Any number of recipes call for roasted peppers and there are numerous ways to get from raw to roasted, but nothing beats a truly fire-roasted pepper or chili!
Fire roasting peppers is surprisingly easy and the use of live flame makes a distinct difference in the taste. You can use the open burners of a gas range, a gas or charcoal bbq, a gas broiler or even a chef’s torch. Whichever you choose, know in advance that roasting chilies and peppers over an open flame imparts a flavour that you simply cannot get by roasting in a stove-top pan or in the oven.
This recipe is primarily oriented towards the large, mild Anaheim chili, but the same method works for all kinds of chilies and peppers. When roasting small peppers, it may be necessary to put some kind of screen over the flame to keep them from falling through.
Fire-Roasted Peppers and Chilies
Ingredients and tools:
2 large Anaheim chilies (in places where these are not available, large Pimiento peppers that are still green will work well.)
Open flame (I use the burners of my gas stove)
Clear plastic bags large enough to hold the peppers
Small sharp knife
Set flame to high. Lay the chilies on the burner grids. Allow skin of the chili to blister and blacken down its length. With tongs, turn chili to a green side and repeat. When entire chili is blistered and blackened, remove from the flame and put into the plastic bag. Twist bag shut and allow chili to steam in the bag for 10 minutes.
Remove chili from bag and place on cutting board. Cut off stem end and discard. Split chili down its length and open. Scrape out seeds and discard. Turn chili over and scrape off blistered and blackened skin. When chili is scraped clean, rinse in cold water.
The chilies may now be used or wrapped in plastic and frozen for future use.
Small chilies should have their skin scraped before removing stem end and opening to seed. They are easier to handle that way. Be sure to wash hands thoroughly, especially under the nails, after handling hot chilies.
What to do with fire roasted chilies:
My favourite use is to make a pot of Chili Verde with them.
They are delicious with chicken, especially a chicken sandwich with cheese.
Substitute roasted chilies where a recipe calls for cooked bell pepper
Fabulous with fajitas!
Add to meat for burritos or tacos
Place a strip in a cheese enchilada
Photo of roasted peppers by jspatchwork, flickr