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Freezing fresh chile peppers

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#1 Darienne

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 09:13 AM

The scene: we live in the Canadian frozen north and never get fresh tomatillos or chile peppers except for Jalapenos. We cannot get canned tomatillos or chile peppers except for Jalapenos. Well, maybe somewhere in Toronto, but I don't live in Toronto. WE brought back canned tomatillos and Hatch chiles from the Southwest.

Now, to my open-mouthed surprise in a local higher end grocery story, Sobey's, I find what? FRESH POBLANOS. Smaller than usual, but beautiful dark green, proper shaped, etc.

I ask the manager about it. He says he's trying it and so far so good, and they'll have them as long as the season lasts. And he can't speak for any other local Sobey's.

SO: how long does the 'season' last? He didn't know. (That's better than another store in which the manager had never heard of a tomatillo.)

Should I buy a huge lot and what? I know I can cook and freeze them. Can I freeze them whole and use them for Chiles Rellenos? What else?

Give me your best shots please. :rolleyes:
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#2 kalypso

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 12:03 PM

With fresh poblanos you can...

* Make rajas, once you've peeled and seeded the chile, cut them into strips about 1/4" +/- wide. You can use them like this, or..
* turn them into rajas en escabeche (i.e. lightly pickled)
* turn them into raja con crema - super simple, slice up a big onion and lightly sautee it. Toss in the chile strips, season
with salt, pepper and a little garlic if you want it. Finish with crema, but since you probably can't get that, substitute
creme fraiche, or simply use some sour cream thinned with a little milk or cream.
I love rajas con crema. It's a great side dish for beef, makes a great for bed grilled chicken and a fantastic taco filling. Also works pretty well as a baked potato topping. The rajas en escabach works well with meaty fish and any place where you need some acid to cut the richness of a dish.

* You can make a cream soup with pureed poblanos, or just add them to soup
* You can cut them into cubes and toss them in with scrambled eggs or mince up and add to deviled eggs
* Add them to sandwiches
* Use them in place of green peppers on a chicken kebab
* Puree and add to any sauce for a little interest and kick
* Add them to salads

Pretty much anything you can do with a green pepper, you can do with a Poblano. I love poblanos, they make the house smell great when you're charring them, they have a nice flavor with just enough heat and they're pretty versatile. I think they go with almost everything but seem to pair exceptionally well with potatoes, eggs, chicken and pork. I can get them all year long, so they don't really have a season where I live. I suspect that's not the case in your neck of the woods.

Good luck with them. I would just experiment with them to get used to working with them and their flavor profile and figure out what you like and don't like.

Edited by kalypso, 27 November 2010 - 12:05 PM.


#3 Darienne

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 12:47 PM

Thanks Kalypso, much to think about.

It's all so iffy at this end. How long will the manager be able to get them? Will he continue getting them? How much should I buy with the idea of cooking them all to utilize them?

In the meantime I have a small bunch in the kitchen and I just love looking at them as I pass. :wub:
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#4 Lisa Shock

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 02:43 PM

I usually flame the fresh peppers, allow them to cool inside a plastic bag, then remove the charred skins and the seeds and then freeze. This seems to cook them enough to be equivalent to blanching -which is what is usually done prior to freezing fresh vegetables.

#5 Darienne

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 02:49 PM

Thanks Lisa. Just what I wanted to read, that I could freeze them almost whole.
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#6 qrn

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 06:16 PM

Seasons over here, but we buy em already roasted, from NM and they will last forever in the freezer.As Lisa said...
Bud

#7 Katie Meadow

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 07:49 PM

I roast whatever hot green chiles I can get in the fall so I have enough to last me through spring. This includes chiles from New Mexico, if I am lucky enough to get them, or poblanos that are pretty good at the farmers' market. The easiest way is in the broiler, fairly close to the flame. Turn them every few minutes til evenly charred. Then, as above, I stick them in a plastic bag with just a small sprinkle of water, and let them steam for about fifteen minutes. After that, the skins come off easily. I don't usually roast them whole, but roughly chop them and put them in small containers in the freezer. My friend Elaine, who grew up in NM, does the same thing, but she likes to freeze Hatch chiles whole. Mainly I use them for posole verde, for green chile stew with meat and potatoes, cream of green chile soup, in scrambled eggs or as a garnish to spice up mac and cheese. Most all winter and spring the poblanos I can get in the markets here are awfully bland; they seem to be hottest in Sept and October, so I'd rather use the frozen than buy them fresh. I don't have any idea where they come from most of the year, but they don't have much heat.

#8 FoodMuse

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 08:20 PM

I usually flame the fresh peppers, allow them to cool inside a plastic bag, then remove the charred skins and the seeds and then freeze. This seems to cook them enough to be equivalent to blanching -which is what is usually done prior to freezing fresh vegetables.


I second this method.
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#9 Jaymes

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 09:53 PM

Buy a huge lot and freeze them.

As several have suggested, char the skins, then allow to steam in a plastic bag or wrapped up in a dishtowel (if you don't like the idea of plastic), then peel and seed and freeze.

Works great!

You'll find myriad of uses. It's even great to lay one on top of your hamburger patty the next time you're making burgers.

