I have always loved green chiles. I had no idea just how much the store bought chiles taste like the can that they come in, until I made my own. The versatility and delicious flavor of green chiles make them the favorite of all my pantry items.
Green Anaheim chile peppers are defined by their elongated curved bright green pod and their mild, sweet flavor. The chile’s skin is waxy, glossy and semi thick. Inside the pod is a thin white seeded membrane. Raw Anaheim chiles are bright, succulent and slightly peppery in flavor. Cooked Anaheim chiles whether slow roasted or grilled obtain a depth of rich, sweet and tangy flavors. Anaheim chiles range anywhere between four inches and ten inches in length when mature.
Picking your peppers- Green Anaheim chiles are generally harvested mid-summer. You want to find chiles that are fresh and crisp. If they are uniform in shape they will be easier to blister and peel. A bushel of peppers weighs 25 pounds and will yield about 18 half pints of diced green chiles. Growing your own peppers is the most economical way of obtaining them and you deserve a giant gold medal for gardening. If you have to buy them, I have found the best deals by calling local farmers directly. You can also wheel and deal with them at your local farmer’s markets, as most will give you a discount if you are buying by the bushel.
Getting Started: You will need: half pint jars, salt, 1 bushel green chiles, jar lifter, jar funnel, rubber gloves, and a pressure canner. Due to the low acid of peppers, you must use a Pressure Canner when preserving. This is the ONLY safe way to can peppers without pickling them.
***Wear gloves during the entire process and avoid contact with your skin and eyes.***
Step 1- Wash all the peppers thoroughly and place on a towel or drying mat to dry.
Step 2- Using a knife make a small score down the length of each pepper before placing on the grill. This will allow them to peel easily and allow steam to escape. Blister each pepper on a high heat grill turning frequently for even blistering. The trick is to get them to a light golden brown color. If cooked too long the peppers will blacken and burn a good portion of the “meat” and will make peeling the peppers much harder.
Step 3- Once the peppers have been blistered, place them into a roasting pan or large bowl and cover with a thin towel and let them sweat for roughly 10 mins. Letting them sweat will allow the skins to peel away quickly and easily.
If chiles are not processed within two hours after blistering, place them in a shallow container in the refrigerator to prevent spoiling.
Step 4- Peel the peppers, de-seed, and chop into small square pieces. It is okay to have specks of the charred coloring, this adds to the depth and flavor of the chiles. You can choose to rinse the peppers to help remove seeds. If you choose to do this, make sure to wear a mask. The oils being released from the peppers can burn your lungs and skin.
Step 5- (Prepare jars according to the manufacturer directions. I like to place my clean jars into a 225° oven for 20 mins. After they have been in for 20 mins, reduce heat to 170° and keep them in the oven until you are ready to fill them.) Add ¼ tsp. salt to each half pint jar then fill with the green chiles leaving ½ inch head-space. Salt is added for flavor only and can be omitted.
Using a tea kettle of boiling water, add water to each jar to fill in any air bubbles between the peppers. Make sure you still have your head-space, wipe rims, and apply lids and rings.
Step 6- Process jars in a pressure canner for the following times.
Check out the Pepper fool for detailed instructions on using your pressure canner.
Step 7- Allow jars to cool for 12-24 hours and check to ensure all jars have sealed properly by pressing the lid center with your finger. If the lid springs up when released it is not sealed.
Step 8- Pop open a jar and enjoy on a grilled cheese sandwich, on some nachos, in your eggs, in a quesadilla, or to add flavor to pretty much anything!
Thanks for letting me help you “spice” up your pantry!