Try one taste of Hatch chile peppers and you’ll understand the hype. After all, the peppers are as versatile as they are flavorful, effortlessly lending heat to a variety of recipes from the obvious (salsa) to the unexpected (desserts.) Give them a try by stopping by a Hatch roast at a Heinen’s near you, or go full-on Hatch fanatic and host your own roast at home with these tips on how to roast and freeze them for use all year.
Roast ’em at Home
Roasting the chiles will help to remove the tough outer skin of the pepper. After roasting, the blistered skin will easily peel away. The skin can be removed before or after freezing.
Oven or broiler: Place chiles in a 400 degree oven or broiler for approximately 7–10 minutes, turning once, until the skin of the chile is charred and blistered.
Outdoor Grill: Heat grill to 400–450 degrees. Place chiles on the grill around 5–6 inches above the heat source. Remove once skin is charred and blistered.
Immediately after roasting, place roasted chiles in a large bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to steam for several minutes. After steaming, when cool enough to handle, carefully peel charred and loose skin off the chiles.
Save the Extras
After roasting, Hatch chiles may be frozen with or without the skin. Chiles not peeled before freezing will easily peel after thawing. Chiles can be stored frozen for up to 18 months and used as needed.
Unpeeled Chiles: Pack whole roasted chiles in plastic bags or wrap tightly in heavy-duty aluminum foil or freezer wrap. Remove all air and seal tightly.
Peeled Chiles: Whole or diced peeled chiles can be packaged in glass, metal or plastic containers. Pack loosely in containers and seal tightly.
Freezing & Storage
Freeze roasted chiles within 24 hours and freeze chiles immediately after packaging. Freeze and store at 0 degrees or below. Place packages in the back of the freezer and leave space between them for quickest freezing. Defrost chiles as needed.