Fire Roasting… It’s Not just For Meat!
I confess, I have a love affair with the New Mexico Hatch Chile Pepper of which I’ll share a great roasted peppers recipe below, however here’s the back story about how I fell in love…
Last year I was so lucky to be part of the Florida BBQ Association Contest in Hobbs NM, you heard me right, Florida in New Mexico, IT ROCKED!!! Hands down, Mark Bateman and his crew did an amazing job pulling together what we thought was going to be a difficult task. Travel was interesting for the Florida gang, but in competitive style, several teams made the trip, borrowing equipment, tents and buying supplies for the famous Florida “Pink Drink”, we went forward.
About the Hatch Chile, grown specifically in that region, the Hatch Valley. These things are everywhere and they come with different degrees of heat with them too, from mild to very hot. Each year festivals and markets are held around this beloved chile as you could go to a gas station, buy a case of Hatch Chiles, AND get them roasted right there at the station. It is really something!
Even the biggest retailer in the nation had 2 roasting cages outside the store with an attendant to roast the peppers bought by the case inside. The lowest price I saw was $7.00 per case so my mission naturally, was to enjoy all the Mexican food I could while I was there, and top it with roasted Hatch Chiles.
Fast forward to today, really 2 weeks ago, and Mark Bateman knows my love of the good stuff and sends me a 33 pound box with a burlap bag of Hatch Chiles, “Capsicum annuum” in it. OH MY!!!!! Shipping from NM to Florida is 7-8 days. I knew they would ripen in transport and turn red. They were coming, and I could not wait. I also knew that they would have to be processed as soon as they arrived.
My mission, to fire roast them…
Now fire roasting isn’t reserved for Hatch Chiles, it is hands down the best thing you can do for any pepper or Chile you have planned for a recipe.
NOTE: when working with hot peppers, always wear gloves!
You can always do the peppers on a gas stove, right on the flame, to a blister, then into a paper or plastic bag for sweating. You can do them in the oven, lightly oiled, high temp till softened or blistered then into a sweat bag, however it’s just not the same.
My personal preference is to get one of the grills going, nice and hot with charcoal, lump or briquettes.
Roasted Peppers Recipe
Preparing your peppers for the grill…
- Wash your peppers well
- Brush and/or coat lightly oil
- Add a dash of Salt and pepper
- And then to the grill they go!
You are looking to char or blister the outer skin and you want to turn your peppers often enough to blister the outer skin around the entire pepper, then it is time to remove the pepper from the grill and place it in to a paper or plastic bag to allow it to sweat.
If you are roasting a large amount of peppers at the same time, like an entire case, you won’t need to put the finished peppers in a sweat bag, a large pan will do fine as the crowding of the peppers in the pan along with the heat that remains after you remove them from the grill will allow them to sweat nicely in the pan.
Once you have finished the fire meets skin process, its time to remove the skins. Remember, if they are hot peppers, wear gloves or your fingers will burn for hours, maybe even days after you’ve handled them.
The outer blistered skins of the peppers come off relatively easily mostly by just pulling on them. You may need a knife if the pepper hasn’t been heated all around so this why you want to get a nice blistered char on the outside of the pepper and allow them to sweat after removing from the grill.
From there your peppers are ready to eat, add to whatever recipe you have in mind, or freezing for future use.
***Quick Horticulture lesson: Capsaicin, is the active component in most peppers. It is an irritant not only to people (this is why you should wear gloves when handling peppers) but can be used as a deterrent to pests. Cayenne pepper sprinkled around a garden can help keep animals from coming in and eating your hard work.
Mark made my month with the special delivery. But, no matter where you live, if you are firing up the grill for a burger or a steak, think about adding some fire roasted peppers on top, or roast up some peppers for the next day’s meal.
This simple process adds so much flavor to any pepper and adds the kiss of fire to any dish they are added too. Why put plain old green pepper in an omelet when you can add fire roasted peppers. Take your chili to the next level with fire roasted peppers, or simply add them to a salad, the list goes on as my potato salad has never been the same since adding fire roasted peppers!
Fire, it’s not just for meat, share it with your veggies, your family will thank you for it!
Easy Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe Take this simple Jamaican jerk chicken recipe and marinate some bone-in chicken in it for about 5 hours for a really delicious meal straight off the grill! This recipe does about 10lbs of legs/thighs.
Roasted Garlic Cayenne Hot Sauce Recipe A really spicy hot sauce with a garlicky punch in this roasted garlic cayenne hot sauce recipe. I used up all of my homegrown ripe cayenne peppers to make this deliciously garlicky chili sauce…
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