A few years after my husband and I were married, we were staying with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law for a while in the Chicago-land area. They had recently moved from New Mexico to Chicago. Well, one day a huge box appeared on their doorstep from a friend of theirs in New Mexico. Inside the box? Loads and loads of hatch green chile peppers. Apparently they were in season and their friend thought it important that they not forget the beloved green chile. Or maybe they asked for it? Not sure. Either way, there was a box.
So, we fired up the grill and helped them to roast, chop, and freeze those bad boys. I’m sure we left some out to make a batch or two of green chile chicken enchiladas, because yum. But the majority went to the freezer in small batches to use for the remainder of the year.
Fast forward to yesterday when I was at the grocery store and saw them on sale for a pretty good price. I told my husband about them and he got excited and exclaimed, “Let’s get a BOX!”
Side note: In case you were wondering, he didn’t really say “BOX” like that. It’s my own emphasis added. For dramatic effect. It’s how the word BOX in my mind was imagined as he was saying it and how it felt to imagine processing said BOX. Maybe you feel it too? In any case, back to the story…
Whoa there babe…(I think that might’ve been fond memories of times past in Chicago hanging out with sis and bro talking) so I suggest, “How about 10 pounds?” We agree that a BOX might be a bit much. Later, he drove to the grocery store with our two oldest daughters along for the ride where he ended up sending them in to buy the specified 10 pound quantity. (In retrospect, it’s probably a good thing he sent the girls into the store to buy the peppers. I think if he would have gone in, we maybe would’ve ended up with a
BOX bit more. Just sayin’.) I really do love my husband’s ambition for those who may be wondering. He’s awesome. I just really didn’t want a BOX-o’-peppers at this juncture.
So, today’s project was to process the peppers we got the awesome deal on, and am thankful that we found them! I ended up using the broiler in the oven to roast them because it’s easier for me. If my husband would have been the one roasting, he most likely would have used the grill to give them an extra bit of flavor. Whichever way works…you just want to get the outside of the chiles blistered in order to easily peel the skins off before using them.
So, without further ado…here’s the how-to on the oven roasted hatch green chiles!
Oven Roasted Hatch Green Chiles
First, wash and dry the chiles, cutting off any bad spots. I tend to trim the stems too at this point.
After they are dried, lay them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and pierce each one to help the steam to escape during the blistering process.
Place cookie sheet in oven and broil on high until skin is colored, but not burnt, and blistered. Flip chiles over and broil until skin is blistered on the other side.
Once both sides of the chiles have blistered, remove and place in a large bowl and cover until ready to peel. I used a large metal lid, but you could cover with a damp towel as well.
When all of the chiles are roasted and ready to be cut, you’ll want to make sure to put some disposable gloves on to keep the spicy on the peppers and not on your hands…or anywhere else. Trust me on this.
Peel and discard skins, stems, and seeds. If you like the chilies more spicy, leave in as many seeds as you like. More seeds = more spice!
Chop peppers to desired size and freeze in whatever size quantity you will need. Today I measured a half cup of chopped chiles and placed in individual sandwich zip bags.
What I have found to be very handy is to squeeze all of the air out of the bags and then fold the excess plastic bag around itself. This makes them easier to stack.
I then label a gallon plastic freezer bag and place all of the stacked smaller bags inside. If you freeze this larger bag flat, it makes it easier to store in the freezer and more convenient when you want to use each of the smaller servings of peppers.
And that, my friends, is what 10 pounds…and not a BOX…of Oven Roasted Hatch Green Chiles looks like. We will certainly enjoy cooking with them in this coming year!