of it, for me one of that people is Rafael, one of my best friends. A few weeks ago Rafa published on his Facebook his mother’s Padron Peppers picture and I compromise to him get the recipe and prepare them.

Padron green peppers are variety from the Capsicum annuum Peppers. It’s origin comes from the northwestern municipality La Coruña in Spain, being a variety their heat is from none to moderated and just a minor quantity ( approximately 20%) are particularly hot, this depends among other factors the quantity of water or sunlight during the growth process.

Rafael also it’s a believer of a healthy lifestyle, even he wrote the bookEn Buena Salud ” (which also was on the top 10 rank Amazon 2011 top books in spanish), thats why I decided to make this recipe two ways, traditional fried and on a reduced fat baked way.

INGREDIENTS

1/4 lb. Padron green Peppers (approximately 50 peppers)

1/2 cup. vegetable oil  (if frying)

2 Tbsp olive Oil (If Baking)

1/2 tsp de Sea Salt

 PREPARATION

Wash and dry the peppers

With a Paring Knife cut the tip of the peppers in half if small and in 4 the large ones

If you’re going to fry them:

Put the frying oil on a skillet to Medium High temperature.

Fry the peppers from one side and flip them over until slightly golden. (5 minutes aprox)

Remove from oil and place onmetal strainer lined with some paper towels, to absorb oil.

If you’re going to bake them:

Preheat Oven to 400 ºF

On a cup put the Olive oil and with a pastry brush paint each pepper on both sides.

Place each pepper on a baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes.

With thongs flip each pepper and bake 5 more minutes.

Remove from oven

Place the peppers on a plate and sprinkle the sea Salt.

Now, Just Enjoy!

The difference between both preparations is that, on the oven the flavor is deepest and smokey, meanwhile fried the cooking is faster and has a lighter taste.

NUTRITIONAL FACTS

Fried                  Baked
Calories              746                     407
Carbs                   36 g                    36 g
Fat                        71 g                    33 g
Proteíns                 6 g                      6 g
Sodium             936 mg                937 mg
Sugar                     0 g                     0 g

 

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Ají dulce venezolano

Ají dulce

Ingredients, Venezuelan Food

Spanish Version

The “ají dulce” represents one of the main flavors in the Venezuelan cuisine, it’s a pepper variety that is mostly found in the Caribbean and part of South America. In Venezuela it’s cultivated in different regions obtaining different varieties.

This aji dulce belong to the Capsicum family, and existing different species on this genre, C. annuum, C. frutescens and C. chinense, which have adapted to the regional conditions; originally cultivated at the east of the country and traveling from there to the mid west.

So the varieties are mostly known from their regional origins:

Eastern Aji dulce (aji dulce oriental) a variety of the Capsicum chinense

From the east you can find the “Aji pepón”, which is a variety with close to none heat, balloon shaped with green colors at early stages and red, purple or yellow when ripe.

You may also find the “ají Rosa”, belonging from the surroundings of Maturín city, it’s the most popular one, with longer shape thicker, rugged skin and red when ripe, from the apex grow the edges resembling a rose flower.

From Cumaná city you may find the “Jobito”, named for its resemble to the “yellow mombin” fruit which is named in Spanish jobo. It’s smaller, rounded and with thicker and smooth skin that turns yellow when ripe.

From the Mid west flat lands you will find the “Ají dulce llanero” or “llanerón”, a variety of the Capsicum annuum. Which is grown at the Venezuelan Flat lands, presenting longer fruits with orange or red colors when ripe, it’s taste is intense and fragrant and it may contain some heat, however when the plant has too much heat must be discarded.
 

The heat on the sweet peppers.

The sweet peppers, aswell most of the capsicum family, has a substance that produces heat called Capsaicin which is the defense mechanism that the plant uses agains the plages, on all the peppers there is always some level of this component, but as it content increase will present fruits with more heat, turning the sweet peppers into chili peppers.

Normally the capsaicin it’s presented at the placenta, which is the place that contains the seeds and removing that part of the fruit you can extract most of the capsaicin, I normally cut the top, the seeds and the endocarp (the opaque internal membrane) leavin the pulp exposed and ready to use.

Health benefits.

The aji ducles contain many bio active substances, the most known is the capsaicin, that stimulates the blood circulation, helps to regulate temperature and has anestesic properties. The aji dulce has an significant caloric content (for each 100 grams, calories 46, fat: 6 g, Protein: 19g), it contains water, fiber and vitamins C, E, A, B1, B2, B3, B6, it also possess minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and calcium, and also folic acid, carotene and beta-carotene.

The Venezuelan chef Helena Ibarra, confesses to writer Mayte Navarro that one of the secrets to the preparation of the (Venezuelan) “sofrito criollo” is to have in mind that the ingredients at different, so the cooking time can’t be the same between the garlic and the aji dulce, so they must be cooked separately. “The are sautéed by separate and then bridged together, this way the aji dulce keeps it’s perfume and it’s not contaminated by the garlic”.

 

Sources (all in Spanish)

Agrotecnologia Tropical Cultivo del Ají Dulce – Ing. Fernando Hernández – 

Mayte Navarro, El Ají, Article for diario el universal May 5th 2012 

Juan C. Ohep G. La producción de ají dulce en el Oriente del país, Fonaiap divulga No.18 mayo 1985