Adventures in Culinary School – Pedrone Peppers

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I am currently enrolled in the Culinary Arts program at Diablo Valley College.  It’s our local community college and the facility was completely renovated from the ground up about 3 years ago so it’s a top notch facility.  Right now, I am taking a farm to table, organic urban farming class.  We meet at a ranch at an offsite location, close to the college.  This week, we were making observations in the beds of organic ingredients and I noticed a plant in between all of the tomatoes growing Pedrone Peppers.  These are my absolute favorite peppers in existence.  My eyes immediately got big, I knew I had hit the jackpot! During the summer months, you can find them at Whole Foods or a farmer’s market during July-August and that’s about it.  We always buy a big bag at the farmer’s market on a weekend where we plan to entertain and fire up our wood fired pizza oven.  We throw them into a cast iron pan with some vegetable oil and cook them for a few minutes.  At 800 F, that’s all they need.

Needless to say, I was thrilled to find a plant that still had Pedrone Peppers on it and were begging to be picked and eaten.  So, I took some home, threw them into my cast iron and cooked them at 400F with a little EVOO for 10 minutes.  When they came out, I sprinkled some kosher salt on them and my husband and I ate them for dessert after lunch…yes, they’re that good!  Perone Peppers are pretty mild, you can eat the whole thing, seeds included, minus the stem.  However, once in a while, someone will get a hot one.  It’s kind of like pepper roulette and I love it.  The person who usually gets the hot one is someone who doesn’t really like hot foods.  When you pass them around, they have just asked you how hot they are and you spend a few minutes explaining how mild they are.  Yep, that’s the person who gets the hot one…

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