Look for padron peppers at farmerâ€™s markets or fancy foodie stores throughout the late summer. If youâ€™re sensitive to spice, fry up a batch on their own first to test them out. Peppers from the same farm tend to have the same ratio of hot to mild peppers. If you get a hot one, you can spit it out; but if itâ€™s in your taco, youâ€™ll be stuck eating it.
Have all your other ingredients ready before frying the peppers so that they stay warm; they only take a few minutes to cook. For the tomatoes, I like to use one dry-farmed red, and one heirloom yellow; you may not need to use all the tomatoes. Be sure to drink the delicious juice they let off. It pays to seek out good corn tortillas.
2 small tomatoes
salt, as needed
1/3 C. sour cream
2-3 T. finely chopped cilantro, plus a few leaves for garnish
juice of half a lime
1 T. olive oil
1 pint basket padron peppers
a few pinches of smoked sea salt
4 (6-inch) corn tortillas (or a corn/wheat blend)
2 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 C.)
1 medium-sized ripe avocado, halved, pitted, and sliced
several paper-thin slivers from a red onion
Dice the tomatoes, sprinkle with a pinch of salt, and let drain in a sieve while you get on with the recipe. In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, cilantro, lime juice, and a big pinch of salt. Taste, adding more lime or salt if you like. Set aside, or cover and chill for up to a day or two. Use a pair of scissors to cut the stems off the peppers (their crowns are edible). Rinse the peppers and drain them well. Heat 1 T. olive oil in a 10â€³ cast iron skillet set over a medium flame until it shimmers. Add the peppers and cook, tossing occasionally, until blistered all over and blackened in places, about 5 minutes. They will pop and spit; lower the temperature if things are getting too crazy. Sprinkle with a few pinches of the smoked salt.
In another skillet, warm the tortillas on both sides until soft and pliable. Place the tortillas on a couple of plates, and build the tacos. I like the following order:
cilantro lime crema
Top with a sprinkle of smoked salt and a few cilantro leaves. Serve immediately, with lime wedges for squeezing over the tops.