Roasting Green Chile

Chile

My husband Bob and I really look forward to the Harvest Festival, here in Corrales, New Mexico.  It happens at the end of September each year and in our little village is lit up with chile roasters roasting the beautiful green chile.  The smell of green chile is in the air and you can't help but put you nose in the air, close your eyes and say Awwww, green chile !!  I thought I would share with you some tips on how to roast, peel, store, green chile.  Although, we do own a Chile Roaster (we live in New Mexico!  Gotta have one!), and roast chile's in our own backyard, it's nice to know the "how to's" in your own kitchen or backyard.  I did take the instructions below from The Green Chile Store (link at the bottom of the post), because I couldn't have explained it better myself, I did add my own tips that has worked so well for us.  Check it out!  Let me know what you think!  If you like this post, go ahead and share it with your friends who love chile!

Roasting and Peeling Instructions

single chile Selection Choose chile that is bright green, smooth, symmetrical, heavy for its size, mature and crisp. Wash peppers before roasting. Roasting Hatch Green Chile Roasting (or Blistering) is the application of heat to the surface resulting in blistering of the skin, which then separates from the chile flesh, making the skin easier to remove. There are several ways to blister pepper skin for easy removal. Fire-roasting, steam injection, microwave heating or any other source of high heat, applied directly to the surface of the pepper will cause the skin to blister. Roasting slowly over a flame creates carmelization of sugars, which adds a distinct flavor to the final product. Here are several ways you can do this: OVEN OR BROILER METHOD: Place chile in a hot oven or broiler at 400 degree F. Sandy's tip:  turn your chiles at least twice to roast evenly and keep your oven door slightly cracked and watch them like a hawk.  You want a nice black char on them, you will see the blisters on the skin.   for 6-8 minutes or until skin blisters away from the flesh of the chile. RANGE TOP METHOD: Cover gas or electric burner with a layer of heavy wire mesh and place chile on mesh once it’s hot; using tongs carefully turn peppers frequently, exposing all surfaces to the heat source until skin blisters evenly on all sides. OUTDOOR GRILL METHOD: Place peppers on a charcoal grill about 5 to 6 inches above glowing coals; using tongs carefully turn peppers frequently, exposing all surfaces to the heat source until skin blisters evenly on all sides. Sandy's tip:  After roasting, immediately put them in a plastic bag, gallon zip lock if you just have a few, to a large trashcan liner bag for a bunch and seal the bag.  Let that puppy steam for at least an hour or two.  Once they are cooled off, you can either use them right away in your favorite dish OR you can divide them up and put them in quart ziplock bags and freeze them for later use.  This is what we do.   DO NOT PEEL YOUR CHILE'S UNTIL YOU ARE READY TO USE THEM.  This will save you time.  My husband and I bought a bushel (a full gunny sack) of green chile and had it roasted and peeled the entire sack before freezing, it took us 5 hours.  Ugh!!  This is when we first moved here 16 years ago.  Live and learn!  They peel just as easy when you take them out and defrost as they do when they are fresh roasted. Caution: Steam will be released from container when the bag is opened.  Which means do not put your face into the bag when the chiles are steaming, unless you want a facial!   BAD IDEA!

Peeling

After roasting and once the peppers have cooled, the blistered skin will pull off the chile flesh with a gentle tug and an occasional rinse with water. In areas that did not completely blister, the skin can be removed by scraping with a sharp knife or vegetable peeler. Also, peeling chile under running water in a sink helps separate skin from the pod and can significantly speed up the peeling process. Sandy's tip:  Don't worry about a little blistered skin that won't come off.  It won't hurt your recipe at all.  Once you are ready to peel your chiles, you can also de-seed them as well.  I like some seeds in my recipes, it does add to the "bite" though.  Your preference.    Freezing and Storage Roasted peppers must be properly frozen to ensure a high quality, safe product. Roasted peeled peppers should be refrigerated within 2 hours of exposure to heat. Whole peppers can be frozen unpeeled and are easier to peel after freezing. Home freezers are inefficient at removing heat quickly from food placed in containers deeper than 2 inches. If storage packages are too large, peppers will freeze slowly, resulting in a mush texture because of ice crystal formation within the chile tissue. Therefore, it’s best to use shallow containers to allow for quick cooling. Specialized plastic freezer containers with lids or freezer bags are best for storing in freezer. Remove as much air as possible to reduce amount of surface crystallization that can form in air spaces during freezer storage. Peppers can be stored safely in the freezer for up to 12-18 months.single curved chile pod   Adapted from The Hatch Green Chile Store