Last weeks post was about the green chile cheese burger. For those of you who are going to grow your own green chile in your gardens, or for those who are lucky enough to have them available at your local market, here are some tips on how to roast your own green chile at home. These tips come courtesy of Harvest Moon.
Roasted green chile peppers are a staple of Mexican and southwestern cuisine. To get your hands on chiles that have been properly roasted, however, isn’t always that easy – even here in the Southwest, where green chile grows very well, peppers are only roasted between August and late September, when the best harvests come in. So what do you do if you live far from the southwest or green chile isn’t in season? Buy it frozen and hope it tastes all right? Not if I can help it!
In this article, I’m going to teach you how to roast your own green chile peppers right in your home oven, without any special equipment other than a pair of tongs, two dish towels, and a pair of household gloves for those with more delicate hands. I’ll also show you how to choose peppers that will yield the best possible results. So get to roasting, enjoy your chiles, and as always,
How To Choose The Right Green Chile
Not all peppers are created equal. To pick the best green chiles, always pay attention to the following attributes:
- Ripe green chile is medium to medium-dark green, not pale.
- Green chiles with red coloration here and there taste best.
- Chiles shouldn’t be too soft or too hard; look for medium firmness.
- Giant chiles tend to be less spicy, but don’t always count on this.
- Smaller, narrower, and especially red-colored chiles tend to be hotter.
You can also ask your grocer if you can break open one chile pod to check the inside. This will give you a fairly good idea of what the rest of the batch will look like. Chiles that have orange “veins” inside (check the white parts running along the interior of the pod) are usually very spicy. Use these visual cues to buy chiles that will suit your heat-tolerance.
Let’s Get Roasting!
- Wash 12-15 green chiles in cold water. Make sure to remove all traces of dirt from the crevices, especially around the stems and tips.
- Dry chiles with a soft kitchen towel and use a fork to poke each pod two to three times in random places. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Once your oven is hot, place chiles on the middle rack, about two inches apart. Do NOT use foil or a baking sheet; the peppers need direct heat from all sides.
- Roast chiles for 15 minutes, turn over, and roast for another fifteen minutes.
- Now the waiting game begins. Check your chiles every 5 minutes until the skins on one side begin to blister and brown. Turn over again.
- When both sides of your chiles are blistered and brown (you’ll hear a lot of hissing and popping from inside your oven, but don’t worry, this is normal), roast them for an additional 5 minutes on each side, until the skins begin to blacken and split in a few places.
- Use tongs to take chiles out of the oven and immediately transfer them to a thick, clean dish towel. Roll the towel up with the chiles inside, and place the bundle inside a deep bowl. Cover the bowl with another dish towel.
- Wait fifteen minutes, then unwrap the bundle and begin peeling the skins off the peppers while they’re still piping hot. Try to work fast; the hotter the peppers, the easier they’ll peel. (You may wish to use household gloves for this task.)
- Once all the pods are peeled, split them open along one side using a sharp paring knife. Remove seeds, veins, and stems. Voila, you’re done! Now you can use your roasted green chile peppers in your favorite recipe, or just enjoy them plain on buttered flour tortillas.
- Optional: If you’re prone to acid reflux or heartburn, I strongly urge you to add generous amounts of garlic to any recipe using green chiles. This will usually alleviate the problem. (For example, I use 2 tsp of garlic powder per half-pound of chopped green chile, and fresh garlic for whole peppers.)
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