Sunday, September 4, 2011

Preparing Green Chilies for Freezing

Every year, I order two bags of Hatch Green Chilies. I get one sack of mild, and one sack of a medium variety called Parker Green Chilies.

When my order comes in, I have each sack roasted. The workers pour the chilies into a cylinder, and spin it quickly as a flame roasts the chilies to perfection.

Here's what the look like when they're done.  I wish the picture was a scratch and sniff.  They smell HEAVENLY!  Next, they pour them into a plastic sack, and seal them for the trip home.

By the time I take them home, they've been sitting in the bag for a while. They have steamed a little in the hot, moist bag and it helps the peels to loosen.
  The first thing I do is put a plastic table cloth down.  Preparing green chilies for freezing can get messy.  Next, I get a pan to collect the peels in.
 One at a time, I take the green chilies and run my fingers down the sides. If they've been properly roasted, the peels slide right off like the picture below.
 From this point, you can cut the tops off, slice open the side and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.  Then you can dice them or keep them whole and freeze them. But that's too much work for me.  When I've peeled enough chilies to use for a meal, I just put them into a quart sized freezer bag while they're still whole, and label it.

 I stack them flat in the freezer for future use.  Whenever I need a bag, I just thaw it out and cut the tops off the chilies at that time. Then I can easily scrape the seeds out and chop them up for soups, stews, and Mexican food.  They're also delicious slabbed on the top of a juicy cheeseburger.
I'm sure there are other fabulous ways to preserve chilies, but this is just one easy and delicious option.  The chilies keep well in the freezer and are a cinch to prepare throughout the year.


  1. Is it me or do the roasted ones look like mini Jabba the Hut tongues?

  2. BWAHAHAHA!!! Yes, yes they do indeed look like Jabba the Hut tongues! Great observation! What would I do without a brother like you to make me see life in at a different angle?