If you saw my scribbled journal entry for upcoming recipes on Facebook a couple of weeks ago, you’ll know that roasted poblano peppers are making their rounds through several of the foods I’m eating. Just a little spice can turn one-dimensional sweet and savory dishes like cornbread into something memorable. But I wouldn’t want to disrupt the texture of the cornbread with the hard and waxy skin of a pepper, so it must be removed through this process. Roasting also brings out some of the fruitier flavors of the chile which ranges from pretty mild (green) to relatively hot (red).
This is the same technique used with the larger bell peppers you might find in a jar or on the salad bar. It’s a really useful skill if you want to expand your home-packaged food repetoire. And if you use these instructions for oven broiler, rather than a gas stovetop, you can make any number at once and keep some on hand for other dishes. It takes about 30 minutes and is simple enough to do on the fly while you’re preparing other aspects of the meal.
Any number of poblano or bell peppers, ideally without many dips and curves
Preheat the broiler. Wash and dry whole peppers and arrange on baking pan. Broil peppers for about 3 minutes, then check on the color. You want the skin to be blackened and charred. Once black on the top, use the tongs to rotate each pepper and continue to broil for about 2 minutes before checking. Turn and repeat until the peppers are spotted black all over.
Remove blackened peppers to a paper bag and roll the top to trap the heat. The steam produced will loosen the skin. Allow to rest and cool for 10-15 minutes.
Using your hands, gently rub and peel back skin from the flesh. Pull or cut the top from the body and carefully remove all of the seeds and put them aside. (Be careful not to touch your face or eyes!)
And voilà, roast peppers! I like to keep the seeds to add some heat to the dish, but they’re really intense so try it out with a very small amount.