Some things we take for granted and just don’t think about. These are usually the simple things that never get a second thought but are nevertheless important stepping stones that make up the base of a more complex dish. Such is preparation of the humble chile pepper.
From this basic technique, you can make many dishes such as chile rellenos, rajas (sliced chile peppers) for quesadillas or tamale filling, escabeche, salsas, and soup garnish to name just a few.
There is more than one way to skin a pepper, but this way is the easiest. First, wash and dry the chiles. Place them on a dry, hot skillet or a comal.
On high heat, blacken the chiles. They will blister and darken in color. You’re on your way. Turn over and blacken all sides. Getting as much surface area blistered as possible is key to easily peeling off the skins.
When all the chiles are blistered and blackened, place them in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let them sweat for at least 20 minutes.
Remove the plastic wrap and peel the skins off of the peppers. Easy!
Cut off the stems, open up the chile and discard the seeds and veins. Now, you’re ready to make something wonderfully delicious. All you need is some imagination and the sky is the limit when you know the basics. Bon appetit!