Chilaca chiles are fresh chiles, dark green to black in color and 5-6 inches (13-15 cm) in length. They are moderately hot, with a hint of berry flavor. Chilaca chiles are sometimes labeled pasillas, which refers to the dried form.
To handle chilaca chiles:
Wear kitchen gloves to prevent any cuts or abrasions on your hands from contacting the volatile oils. Wash your hands well with warm, soapy water after handling the chiles, and do not touch your eyes or other sensitive areas.To stem and seed chilaca chiles: With a knife, cut each chile in half lengthwise. Pull out the stem section and attached cluster of seeds. Remove the thin membranes, or ribs, and remaining seeds.To roast and peel chilaca chiles: Roasting develops the flavor of chiles and softens their flesh. Place whole chiles on a baking sheet and roast in a preheated broiler until the skin blackens. Or, hold with long-handled fork over an open flame. Transfer to a paper bag or cover with aluminum foil until cool, about 10 minutes. Peel off the skin, then remove the stems, ribs, and seeds.For other varieties of chile, see Anaheim, ancho, árbol, bird's-eye, cayenne, chipotle, guajillo, habañero, jalapeño, mulato, poblano, serrano, and yellow chiles, and dried red chiles and ground dried chile.