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Gourmet Living

A gourmet is a person who is knowledgeable in fine food and drink.


Chiles

To roast and peel chiles, cut a small slit in the chile close to the stem end so that the steam can escape. Put chiles on a baking sheet and put directly under the broiler or on a screen on the top of the stove. They can also be plunged into hot canola oil to loosen the skins.

Another method is to place the pods on a charcoal grill about five inches from the coals. Be sure the chiles are blistered all over so that they peel properly. However, do not let them blacken or they will be very difficult to peel. Immediately wrap the pods in damp paper towels and place them in a plastic bag to steam for about 15 minutes.

Another method is the propane torch method. Place the chiles in a cast iron skillet and light the torch. Adjust the flame to medium high and let the flame make contact with the surface of the chiles. Move the torch over the surface, pausing no more than necessary to split and blacken the skin. Using tongs or a fork, flip and turn the food as needed to facilitate even blackening. Since the torch cooks so quickly, chiles intended for sauces may need to be roasted in the oven very slightly after blackening and before proceeding.

Another method is to use hot oil. If you need to eel them in a hurry, or if you want a more delicate and less smoky flavor, sear the skins in hot oil. Use enough oil for the chiles to float without crowding. Heat oil to about 375ºF, or almost smoking, then add chiles carefully. Turn chiles as needed and cook them just until the skins are wrinkled, usually less than 1 minute. Drain well, then cover and let cool.

Wear rubber gloves during the peeling process. Remove the skin, stem and seeds of each pod and chop coarsely. Place the chopped chile in plastic ice cube trays and freeze them solid. Pop the cubes out and place them in freezer bags. They will keep in the freezer for at least one year.

 

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