Poblano peppers, or chiles, are rarely used in their raw form. While some ingredients are ready to jump in your mouth or in the pot, like an apple or a carrot, others have to go through a couple steps to bring out their finest qualities in flavor, color and texture. But those extra steps are so worth it! It can seem hard at first, but once you prepare them a couple of times the process becomes very simple. Plus you can make more than you need and freeze them for up to 4 or 5 months. Here are the steps.
First, roast or char them
To do so, you can either place them on a tray under the broiler, directly on the grill or directly on the open flame, which is what is typically done in Mexico. I prefer to broil them because you can do many more at one time, and it just seems faster and easier.
Whatever method you choose, turn them every 2 to 3 minutes for a total of 6 to 9 minutes. They must seem charred and blistered on the outside, but the flesh must be cooked though not burnt. Just like roasting marshmallows over a fire.
Second, make them sweat.
Once charred and hot place them in a plastic bag, close it tightly and let them sweat for 10 to 20 minutes.
Third, peel and rinse.
Preferably under a thin stream of cold water, remove the charred skin which should come right off. Make a slit down one side of the pepper and remove the cluster of seeds and veins.
If being used to stuff, keep them whole with the stem. If being used for rajas, take the stem off and make slices. I like them of about 1/2-inch wide.
If you want your poblanos to be fairly mild, once prepared, let them soak in warm water mixed with a tablespoon of brown sugar for 10 to 30 minutes, then drain.