The bright orange, bell-shaped habanero and the slender green serrano are two of the hotter peppers you can cook with. Roasting brings out the intense heat and adds a smoky flair to the flavor. It also allows you to quickly peel off the outer skin, which becomes tough if you store the peppers in the freezer. Habaneros and serranos are tasty in salsas and marinades, chilis or other dishes that are enhanced by a fiery flavor.
Wash each pepper in cool water. Slip on gloves to trim off the stem and slit one side of the pepper lengthwise so steam can escape during roasting. Remove the seeds, if desired, to minimize the heat of the pepper.
Arrange the peppers on a baking sheet so they aren't touching. Roast them in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for six to eight minutes, turning them halfway through the cooking time. Remove the peppers from the oven when the skin begins to blacken and blister.
Fill a bowl with ice water. Dip each pepper into the water briefly immediately after roasting. Quick cooling helps the tough outer skin slip off more easily. Peel the skin from each pepper.
Dry the peppers with a paper towel. Place them in a freezer-safe storage bag, packing them tightly. Squeeze out as much air as possible and seal the bag.
Freeze the peppers in a 0 F freezer. Use the peppers within eight months to ensure the best flavor.
- Freeze hot peppers individually on a tray then transfer them to a storage bag. This prevents them from sticking together so you can remove one pepper at a time, without thawing out the entire bag.
- The juice and seeds of habanero and serrano peppers can irritate your skin and eyes. Wear gloves when handing the peppers, and wash your hands afterward.
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