There are so many things I love about the fall season. The weather, boots, and scarves. The chance to sip tea in the morning. But most of all . . . THE CHILE!
When those roasters come out in New Mexico, you know it’s almost fall. (Even if the weather isn’t cooperating.) I might not be from this state, but I love chile like a native. Every year I look forward to restocking our freezer.
Each fall members of my husband’s family gather together to peel tons of roasted green chile. Around the table they catch up, share laughs, and stock their freezers for the coming year. I’ve come to love this tradition of chile season.
If you want that fresh green chile flavor all year long, this is the way to get it.
But how do you throw a chile peeling party?
Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered. I’ll share all the details, and you’ll be peeling with family and friends in no time.
How To Throw a Chile Peeling Party
This is completely up to you. Just keep in mind how many people you can accommodate at one time. Plus more people means sharing more of your precious stock!
The biggest peeling party we had included about 10 people. For this post we just peeled some chile with my in-laws.
How Much Chile Do You Need?
First and foremost, you need your chile. You can get a mixture of different heats or a single one.
Make sure to buy your chile several hours ahead of time!
It needs to cool enough so you can handle it while peeling. We usually buy it in the morning and then peel in the afternoon or evening.
How much chile you buy depends on how much you want to freeze.
My father-in-law bought a bushel of chile. (We’ll peel more with other family members later, so this isn’t our only peel.) In the end there were thirteen gallon size bags full of the green gold.
What Other Supplies Do You Need?
- Large bowls filled with water
- Latex gloves
- Quart size storage bags
- Gallon size storage bags
- Trash bags
- Casserole dishes
Just a note: One year my husband’s family didn’t wear gloves, and they were hurting for the rest of the night. It WAS really hot chile, but ever since they have worn gloves every time.
How Do You Peel the Chile?
I’ve heard of other people doing things differently, but here’s what we do:
Set up on a large table outside. Cover it with large trash bags, then cover that with newspaper. The newspaper will soak up the liquid and the trash bags will protect the table.
Each person (or two) needs a large water bowl. Set a few casserole dishes along the table as well.
We all have different methods. I like to tear the top off first. Then I dip it in the water before peeling it. Lastly I open the pod and dip it in the water to get rid of all the seeds.
The goal is to have the chiles 100% ready to use from the freezer.
After the pods are peeled and cleaned, we place them in the casserole dishes and continue until it’s all peeled.
How Do You Store It?
Once the chile is peeled, it’s time to pack it up.
We put green chile in our guacamole so we like having them bagged in smaller amounts. How much you put in is up to you.
We typically put 5-6 pods in each quart bag, depending on their size. Once we’ve packed it all up, we put ten quart bags in each gallon sized bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible.
After it’s all packed up, we split the gallon bags between everyone who participated. We usually divvy up by household. Then people take it home and store it in their freezer!
Quart sized bags can be pulled out as needed for enchiladas, guacamole . . . anything you need to put chile in!
And last but not least…
We always celebrate our hard work with food!
Some years we make green chile chicken enchilada casserole with our freshly peeled stock. Other years we take the easy route and order pizza. Whatever you choose, food is a great reward for all you’ve accomplished.
Does your family peel green chile every year?
How do you do it? Tell us in the comments below!