Handling Chiles

Laurie Smith

1. Wash them (during the drying process, they get buggy and dusty). Wear gloves while handling very hot chiles, and avoid rubbing your eyes or other sensitive body parts.

2. Break off the stem on the top of each chile after washing, then split the chile open and shake out and discard the seeds.

3. The heat of the chile is not only in the seeds but also in the veins. Carefully peel them out and discard them. Then you're ready to soak and soften the chiles. They will still be full of flavor, but you will have controlled the heat.