I decided it’s time to post a few tips that I use in my daily cooking. I hope to reference these tips in my future recipes and add other tips as I go along. As many of you know I roast a variety of chiles often and have started roasting other foods as well such as tomatoes and corn. Roasting brings out the sugars in corn and tomatoes that you wouldn’t otherwise find. Find out for yourself how easy it is and how good it tastes!
There are several ways to roast chiles but my favorite way is to simply set them over the open flame of a gas grill. This grill was made with love from my brother Carl. I have a round 14 inch cast iron grill/griddle that I place on top of it when cooking other things but the open flame is perfect for roasting chiles.
When they are charred on all sides, place them in a plastic bag and let them steam for 15 – 20 minutes. Some chiles may roast faster than others and you can take them off the grill as they are done and seal the bag when all the chiles are roasted.
An alternate way to roast chiles is to place them on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, place under the broiler at 500 degrees. They will start to blister after only a few minutes. Check often and rotate them using tongs until they are blistered over all sides. Steam them in a plastic bag 15 – 20 minutes. Rinse and peel. I use this method more when it’s too cold outside to use the grill.
I used to get so frustrated when I would buy a bunch of cilantro and within a few days it would start to ruin with that black mossy stuff. At that point there was nothing to do but throw the bunch out. I found out that you can keep cilantro in a jar filled with water for up to two weeks. Just find an empty jar with an opening large enough to hold your cilantro and fill to cover the stems. After about a week the water may start to turn brown, just drain it and replace with clean water. You’ll be amazed how long it will last!
If you have a vacuum sealer it works great for chiles. I prefer to seal one pepper per bag, that way I can pull out as much or as little as I need. You can also just use a zip lock bag, making sure to release as much air as possible before sealing.
Crispy Corn Tortilla Strips
I love crispy warm tortilla strips to top my soup or salad. But they are also provide a little crunch on a burger or sandwich wrap. I find that making your own tastes so much better than any crumbled tortilla chip. Plus you can season them any way you want. There’s nothing better than a warm crisp tortilla strip to accent any meal.
Take a small pan and drizzle with olive oil, not much just enough to coat each strip. Do this in batches and cook only a few strips at a time. They will start to sizzle and eventually curl. Toss with tongs until they are crisp.
Once I tasted roasted corn, I was hooked on it. The flavor is so much better than the boiling method. It takes a little bit of prep work but well worth the effort. Pull the husks down partway and remove the silk from the corn, as best as you can Pull the husks back over the ear to cover. Place the ears of corn in a bowl and cover with water for 20 – 30 minutes before grill time.
Because my gas grill isn’t covered it takes longer, about 20 minutes. They are just starting but I continue to rotate them every few minutes using tongs. You may not get as much visible grill lines on the corn but it will steam inside just the same and taste really good. If you have a covered gas grill it takes only 10 – 12 minutes.
Lastly, if I want to roast the corn just a little, I sometimes will place shucked ears straight onto the cast iron grill. I have recipes that use fresh corn and this is a great way to get those sugars flowing without fully cooking the corn.
Just a small amount of grilling will make those recipes using fresh corn taste great.