First off, let me apologize for the huge lapse of time between posts! Between a vacation, a move, and a two-week gap in my home internet coverage, things have been pretty crazy. So without further ado, let’s do this!
My dad first showed me how to roast jalapenos when teaching me to make guacamole (stay tuned for an upcoming post!). I’ve used his broiler method since then, although I know he would occasionally roast the peppers on a stove-top burner as well. I prefer this method, since it’s easy to drop the peppers in the broiler and keep your hands free for chopping and mixing and all that good stuff.
Note: I’m roasting jalapenos here, but you can easily use this method when roasting peppers of any size or shape.
Step 1: Stick ’em under the broiler flame
Step 2: Watch and Wait
The actual roasting step can take anywhere from 8-15 minutes, depending on the strength of your broiler and how close the peppers are to the flame. You’ll want to peep in on them after 5 minutes or so (or when you start to smell them roasting), and every 2-3 minutes after that. Once they look nicely burnt and blistered, use an oven mitt to turn them so they get roasted all the way around.
Step 3: Let ’em blister and cool
After removing the peppers from the oven, drop them into a small paper bag and fold it over to close it. This lets the peppers steam and makes it easy to peel off the burnt skin. Let the peppers sit for about 10 minutes or so, or until they are cool enough to handle. Note: I’ve heard of people using plastic bags, but my dad swore by paper and I do, too. Plus, intuition tells me that the plastic would get all melty and gross. Anyone ever try this?
Step 4: Chop Chop Chop
If you’re working with jalapenos or any other type of hot pepper, you’ll want to make sure to protect your hands for these next steps. If you don’t have disposable gloves on hand (because your kitchen isn’t a doctor’s office), then just stick your hands in some plastic bags. Trust me, just do this.
Before you chop the peppers, you’ll need to peel off the first layer of skin. The steaming should make this process go pretty smoothly, but you can try doing it under cold running water to make it easier. Next, chop the top off your pepper, then cut it in half. Use the knife to carefully remove the seeds and discard them. Then, chop the halves into small strips, and finally into little diced pieces. Ta da!
Now, if you’re feeling brave, taste one of those little pieces. You’ll want to do this A) because it makes you a badass and B) because you’ll get a sense of how spicy this particular pepper is and it’ll help you decide how much to use in your recipe. Take a swig of milk afterward if you need to, pansy. (I kid—I know not everyone was born sharing my dad’s and my love of spice). So now you’ve got some roasted peppers to do with what you please. What will you use them for? Me, I’m makin’ guacamole.
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