Culinary Quotes

Welcome! Here you'll find quotations on food and cooking chosen by Catherine of Albion Cooks

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Thomas Schnetz & Dona Savitsky (Dona Tomas) on Toasting Fresh Chiles

"The ideal way to toast fresh chiles to get the best flavor and the most even blistering would be over a wood fire, but this isn't always practical for home cooks. Toasting fresh chiles over a gas burner can impart the flavor of the heat source, which isn't exactly desirable, and deep-frying can infuse the flesh with too much fat, leaving the pepper greasy. After elimiating these options, we recommend simple panfrying as the best way to toast fresh chiles.

At our restaurants, we will sometimes toast 20 to 30 fresh chiles at a time, so we use a large grill. Your best bet at home is a comal, small griddle, or cast iron skillet. Heat your pan over high heat and grease the surface with a light coating of nonstick spay or brush it with a little oil. Decrease the heat to medium and place the chiles on the hot surface. They should crack or pop a few times, and the ridges of the chiles will begin to blacken.... After the skins have been blackened, place the chiles in a paper or plastic bag for about 20 minutes."

— Thomas Schnetz & Dona Savitsky, from Dona Tomas