When you drive through the Southwest in mid-August through September you will detect a delightful, unmistakable charred pepper aroma breezing through your car. You have arrived at the perfect time of year — Chile Season.
We’ve followed our noses to farmer’s markets, roadside chile stands, chile festivals and grocery stores to buy a bushel or two of fresh bright green chiles, then stand in line for sometimes an hour or more for the vendors to roast them for us. The char gives them a robust, smoky flavor and also makes it easy to pull the skins off before you cook with them.
We also roast them at home.
Above is our Stovetop Roasting Grill from the Santa Fe School of Cooking. When roasting over an electric stovetop burner we use this grill. You can also..
Char them over the flames of a gas stovetop burner.
Use your bbq grill.
Or place them on a baking sheet under your oven broiler, turning them with tongs until charred on all sides.
The Basic Steps:
Roast (char) to blacken
Steam in a plastic baggie to loosen the skins
Peel off the skins
Remove the stems
Cut open to remove the seeds
Slice or chop according to your recipe
When using a grill over an electric burner, wait for the coils to turn orange-red hot. The indoor campfire begins! Use tongs to turn until charred black on all sides. Not burnt, but char-blistered with some green showing through. This usually takes 5-7 minutes, so don’t leave them during this step.
Place them in a sealed baggie for 20 – 25 minutes to steam and loosen the skins.
Use your hands to remove the skins, they should slide right off.
Cut the top stems off.
Slice open lengthwise and remove the seeds.
Now you have beautiful green chile fillets to chop fine for chile sauce and stews. Or slice into long pieces for topping cheeseburgers or Eggs Benedict.
4 large chiles should yield 2 cups when chopped.
Congratulations! Now you’re a Chile Roasting Expert!