We were at Fresh Market recently in search of oysters. No luck on the seafood front, but we did stumble across their display of Hatch chiles. We picked up an assortment of mild and spicy and went on, knowing we’d find something to do with them. We knew exactly what that was going to be when we turned the corner and found some beautiful pork loins.
When we got home, we roasted the chiles to get that nice smoky flavor. There are two ways to do this with a gas stove.
This is the Angela way. This is what happens when you just don’t think about burning yourself and just jump right in there. This is not the right way. I always do the same thing with corn tortillas. Do I know better? Yes. Do I do it anyway? Yes. Is the bulb a little dim up there? Quite likely.
Tongs. This is the right way. See the nice charred spots on the chile that aren’t on fingers? That’s where they’re supposed to be. You don’t have to say “ow!” when you flip it over either. More boring, but better overall.
Once the chiles were toasted, they went into a paper bag to steam so that the skins would be easier to remove. Ten minutes later, the skin rubbed right off, leaving smoky, sweet chile flesh behind. Okay. The skin should have rubbed off. It mostly did. Nobody noticed any that maybe got left behind when they were chopped up.
This was the first time Paul or I had ever had fresh Hatch chiles to deal with on our own. We were prepared for spiciness, but they were so mild and sweet. The heat level of them was comparable to a bell pepper, but the thickness and texture of the flesh was more like a poblano. I can see why Hatch chile season is such a big deal. I could eat these with everything.
We spent a while trying to decide what to serve with our creation. We definitely didn’t want anything that would overpower those chiles. We ended up keeping our meal seasonal by serving it with mashed sweet potatoes seasoned with sorghum and a healthy pinch of ancho chile powder.
- 10 mild Hatch chiles
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 4 ounces shiitake mushroom caps, diced
- 2 2-pound pork loins
- 1 teaspoon cumin, divided
- 6 ounces dark Mexican beer
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Roast the chiles over the open flame of a gas burner by holding them with tongs and turning them in the flames until the skins are blistered all over.
- Place the roasted chiles in a paper bag and roll the top of the bag to seal it. Allow the chiles to rest in the bag for 15 minutes to steam.
- Gently rub the chiles to remove the skins. Remove the seeds from the chiles and dice the flesh.
- Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft, about 8 minutes.
- Add the butter and stir until the butter melts. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking until the mushrooms are soft and cooked through, about 8 more minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Transfer the onion and mushroom mixture to a medium mixing bowl and add the diced chiles. Stir to combine.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove any excess fat and silver skin from the pork loins. Butterfly a pork loin by cutting it lengthwise, being careful not to cut all the way through.
- Spread the loin open and cover with plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet, pound the pork loin to an even thickness of about 1/2 inch.
- Spread half of the chile mixture over the first pork loin.
- Roll the loin tightly lengthwise. If desired, tie the loin with butcher's twine. Repeat the process with the remaining loin and chile mixture.
- Sprinkle the loins generously with salt and pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of cumin on each loin.
- Heat an ovenproof skillet over high heat. Add the pork loins seam-side down. Cook for 2 minutes before turning. Cook each side for 2 minutes to achieve a nice brown sear on all sides. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the beer.
- Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for 20 minutes.
- Allow the pork loins to rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.