This topic is a bit specific to my home place, the Southwestern USA, at least I think it is – let me know if you live elsewhere and you can get fresh roasted chiles! Around here, roasters set up outside at the farmers’ market or in a parking lot this time of year, and fill the air with the most incredible smell, a smoky autumn aroma that draws me like a magnet and reminds me of all the best things about crisp fall days and warm New Mexico comfort food.
This is what’s called “green” chile, fresh rather than dried, and usually green colored too, although as you can see I like to wait until they start turning red and ripe to buy mine. My absolute, all-time favorite are these “sugar” chiles from Whipstone Farm. Sweet and hot at the same time, they have just the most amazing flavor, especially the red ones.
Whatever kind you can find, I like to freeze them whole, spaced out on a cookie sheet or broiler pan. When they’re solid, I get them out and pop them off with a spatula (it helps to wait just a minute out of the freezer), and put them in plastic bags. Back into the freezer they go, to last me all year. I got this idea from freezing blueberries on a sheet, so that you can get out just as many as you need. I love pulling out a chile or three, and this way once they thaw, they are still intact enough for stuffing with cheese or other goodies. And, I don’t have to worry about pulling out all the tops and seeds before freezing, I just process them as I thaw and use them.
This is the first and probably easiest, possibly most rewarding, food stocking up/saving/preserving I have done so far! I highly recommend it.