Choose chile that is bright green, smooth, symmetrical, heavy for its size, mature and crisp. Wash peppers before roasting.
Roasting Hatch Green Chile
Roasting (or Blistering) is the application of heat to the surface resulting in blistering of the skin, which then separates from the chile flesh, making the skin easier to remove.
There are several ways to blister pepper skin for easy removal. Fire-roasting, steam injection, microwave heating or any other source of high heat, applied directly to the surface of the pepper will cause the skin to blister. Roasting slowly over a flame creates carmelization of sugars, which adds a distinct flavor to the final product.
Here are several ways you can do this:
OVEN OR BROILER METHOD:
Place chile in a hot oven or broiler at 400 degree F.
for 6-8 minutes or until skin blisters away from the flesh of the chile.
RANGE TOP METHOD:
Cover gas or electric burner with a layer of heavy wire mesh and place chile on mesh once it’s hot; using tongs carefully turn peppers frequently, exposing all surfaces to the heat source until skin blisters evenly on all sides.
OUTDOOR GRILL METHOD:
Place peppers on a charcoal grill about 5 to 6 inches above glowing coals; using tongs carefully turn peppers frequently, exposing all surfaces to the heat source until skin blisters evenly on all sides.
Place peppers in a microwave safe dish; cover with secure air-tight lid to allow for steam build up. Place container on rotating plate in the center of the oven, then microwave for 7 to 8 minutes depending on the oven wattage and power level (settings may vary depending on microwave oven used). Blistering is not apparent with this method. However, the skin will have a tougher, more brittle texture compared to the raw pepper. Allow steam to fully develop in the covered container for I to 2 minutes after microwave cooking.
Caution: Steam will be released from container when the lid is opened.
Since capsicum can be an irritant to skin and eyes, here are some precautions you can take: use safety glasses, remove contact lenses before peeling, wear gloves and wear a long-sleeved shirt. After roasting and once the peppers have cooled, the blistered skin will pull off the chile flesh with a gentle tug and an occasional rinse with water. In areas that did not completely blister, the skin can be removed by scraping with a sharp knife or vegetable peeler. To help in peeling, place roasted peppers (while they are hot) in a microwave safe or heat tolerant covered container or plastic bag (food grade) that will allow steam to release slowly from the roasted peppers. Once cooled the peels can then be pulled off.
Also, peeling chile under running water in a sink helps separate skin from the pod and can significantly speed up the peeling process.
Freezing and Storage
Roasted peppers must be properly frozen to ensure a high quality, safe product. Roasted peeled peppers should be refrigerated within 2 hours of exposure to heat. Whole peppers can be frozen unpeeled and are easier to peel after freezing. Home freezers are inefficient at removing heat quickly from food placed in containers deeper than 2 inches. If storage packages are too large, peppers will freeze slowly, resulting in a mush texture because of ice crystal formation within the chile tissue. Therefore, it’s best to use shallow containers to allow for quick cooling. Specialized plastic freezer containers with lids or freezer bags are best for storing in freezer. Remove as much air as possible to reduce amount of surface crystallization that can form in air spaces during freezer storage.
Information provided by the New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service