Place the whole chilies on an ungreased griddle over medium heat and turn them from time to time until the flesh is fairly soft; there will be brownish patches on the skin and the color will have faded somewhat. Then, if they are to be ground with other ingredients, chop
roughly before blending. Note well: they are to be neither peeled nor seeded.
The whole tomatoes are cooked on a ungreased comal or griddle
until they are slightly charred and mushy to guarantee a specially delicious table or cooked sauce
. About half the cooks I know then skin the tomatoes, while others, including me, blend
them unskinned. While the appearance of the sauce may not be as attractive, the flavor and texture are incomparable. This method of cooking tomatoes is particularly recommended for freezing and storing for the months when tomatoes
are not at their best (not a problem in Mexico).
You may want to broil them in a more practical way. Choose a shallow pan in which the tomatoes will just fit in 1 layer, not too large or the juice that is exuded will dry up. (I used to line the pan with foil, but no longer. It is high time that we gradually ease foil out of the kitchen or use it very, very sparingly. The mining of bauxite for the production of aluminum has destroyed far too many tropical forests on this planet.) Place the pan about 2 inches below a heated broiler and broil
until the top halves of the tomatoes are soft and the skin is blistered and slightly browned. Turn the tomatoes over and repeat on the other side. The exuded juice will be sweet and syrupy so save it to blend with the tomatoes.