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#10 Darienne

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 06:11 AM

So grateful :wub: :wub: for ALL the replies.
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#11 Darienne

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 04:09 PM

Cannot believe my eyes. A Canadian grocery chain, Sobey's, is now carrying Poblanos. For how long I don't know. They have them down as 'hot' peppers. And won't change it either.

So because I have no idea of when the supply will suddenly disappear, I bought them out yesterday. Roasted (in oil a la Bayless), peeled, made into rajas and into the freezer most of them will go. The rest will become Chiles Rellenos.

So what? You say. That's because you don't live in east central Ontario in the middle of nowhere where no one has ever carried a Poblano before.


P1110001.JPG
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#12 Dakki

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 04:32 PM

They have them down as 'hot' peppers.


One wonders what they would call piquines or habaneros.

Anyway, grats on the sourcing! Poblanos make a good addition to a lot of dishes. I even put them in casseroles. Call it fusion cuisine :raz:
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#13 nakji

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 08:24 PM

Cannot believe my eyes. A Canadian grocery chain, Sobey's, is now carrying Poblanos. For how long I don't know. They have them down as 'hot' peppers. And won't change it either.

So because I have no idea of when the supply will suddenly disappear, I bought them out yesterday. Roasted (in oil a la Bayless), peeled, made into rajas and into the freezer most of them will go. The rest will become Chiles Rellenos.

So what? You say. That's because you don't live in east central Ontario in the middle of nowhere where no one has ever carried a Poblano before.


P1110001.JPG



I don't say "so what!" - I know exactly how you feel. If I saw a pile of poblanos at my local market, I'd buy the lot up, too. :biggrin:

I saw packets of fresh kaffir lime leaves at my local grocery, bought the whole display and took them home to freeze. Perhaps if the products sell well, the manager will be encouraged to keep the supply coming, is how I always feel. At least while they're in season.

I can't wait to see what you do with them over in the Making Mexican At Home topic.

#14 technophile50

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 08:49 PM

I've had success using the microwave to blanch peppers for freezing. Beats working over a pot of boiling water in the summertime when the crop is coming in. This time of year, the broiler charring method looks good - it's 35F and raining outside.
I remove the stems & seeds - I use quart freezer containers, and if I only need a cup or so, I can slice a chunk off the frozen mass and keep the rest frozen. Vacuum packing & freezing seeded peppers with the stem on would work for chiles rellenos.

#15 Doodad

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 06:57 AM

Our garden was very prolific with peppers especially habaneros this year. I still have a bag in the freezer. I just threw them in whole and they defrost just fine. The more watery peppers like green bells don't fare so well, but I would think a thick skinned poblano would survive.

#16 Darienne

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 07:00 AM

I saw packets of fresh kaffir lime leaves at my local grocery, bought the whole display and took them home to freeze. Perhaps if the products sell well, the manager will be encouraged to keep the supply coming, is how I always feel. At least while they're in season.


My thoughts exactly. The poblanos are from Mexico. Does that mean they have no 'season', but will come all year round, like oranges or avocados? That would be great. I don't really feel like buying them out and leaving none for others. And if there is a 'better' season for them, like there is for tomatoes, then I would buy more then.

I've had success using the microwave to blanch peppers for freezing. Beats working over a pot of boiling water in the summertime when the crop is coming in.

What kind of peppers are you talking about? You don't mention charring or peeling or deseeding.

As for putting the peppers into a plastic bag after charring/roasting/frying someone...maybe Bayless?...says NO! Just cover them with a towel. The plastic bag will continue the cooking process and you don't want that. Last week I had that experience with a couple of poblanos that couldn't be used for stuffing...they were just too soft. No problem, as you know. Yumm.

Down to pepper and enchilda work for today.

(Aside: today I finally figured out how to multiquote. Took only 2 1/2 years! :raz: )

Edited by Darienne, 05 February 2011 - 07:01 AM.

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#17 Okanagancook

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 07:08 AM

I've been growing them for the past few years. I have one package in the freezer from two years ago. Vac sealed them and they are just like they are fresh out of the garden....I charred and seeded them first.

#18 Darienne

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 10:33 AM

OK. The tabletop full of chiles are now all quickly deep fried to blister the skins, set on paper towels to drain, dish towel over them, and peeled. They are ready for the next steps.

Some will be frozen whole for Chiles Rellenos, no seeding or de-veining until later thawed for use.

Others will be opened, seeded & de-veined, and cut into strips for Rajas, etc. Then some will be used today in my own version of enchiladas and others will be frozen on half-sheets and then bagged.

Questions:
- is it better to peel them hot, medium or cold? DH helped me, peeling by hand. I peeled using a sharp knife. We came out about even.
- thought I had a couple of other questions but my mind is blank. All feedback is appreciated.
- this summer, I will try blistering the chiles outside on the B-B-Q or its side burner.

What a learning experience this has all been. :rolleyes:
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#19 kalypso

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 03:41 PM

OK. The tabletop full of chiles are now all quickly deep fried to blister the skins, set on paper towels to drain, dish towel over them, and peeled. They are ready for the next steps.


