Roasting Peppers, by Beverly Hicks Burch

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In the blog Have You Planned Your Herb Garden Yet? I began talking about our upcoming kitchen garden. (I also shared a delightful Corn, Lima Bean and Roasted Bell Pepper Salad recipe.)

One necessity we grow is peppers! Last year we actually grew three different kinds of peppers: jalapeno, pablano and bell pepper. If Tall & Handsome thought we could grow his beloved green chilies we’d do that, too, but alas, those seem to prefer the climates of his native New Mexico.

He is quite expert at roasting peppers. Right after we first married a friend of his in New Mexico sent him a rather large carton of Hatch green chilies. He took great comfort in the roasting aroma of those chilies and the fact he had a little treasure trove in the freezer.

Last year we roasted pablano peppers for Chile Rellenos, one of my absolute favorites. What you put in your peppers is up to you. I’ve seen so many combinations. The mathematical possibilities are almost endless. My favorite is cheese.

But, since today is about the roasting of pepper, we won’t go into that part now. As I mentioned before, this method is great for most peppers.

A couple of things to remember when handling peppers, and this applies even if you’re not roasting them: keep your hands away from your eyes and mouth and wash your hands after handling peppers. The oils in peppers are volatile and can cause discomfort.

Roasting Peppers

1. Wash and dry peppers.

2. Heat grill on high/direct heat. (T & H does this on his gas grill)

3. Place the peppers on the grill and roast, turning as needed. Time will vary depending on the size of the peppers. You do not want to burn the peppers, but the skins will become blistered and slightly charred.

Pablano off the grill

Pablano Peppers right off the grill

4. Remove peppers from the grill and place in a large zip lock bag or paper bag. Allow peppers to rest in the bag for 15 – 20 minutes. This makes the skin easier to remove.

5. At this point, if you’re going to freeze you peppers, remove them for the bag they have been resting in and place in the portion size bag of your choice. Do not remove the skin if freezing! If you remove the skins before freezing, the peppers will freeze together in one big gobby mess.

Pablanos after skin removed

Pablano Peppers with the skins removed

6. If you’re going to use the peppers immediately, remove skins. After removing the skin you can make a slit in the pablano peppers and remove the seeds (this will reduce the heat of the pepper). This will also give you a place to stuff your peppers. Without the skins the peppers are semi-fragile, so do not over handle. Some people just wipe the charred skin off, while others wash the skin off. Whatever you find works best for you is up to you, but again, don’t over handle.

© 2013 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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