Every year in August and September our garden is awash in green chiles— poblanos and Anaheims. Every few days we’ll pick several and take them into the kitchen to roast. Our favorite way to eat them? Marinated with a little olive oil, vinegar, and salt. That’s all. Sort of like the traditional preparation of roasted red bell peppers, but with green chiles instead. Both Anaheim chiles (similar to New Mexico or Hatch green chiles) and poblanos are relatively mild chiles so they can usually be eaten straight as described below. Though once in a while you will get a HOT one. Best to save those for salsa. Those of us who are more adventurous chile eaters will roast the jalapeños growing in the garden and prepare them the same way. If you have a gas stove, the easiest way to roast the chiles is directly over the flame of a gas stove burner. We’ve prepared the following video to show you how.
- Several green chiles such as Anaheims, Hatch, poblanos, or jalapeños. They should have thick flesh and sturdy peels (not a thin skinned pepper like a padron).
- Olive oil
- Cider or red wine vinegar
- Kosher salt
1a Stovetop Method If you have a gas stovetop, and your peppers are large enough (Hatch, Anaheims, or poblanos), you can char the chiles directly on the burner. Balance the chiles on the metal grate over a gas flame so that the flames reach the peppers. (You should be able to do at least 2 chiles on each burner this way.) Let one side blister and begin to blacken, and turn to another side. Keep turning the chiles as they blacken until they are charred on most of their surface.
1b Broiler Method Position the oven rack so that the chile peppers will be a couple inches from the broiler element. Preheat the broiler on high. Place the peppers in a single layer in a roasting pan (not a cookie sheet, that will warp), lined with Silpat or aluminum foil. Roast on one side until that side is blackened, then use tongs to turn the peppers over so that the other side gets charred.
1c Grill Method Heat the grill on high and place the chiles on the grill grates as close to the flame as possible. Turn as needed so that the chiles blister and char on all sides.
2 When the chiles are all well blistered and blackened, place in a bowl and cover with a plate (you can also put them in a brown paper bag and close). The chile peppers will steam in the bowl (or bag), making the charred skins easy to peel. Let the chiles steam for 5 to 10 minutes, until cool enough to handle. Use your fingers (a damp towel or paper towel helps) to gently peel off the charred skins.
3 Cut a slit down one side of each of the peppers. Open the chiles and remove the seeds, seed pods, and stems. Also remove any inner veins, those can carry a lot of heat. It helps to either wear gloves or coat your hands with cooking oil first before handling a chile, especially if you open it up. After you are done handling the chiles you can wash the oil off of your hands and take care not to touch your eyes.
4 Place the chiles in a ceramic or glass bowl. Drizzle olive oil over the chiles. Sprinkle with vinegar and salt. Toss so that the chiles get touched with olive oil, vinegar, and salt on all sides. Cover and chill for at least an hour and up to several days.