The skin of fresh chillies and peppers is tough once cooked and must be removed. The simplest way to do it is by roasting or grilling the chillies or peppers then placing them in a closed container and letting them steam. This process separates the skin from the flesh, and the charring of the fire gives a rich, subtly smoky flavour to the chillies/peppers. Use the following method whenever a recipe calls for ‘chillies or peppers, roasted and peeled’.
As many chillies or peppers as desired
- Place the chillies or peppers directly on top of a gas ring; turn the heat to medium and rotate the peppers every so often to allow the flame to char the skin evenly. (Small chillies must be toasted in an ungreased frying pan; I use a chestnut roasting pan since the chillies have direct contact with the flame and develop that smoky flavour.)
- Remove the chillies to a plastic bag or a heavy bowl or saucepan; tie the bag to seal it, or place a tight lid on top of the bowl or saucepan. Leave to ‘steam’ for 15 to 20 minutes. The length of time you leave the chillies/peppers will affect the amount of ‘cooked’ flavour they have, as well as the amount of heat. A chilli that has sat for a longer time will usually have mellowed to a gentler heat. BUT NOT ALWAYS.
- Peel off the skin of the chillies with your fingers and a small paring knife.