Last Saturday at our Corvallis Farmers Market many of us were following our noses to a special attraction, flame roasted chiles. A metal mesh roaster was full of peppers turning over a propane flame. The vendor, from Crossroad’s Farm, was filling plastic bags with chiles all carefully labeled.
If you want to try roasting at home on a grill or under a broiler it’s pretty easy. To grill, set close to the flame and use tongs to turn chiles so both sides have blistered slightly charred skin. To oven broil, place peppers on an oiled cookie sheet under a hot broiler and turn with tongs after 4-5 minutes. Cook each side until skin is blistered and slightly blackened. Place 6-8 roasted peppers in ziplock bags, they will sweat and further loosen skins. These store in refrigerator for a week and can be frozen for a year. When ready to use slip off skins, split open and remove seeds. I usually cut off the stem end unless I’m making chile rellenos where the attached stem adds personality.
We’ll harvest peppers until frost and tuck several bags in the freezer as pantry food. Use with eggs, in casseroles, quesadillas, rellenos, salsa and countless other dishes where rich roasted peppers add that special flavor.