What is the difference between these 2 peppers? Are they similar in the level of heat and taste? Are they interchangable in recipes?
That's a tricky one. Both varieties vary in heat level, particularly padron (which is just a geographic designation). Generally, shishitos are mild, but every now and then, you'll get a hot one. Padrons are generally spicier, but can be mild. If you are looking for consistent heat, I'd look elsewhere entirely. Otherwise, tho, they can be treated similarly in cooking.
This link has a description of the differences and pictures, http://www.happyboyfarms.com/home-article.php?id=5&keywords=Padron't_Forget_to_Try_the_Shishitos
Padrons are rounder, shishitos are kind of longer. Both are equally mild, and usually one in ten peppers will be hot. HalfPint, I was very intrigued by the article. This whole summer we have been experimenting with pan fried padrons and shishitos, and I thought the opposite -- padrons were sweeter and I consistenly liked them better than shishitos. But the differences are minor, both are supremely delicious pan fried and sprinkled with coarse salt, and we just could not get enough.
Try slitting the padrons open, inserting a piece of goat cheese or feta, dousing with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasting until the peppers begin to brown. They are addictive!
Maedl, this does sound addictive. I am on my way to the market, because I need to make it right now!
The original recipe is from Jose Andres and I've loved it since the first time I made it. There's a bit of Russian roulette to it because you never know when one of those peppers will be hot!
Let me know how you like it!
Both peppers are mild but best served roasted, with salt olive oil, serrano ham and a favorite dipping sauce. Coqueta in San Francisco serves up Padron's and Blue Line Pizza on the Peninsula serves up Shishito with a cheese dipping sauce...both epic appetizers
I must be one of the few people who don't care for the newly chic (in Boston)shishito peppers, which i have only been served as a snack or garnish, sauteed and salted. But with those cheese ideas- i bet even I would like them. However, i still bet i'd choose a poblano any day over a shishito..... Still, thx for the inspiration!