I've never covered them when doing the fry method. Usually I just dunk them in the deep fryer until they blister, drain on a rack or paper towels until cool enough to handle and then peel with my fingers. Often if I can find a good started point on the top of the chile where I can get the skinning started, I can wrap my fingers around the chile, gently pull downwards and get most of the skin off in one movement. Then I just go back and clean up the spots that didn't come off. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

#20 CaliPoutine

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 11:57 PM

Cannot believe my eyes. A Canadian grocery chain, Sobey's, is now carrying Poblanos. For how long I don't know. They have them down as 'hot' peppers. And won't change it either.

So because I have no idea of when the supply will suddenly disappear, I bought them out yesterday. Roasted (in oil a la Bayless), peeled, made into rajas and into the freezer most of them will go. The rest will become Chiles Rellenos.

So what? You say. That's because you don't live in east central Ontario in the middle of nowhere where no one has ever carried a Poblano before.


P1110001.JPG



Hahaha, I remember those days, living in Exeter. I was dying for some proper authentic Mexican food. Thankfully, I was only an hour from Michigan and could buy anaheims and poblanos there. I used to buy avocados in Exeter or Grand Bend. 10 for 1.00 because no one every bought them. I guess Guacamole was too exotic too.

#21 technophile50

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 12:09 AM

What kind of peppers are you talking about? You don't mention charring or peeling or deseeding.


Bell peppers, Hungarian Wax peppers, Poblano peppers, Jalapeno peppers, and Owen's peppers(a slightly hot but strongly flavored pepper that resembles a Jalapeno, grown from seed that my friend Owen collects each year; I think he calls them Miz Philips peppers &;>). Stemmed seeded, and sliced/diced; they fit better into the containers, and I rarely make any kind of stuffed pepper dish.

#22 Darienne

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 05:58 AM

Hahaha, I remember those days, living in Exeter. I was dying for some proper authentic Mexican food. Thankfully, I was only an hour from Michigan and could buy anaheims and poblanos there. I used to buy avocados in Exeter or Grand Bend. 10 for 1.00 because no one every bought them. I guess Guacamole was too exotic too.

I didn't realize that you could buy the peppers in Michigan. Will stop on our way home from Utah next time and load up. I have a young friend who works at a Krogers in Imlay City and I could check with her first. Could stop in Lansing, Flint...

You must be in heaven being back in SoCal. :smile: You can buy all the ingredients you need for Mexican food every day!
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#23 kalypso

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 08:47 AM

I don't think this will help Darienne because she's in Canada, but if anyone is interested in growing their own chiles you can get starts mail order from The Chile Woman in Indiana. I've ordered from her before and have been very happy with the plants when they arrived and once they were in the ground. She offers a pretty wide variety of chiles and you can mix-and-match your order. She parctices organic farming. Here's the web site

#24 Darienne

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 11:28 AM

Growing peppers where I live is not too useful. If you look at a map of Ontario, you can see that it encompasses several growing zones. We are not in one of the warmer ones.

Last year I did grow Habaneros and Jalapenos and this year I'm going to try Poblanos, etc, if I can get the seeds. I do not have a green thumb, but I am willing to try. Couldn't possibly grow enough tho...
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#25 Darienne

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 12:17 PM

I've never covered them when doing the fry method. Usually I just dunk them in the deep fryer until they blister, drain on a rack or paper towels until cool enough to handle and then peel with my fingers.

Meant to ask before. Do you mean an electric deep fryer? I don't own one, but I do see them sometimes at the second hand stores. Or I could buy a new one. Is it worth it?

I am now frying won tons, spring rolls, Chiles Rellenos and now we are discussing peeling Poblanos. I know this topic probably belongs in Consumers, but maybe I can be humored briefly.
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#26 CaliPoutine

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 11:01 AM



Hahaha, I remember those days, living in Exeter. I was dying for some proper authentic Mexican food. Thankfully, I was only an hour from Michigan and could buy anaheims and poblanos there. I used to buy avocados in Exeter or Grand Bend. 10 for 1.00 because no one every bought them. I guess Guacamole was too exotic too.

I didn't realize that you could buy the peppers in Michigan. Will stop on our way home from Utah next time and load up. I have a young friend who works at a Krogers in Imlay City and I could check with her first. Could stop in Lansing, Flint...

You must be in heaven being back in SoCal. :smile: You can buy all the ingredients you need for Mexican food every day!



I bought them at Meijer( cheaper than Kroger) in Port Huron. You can also check at Superwalmart.

Yes, I'm in Heaven being back in Socal. I've only cooked some basic mexican food. Its so inexpensive and there are so many Mexican restaurants where I live. I will miss the lilacs this year, we dont have those here as they need a cold winter.

#27 Darienne

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 11:16 AM

Thanks Calipoutine,

We usually do cross at Port Huron, but it might be easier to stop in Imlay city to buy them. I am not at my best in border crossings ...we had a really unpleasant one once... and I'd rather just get it over with when we are so near. My friend who works at Kroger's said she'd make sure they had a goodly supply when we crossed.

Have frozen Poblanos a couple of times now with good results.
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