But there they were. After a bit of research, I introduced myself to a new amigo: the poblano pepper.
Then what? How to preserve them? There were too many to eat fresh, the fiery things, but I wasn’t about to let them go bad. I could always dry them. Then I would have to re-do the introductions–after drying they are called ancho peppers.
After some looking around I decided to roast and freeze them. There are many recipes that call for roasted poblanos, and they all look good.
To roast poblanos, or any kind of pepper, you:
- Wash peppers if necessary. Dry them.
- Toss them with a bit of oil (I used canola, any vegetable oil would be fine) in a pan large enough to allow a bit of room between peppers. You can also roast them dry, no oil, if you prefer.
- Put them in the oven at 350 degrees F until the skin is blistered and beginning to brown or char a bit all over, turning as needed. Don’t let the peppers bake through to the point they are completely mushy–you want a little bit of fight left in them–otherwise the flesh will cook down and you won’t be able to skin them. You want them nicely charred so the skin will come off easily, but not so done that the meat is too thin.
- Place in a covered container to steam the skin from the flesh of the peppers (some sources advise placing them in a plastic bag, but plastic is notoriously toxic especially when heated so I used a lidded glass bowl. Don’t tell me if they discover glass is toxic. I don’t want to know.)
- When the peppers have steamed and they are cool enough to handle, remove the skin, seeds, stems and membranes. You may want to use gloves for this–if you forget and rub your eye with a pepper hand it isn’t pretty. Here they are skinned before I seeded them:
- Freeze. I freeze them in a container, pop them out like an ice cube and just cut off what I want from the cube-0-peppers. They don’t freeze extremely hard and can be carved right out of the freezer. Alternatively, you could put the individual peppers on a baking sheet, freeze them solid, then transfer the individually frozen peppers to a freezer container.
As you can see in the photos, I added a handful of garlic cloves because I can’t imagine a dish with roasted peppers that wouldn’t be enhanced by roasted garlic. I roasted them skin-on, and squeezed them out with the skinned peppers and froze them along with the poblanos.
The heat of poblanos varies from medium to hot. Mine are hot. I put two of them in this Tortilla Soup (substituting roasted for fresh) and had to add all kinds of extra broth and milk to take it down from hoo-boy!! to cha-cha-cha! Next time only one poblano.