Some of the most popular foods in Southwestern culture have one common ingredient: green chilies. And as winter approaches and hearty comfort foods appear on the family dinner menu, now is the time to master the art of roasting green chilies at home.

Last week I was at the grocery store with my brother (who does not coupon) and was shocked at what he paid for a small can of green chilies. He paid almost $3 for about 4 oz of green chilies, which he used in a nacho cheese dip. That is almost $1 per ounce, totally unacceptable as far as this couponing sister is concerned.

I roast my own for a fraction of the cost. Green chilies are the main star in many chili con queso recipes, especially if you like the New Mexico version. Green chilies can also be added to soups or stews to enhance those dishes with the perfect touch of flavor and some spice. Most green chilies are not hot and measure between 500 to 1500 Scoville Heat Units (well below the units for jalapenos). In our home, my children devour my chili con queso recipe each time I make it.

Getting a nice charr on your chilies can be done by roasting on the grill or in the oven. I usually use the oven and then follow these steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  2. Wash and dry green chilies.
  3. Roast the chilies from 30 to 45 minutes or until they have a nice charr.
  4. Remove from oven and place in a Ziploc bag to cool down for about 15 minutes (the steam also helps to loosen the charred skin).
  5. Peel all the skin and remove the stem and seeds.

At this point they are ready to use in any favorite recipe or to store in the freezer. Anyone who is hesitant about roasting their own green chilies should know that it is not as complicated as it may seem. Cooks can save serious money by roasting and freezing green chilies in batches. Take advantage of good deals when they are available. I have seen the price of green chilies range from $2.99 to $3.99 per pound at my local grocery store. Roasting 5 pounds of chilies may cost around $20 but beats the cost of those tiny cans of chilies every time. So let the roasting begin!

This is a guest post by Ruby from Manchester, CT
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Hot Idea: DIY Roasted Green Chilies