Chiles (About)

Chile Peppers

Chile Peppers

by Cat, Sept 2014 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

NOTE: More info about chiles will be added with time. Includes: 1. Chipotle en Adobo; 2. Softening dried chiles; 3. Roasting various chiles; See also: 1. Miscellaneous & Information Menu

Wonder about the spelling: chili or chile?  See the definitive article in the LA Times: Chili or Chile? Dispute Never Seems to Cool Off (1): “The Los Angeles Times spells the vegetable “chile” and the spicy soup “chili.” The sauce made of chile, onion and tomato? Chile sauce.”

Refer to The Cook’s Thesaurus (2, 3) for a great description, with pictures, of many different chiles, both fresh and dried.  It also suggests reasonable substitutes if you can’t find a particular chile or preparation.

Adobo Marinade (About)

Chipotles en Adobo

Chipotles en Adobo

(Photo, left, from Wikimedia Commons)

Adobo was originally a marinade used to preserve raw meats. At the same time, the combination of ingredients that include chipotle (smoked red jalapeños) and other chiles, adds lots of flavor to the meat, so that in these days of refrigeration, it is used primarily for its flavor as a marinade and sauce. (1)

See my recipe for Chipotle en Adobo.

Softening Dried Chiles such as Anchos or New Mexico chiles (instead of using fresh chiles):

New Mexico Chiles, Dried

New Mexico Chiles, Dried

(Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

NOTE: This section was originally titled “Using Dried Anchos or New Mexico chiles (instead of Fresh Poblanos)” and included the hint that anchos and New Mexico chiles are good substitutes for one another.

The method used for dried New Mexico chiles (as presented in Kev’s Red Chile Sauce recipe) can be used for any dried chile, and is duplicated here.

  1. Preheat an oven to 250°F. Place the chiles in cast iron skillet and roast them dry in the preheated oven for 3-4 minutes, being careful not to let them burn. (this softens them).
  2. Fill a pot just large enough to hold the chiles with water; bring the water to a boil and remove the pot from heat.
  3. Add the roasted chiles to the hot water and, using a weight such as a pot lid or dish, keep them submerged until they are soft, about 30 minutes.
  4. Best to use rubber gloves:  remove the chiles from the water; remove stems and seeds.  I don’t know if you will be able to remove the skins to ready them for the puree; if not, you could tear them into strips to make them easier to puree.

Roasting Various Chile Peppers

Roasting peppers brings out their flavor and sweetness. If you let them steam after roasting, it is easier to remove their skins (if desired) and/or seeds and stems.

Oven Roasting

The following oven method adapted from Food (6) and Vegetarian Times (7) can be used for poblanos, floral gem, Anaheim, Fresno, jalapeño, or Anaheim orocoto peppers. Instructions for bell peppers is from Fine (8).

Wearing gloves while cleaning and prepping fresh and roasted peppers is highly recommended.

  1. Preheat oven to 400 – 425°F.
  2. Rub the peppers (whole) with olive oil and place on a baking sheet.
  3. Roast for about 15 – 60 minutes (depending on size, variety) in preheated oven and turning with tongs, until the skin has blistered or charred according to your preference. Bell peppers take about 60 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and cool. If desired, transfer peppers to a bowl, and cover to steam about 15 minutes.
  5. Poblanos, floral gem, Anaheim, Fresno peppers: Remove skin and seeds and julienne the peppers.
  6. JalapeñoAnaheim, rococo peppers: Remove the seeds and stems

Roast on Gas Stove-Top

This method is from Vegetarian Times (7).

  1. Place pepper directly on grate of gas burner with flame turned to high.
  2. Roast until charred on all sides, turning with tongs.
  3. Transfer to bowl, cover, and let steam 15 minutes. Rub off skin.

Roast on Grill or under a Broiler

This method is from Vegetarian Times (7) and Fine Cooking (8). This method is quicker but the peppers won’t be as soft as when roasted in the oven.

  1. Grill whole, dry peppers over medium to medium-high heat (or under broiler) until charred and blistered on all sides, turning with tongs.
  2. Transfer to bowl, cover, and let steam 15 minutes. Rub off skins.


  1. LA Times on Chile vs Chile:
  2. The Cooks Thesaurus:  Dried Chiles (
  3. The Cooks Thesaurus:  Fresh Chiles (
  4. Becks & Posh blog: Chipotle en Adobo recipe:
  5. Canned Chipotlle en Adobo label:
  6. Food Network on roasting peppers:
  7. Vegetarian Times on roasting poblanos:
  8. Fine Cooking on roasting bell peppers:

About Cat

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