How to roast chiles

Sunset  – November 18, 2004

Roasting and peeling chiles and bell peppers are basic kitchen techniques that are especially handy in Latin American and Italian cooking. Large, mild chiles such as poblanos, in particular, are often roasted and peeled before they’re used, as they are in the Poblano Gravy and Cauliflower Gratin in our Southwestern Thanksgiving menu. Here’s how to do it:

  • Place chiles (or bell peppers) in a baking pan. Broil 4 inches from heat. Or place chiles or peppers on a barbecue grill 4 inches above a solid bed of hot coals or over high heat on a gas grill (you can hold your hand at grill level for only 2 to 3 seconds); close lid on gas grill.
  • Broil or grill, turning chiles or peppers as needed, until blistered all over and blackened in spots, 8 to 12 minutes total. Let stand until cool enough to handle.
  • Pull tough peels off chiles or peppers; pull off stems and scrape out seeds. Discard peels, stems, and seeds. Cut chiles into strips or small pieces, following recipe instructions.

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