First night in a new home- a small Spanish feast.

Padron peppers have never really done it for me.

They’re like the bastard love child of a green capsicum and a chilli. To me they’re either scrawny or bloated and eating them is a little like a game of Russian Roulette; somewhere between every ten and every 30 you’ll come across one that is eye squinchingly hot.

I prefer a little more certainty in my life.

But The Hungry One, bless him, loves them with a passion that surpasses reason.
In Sydney, they’re a little tricky to track down. Bodega will sometimes have them listed as a special. As will Rockpool Bar and Grill; though the night we found them on their menu, but they didn’t make their way to the table was a dark time. They’re certainly not for sale in your local supermarket.

That’s not the case, here in London-town.

I think our new home in Borough was chosen for a couple of reasons.

1) It was available. Real estate searching here is a heptathlon in its own right. There’s the juggling of the agents. The sprint for inspections and elbowing of fellow hunters out of the way. The quickdraw of the checkbook for a holding deposit. The limbo of the wait. The gymnastics of paperwork. The wrestling involved in transferring funds from Australia to the UK. And then finally there’s the celebratory drink when you discover that you now have a place to call home- even if it’s just for a little while.

2) The second reason behind our selection has more to do with its proximity to the peppers. You see, here in Borough there’s a Brindisa Spanish store smack bang in the middle of the markets. And it’s open even when the full markets aren’t. There you’ll find chorizos, and manchego. There’s smoked paprika a plenty- and- there are happy little bags of peppers, for just a little more than a pound.

Our new home is a mere 500 metre walk away from the peppers. The Hungry One is a happy man.

So our first night in our new home was fittingly celebrated with a longneck of Leffe, a carafe of wine that was flushed pink like excited cheeks, and a minor Spanish feast.

Padron peppers with smoked paprika salt

Heat a good splash of olive oil in a fry pan until it starts to plop and spit.
Add in the bag of peppers. NB, the peppers need to be dry, otherwise the oil spitting will get particularly violent. A sprinkle of salt at this point in the pan may help persuade it to stop.

Leave the peppers to char and wrinkle, occasionally shaking the pan so each side comes in contact with the heat.

When the pepper skin on each side has puckered and blistered, shake them out onto some paper towel.

Top with some sea salt that you’ve mixed with some smoked paprika, for an extra piquant kick.

Eat hot, with a cold beer and marvel at the view of your new home-town.

I think they taste slightly metallic, with a twinge of pencil eraser creeping through the nose. The Hungry One disagrees.

But to be honest, when looking out a view like this- I’d happily eat anything.

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  1. Spain is our food home 🙂 So jealous!

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