The following blog post was written by our University of Utah dietetic intern, Sara Saltzgiver.
Every year, thousands of people come to participate in the Harmons Chile Roast, to get their hands on our delicious fire-roasted chiles! At Harmons, we received inspiration and guidance for our unique roasting technique from the world-famous Chile Pepper Institute at New Mexico State University. This roasting process enhances the chile’s flavor profile by intensifying each pepper’s overall taste, texture, and spice.
Large chile roasters will be stationed outside of each Harmons location starting at the end of August. Like a large, grated 50-gallon drum, these roasters rotate to evenly roast each chile pepper to perfection. Harmons offers these delicious fire-roasted chiles in quantities of an 8 lb half bushel, 16 lb whole bushel, or 2 lb frozen package. So don’t miss out! Be sure to attend this year’s Chile Roast Event, which will be held:
- Every Friday and Saturday between August 20 and September 4
- Labor Day: Monday, September 6, 2021
How to store, package, and freeze your chiles
Once you have your beloved chiles, follow these steps to properly store, package, and freeze them. Freshly roasted chiles can be stored for up to 6 days in the fridge. They can also be stored in the freezer for many months to extend shelf life!
The best practice for freezing your chiles is to start with clean processing surfaces, equipment, and packaging containers. Next, use a freezer safe storage bag for packaging the chiles. Be sure to remove the air content and seal tightly. Immediately after packing the chiles, freeze, and store at or below 0°F. Chiles must be fully frozen within 4 hours for proper food safety. One way to accomplish this is to package the chiles in multiple individual servings and leave space between each package to allow for cool air to circulate more freely. To ensure this quick freeze, package chiles in multiple individual servings.
Packing and freezing in individual serving sizes is incredibly useful in the future when you are ready to use the chiles. You can thaw the peppers in a reasonable quantity for each dish. Also, removal of the outer skin of the chile becomes easier after freezing. So, feel free to freeze your chiles whole if you would like to try this technique for peeling skins off during the thawing period.
Nutritional Content of Chile Peppers
Just one serving of chiles (about 1/2 cup chopped) contains multiple vitamins and minerals including important nutrients such as magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamins A, C, and K. The chiles also contain several disease-fighting phytochemicals such as beta carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Phytonutrients are important for vision and eye health, immune system support, and they work to scavenge free radicals that contribute to aging and the progression of certain chronic diseases.
Roasted Chile Recipes
Add these flavorful roasted chiles to your own recipes by experimenting with different dishes like; breakfast scrambles, enchiladas, Spanish rice, bean soup, guacamole, or even cilantro lime and chile vinaigrette. The possibilities are endless!
Harmons also offers some delicious, in-store chile options. Our produce department will be making fire roasted chile hummus and fire roasted chile pineapple salsa- both Dietitians Choice! Our specialty cheese department is bringing in Beehive red butte hatch chile cheese, and our bakery department is featuring a hatch chile cheese bread all month long. Our kitchens are making delicious chile verde, or try our new corn and veggie tamale for a flavorful plant-based option.
Harmons has developed several savory recipes that incorporate roasted chiles. Check out some of the following–they won’t disappoint!