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Roasting Hatch Green Chilies, by Beverly Hicks Burch

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It’s been slightly crazy around here the last few weeks. You might have noticed. It started with yours truly going back to school – well, taking one crucial class.

I do apologized…

Today, I’ll make up with a nice pictorial blog. We all love pictures! Well, this one is very special. It’s all about two of my favorite things – my Tall & Handsome and green chilies.

Just a reminder here: I became a green chile fan by necessity. You see my T & H is a native New Mexican where green chilies are the state vegetable. No, really! When he moved here his moving truck was packed predominantly with Hatch chopped green chilies. Those were the necessities in life, not mundane items like furniture and clothes.

I also learned that maybe, just maybe the manna that fell from heaven might have been raw Hatch chilies from Hatch, NM. That discovery came via a care package shipped to T & H that arrived on our doorstep. It contained nothing but Hatch green chilies…in the raw.

He was almost as happy as the day we were married…

Anyway, that was many moons ago. The man was out, smack dab out. Nada. Zilch. Nothing. Just canned green chilies which in his minds is like eating, well, maybe potted meat… (I personally like them, but who am I?).

Well, a couple of weeks ago I happened to be glancing through Facebook and noticed a picture posted from one of our favorite stores, Whole Foods in Mountain Brook. I did a double take! They were roasting Hatch green chilies in a big barrel in front of the store. Just like in New Mexico…

So, I called T & H at worked. It was like a 911 call…

I can’t stress how significant that was. Well, maybe I can. Telling a New Mexican Hatch green chilies are nearby is like yelling ROLL TIDE to an Alabama fan. You are going to get a reaction.

Long story short, when he left work he ran by Whole Foods to pick up some. But, did he get the roasted ones? Oh, no! He got the raw ones so he could come home and roast them on his grill.

He was happy…

Home from the store

Home from the store and lining them up on the grill. The big bowl is to put them in after roasting. Use high to medium high heat. A lower heat will not roast the peppers properly.

Place on grill

First batch on the grill. You will have to turn the chilies as they roast taking care not to over cook. You just want to roast them until they begin to char. This will take several minutes. Time will vary according to the size of the pepper. You can use this method for all peppers.

just beginning to roast

If you look closely you will see small black spot where the chilies are just beginning to char.

grillmaster at work

The grillmaster at work, with his helper. Notice the tongs. You will need a pair of tongs to turn the chilies as they roast.

a happy man

This is what a very happy man looks like. He’s holding a just right chile with the tongs that is about to go into the bowl.

how you want them

This is how you want the final chilies to look. It may look gross, but believe me, roasting peppers brings out an incredible smoky, sweet flavor that can’t be beat.

Put chiles in bowl

Place into a large bowl that has a lid. Some people use a paper bag, but T & H prefers the bowl. Allow to sit in the bowl, covered for about 15 minutes. The purpose of allowing them to set is for the skins to loosen.

Next, if you’re going to use them immediately then you can gently remove the skin. T & H reserved about 2 or 3 the day he roasted these. He removed the skins under running cold tap water, chopped them and used them in a “my tongue just slapped the back of my mouth it’s so good” breakfast burrito.

If your NOT going to use them and plan on freezing them for future use, do not remove the skins. T & H learned this from trial and error.If you remove the skins and then freeze, you will have a mushy mess when they thaw.

Leave the skins on, freeze, then thaw and remove the skins before using.

baggie for peppers

T & H’s freezer bag for his roasted Hatch green chilies. He used a quart size and put about 3 peppers per bag.

misson accomplished

T & H’s bounty – mission accomplished. Now freezer time.

Go ahead and roast some wonderful peppers. You’ll be glad you did. Good luck and enjoy!!

© 2013 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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