Whether you like them hot, sweet or somewhere in between, roasting chile peppers takes any variety of peppers to a whole new level.
The closest I’ve been able to get my hands on real deal Hatch chiles has been when Whole Foods loads up their inventory. But when my friend Amanda visited me recently (her Instagram gives me serious wanderlust), she brought with her a big bag of Hatch chile peppers.
She had just visited her man’s family in New Mexico and the actual city of Hatch (yep, there’s a real town for them!) where chile pepper season is at it’s height. With a trip in her sights to come my way, she knew I’d be pleased as punch to put some bone fide, straight from NM chiles to work in some upcoming recipes.
Bells or Anaheims, pasillas and jalapeños, roasting these bulbous beauties develops a sweetness you won’t get by regular sautéeing or baking. Of course you can purchase roasted peppers already jarred or canned (if you do, go for the jarred to avoid that ‘tinny’ taste) but there’s nothing quite like the flavor when done at home. And it’s incredibly simple to do if you have a spare half hour and a hot oven, grill or stovetop.
My friend Tori has a great tutorial here on how to roast peppers in the oven and on the stovetop, but with the large batch I had on hand I went straight to the grill. Plus, roasting the peppers on the grill cut the cook time by more than half.
Preheat your grill on high for about 10 minutes. Place the peppers on the grill grates and close the lid. Turn the peppers every 5 minutes or so until the skin is lightly charred all over. The total process should take about 15-20 minutes. Don’t let the peppers burn however, or the skin won’t want to release from the flesh as it will be “cooked on” the flesh.
Remove the peppers from the grill and place in a heavy duty freezer bag or a bowl covered with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. I read somewhere that using a paper bag works, and I tried that once. It didn’t. Back to the freezer bag.
Allow the peppers to sweat in the freezer bag or covered bowl for about 15 minutes.
Remove the peppers and one by one, peel the charred skin off with your fingers. For skinny peppers like Hatch or jalapeños, cut the top of the pepper off just below where the seed cluster is. For larger peppers, pull the stem out with the seed cluster and clean out the remaining seeds with your fingers or a paring knife.
You could rinse the peppers under water to get rid of extra seeds, but I feel like that takes away from the smokiness.
The peppers can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 days or freeze up to 6 months.
Yesterday I shared my recipe for Hatch Chile Salsa Verde and tomorrow I’ll be posting an amazingly easy, recipe tested by Mexican food lovers, slow cooker main meal.
Thanks friends. Keep it hot and keep it spicy.
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