Since meeting the Iguana Man, I’ve learned how to cook with both dried and fresh chile peppers. But, until today, I hadn’t quite mastered the art of “roasting” of fresh peppers. I don’t have a gas stove, so I’ve been scorching them on my grill. And in this summer heat, suffering to the point of heat stroke every time I’ve roasted them!
I used to just turn the flames up, and let the chiles cook, standing in front of the grill and turning, and turning, and turning. Sometimes they’d be burned, to the point that the flesh under the skin had disappeared. Other times, the peppers weren’t cooked enough to easily peel off the skin.
Here’s the perfect method: Start all four burners on your grill, turn down to medium, and let heat up for ten minutes or so, until the internal temperature reaches 425 degrees. Place the chiles on the grill, putting the largest chiles on the hottest parts of your grill.
Close the cover, and set the timer for 4 minutes. Here’s what your chiles should look like…note there’s some char, and blistered skin, but not overcooked chiles. This photo was snapped right after the first turn.
Roasting the Chiles
Turn all of the chiles, and reset the timer for 3 minutes, again cooking with the cover shut. Remove the chiles, to a big bowl, taking off the most charred chiles first, and moving any that are still not slightly scorched to a hotter heat source while removing the well charred chiles. Cover the chiles with tight fitting plastic wrap, and let them steam for about 25 minutes. Once they’re cool enough to handle, it’s time to peel and de-seed them.
The easiest way I’ve found to peel them is to use my lasagna pan, and put a small bowl of water in the middle of the pan to rinse off sticky skins and seeds. Be sure to use latex gloves…or your hands will tingle from the capscasin for a day or two!
Ready to Peel
Just get comfortable (I sit on the sofa and peel & remove seeds as I watch TV). Try to remove almost all of the skins, and most of the seeds. Use the water to clean your gloved fingers off….don’t dip the chiles in the water if you can help it. Some seeds are good! Save the yummy juice in the bottom of the bowl, too!
A Whole Bowl of Chili Peppers, Ready to Bag & Freeze
I’m so thrilled that I finally found THE easy way to prepare the chiles, that I just roasted off 14 lbs. of Anaheims, which Walmart is conveniently carrying! That’s about 1/4 of the cost of ordering them (and having them shipped) from New Mexico. The final weight of the roasted/peeled chiles is 5 1/2 pounds! I put between 7 – 7.5 ounces of roasted, peeled & seeded chiles (and 2 tbsp. juice) in each ziplock sandwich bag, removing all of the air in the bag, then froze the baggies on a flat surface for easy storage later.
A baggie or two is perfect for Green Chicken Chili (depending on the size of your chili batch, of course), or use one baggie of chiles, chopped, to make a delicious salsa for eggs, enchiladas, etc. I also am fond of making “green cream”….about a cup of heavy cream, whipped with a 1/2 tsp. salt, and a baggie of chopped green chiles. Be careful….that stuff is totally addictive!
~ Blonde Gator