My husband is from New Mexico. This past weekend when we stepped out of the car at our local market, he breathed in deeply and said, "They're roasting Hatch."
We beelined it to the roaster and ordered two boxes totaling 48 lbs of chiles. Since my husband knows what works best for cleaning the chiles, he asked them to roast them longer than four minutes. Our chiles got roasted for about six or seven minutes. They smelled deeply, heavenly roasted.
Here's one of the keys: the longer the chiles get roasted, not only do they have the deeper roasted flavor, they are easier to clean.
So you arrive home with this big, steaming bag of freshly roasted chiles.
-- Let them steam and cool a bit in the bag for an hour or so. (One of our boxes had to wait until the next day. That's okay too.)
-- Take them out in small batches (= a handful), let one batch cool a bit while you clean another.
-- Cleaning means removing the skin before you freeze them. My step-daughter showed me the easiest way to clean them with the back of a knife:
-- Just use the back of a knife and brush off the roasted skin. If the hook (stem) easily snaps off, you can take that off too. Then you'll have a pile of chiles like the first photo in this post.
We freeze them in plastic sandwich bags in 8 oz batches. This way we can take out a perfect amount for a mid-winter green chile stew treat. But freeze them in whatever quantity works for you.
Then relax, with a heating pad on your back if needed, and rejoice that you're stocked up in the essential Hatch green chile for the year!
And stay tuned for some of our favorite green chile recipes...