There is something special about the smell of roasting chiles. My eyes water at the aroma of heat and spice all wrapped into that packet of charred goodness. The flavor of these fresh green chiles are transformed by the flames, gaining a depth that only the heat can bring forth.
Chile roasting time
You know it's fall when our local Chile Diva shows up in the parking lot of the hardware store with her chile roaster and bushels of fresh Hatch green chiles. The chiles are shoveled into the roaster drum, and like the tiles of a bingo game are dumped in a cage. They are cranked around and around as the flames beneath the propane roaster lick at the chiles and char the bright green skins.
Blistering chile skins
When the skins are more black than green and the flesh has softened, it's time to pull them out of the roaster. They're placed in plastic bags where they will sweat and the skins will blister. This is an important part of the process because it allows the skins to just slip off.