Each year over Labor Day weekend the residents of Hatch, NM celebrate these delicious peppers with their annual Hatch Chile Festival. The first harvest typically begins at the end of July and farmers are able to continue to produce the peppers until the first frost, Labor Day provides a great long-weekend to celebrate the spicy of the local variety of peppers.
"Born from an extension of the Santa Fe Railroad Company in 1880, Hatch, New Mexico, began as an adobe post office and a railroad flag station. Named after General Edward Hatch, Commander of the Southwest military, the town grew until a flood in 1921 destroyed many of the adobe buildings constructed of earth and wood.For a town that claims to only have 1,600 residents they certainly are making a name for themselves!
The village rebuilt, and continues to prosper as an agricultural community to this day." - Hatch Valley Chamber of Commerce website
To kick off my week of Hatch Chile Recipes I offer Hatch 'al Pastor' - I am cheating (or being very good, depends on how you look at this) because I am repurposing the leftovers from my Pineapple-Jalapeno Pork Tenderloin as a part of this recipe. If you don't have the tenderloin leftovers that's ok, this could easily be made with some freshly cooked cubed pork tenderloin, thinly sliced and chopped boneless tenderloin or chopped pork shoulder roast.
Hatch 'al Pastor'
3 Cups Cubed Jalapeno-Pineapple Pork Tenderloin (or comparable pork that has been cooked and seasoned with salt and pepper)
1 Can Crushed Pineapple
3 Roasted, Rinsed, Seeded and Chopped Hatch Chiles
A Handful of Freshly Chopped Cilantro (for garnish)
2 Tsp Chili Powder
1/4 Cup Diced Red Onion (for garnish)
Fennel Slaw (to serve alongside the tacos)
1. Pour juice from pineapple into a skillet, add chili powder and hatch peppers. Saute peppers for a minute, add pork.
2. Once pork is coated thoroughly with juices and seasoning, remove from heat.
3. Place in tacos (be careful as too much of the juice will cause your tortillas to break apart).
2 Cups Thinly Sliced Fresh Fennel Bulb
1 1/2 Cups Thinly Sliced Red Onion
2 Medium Carrots Cut into Match-stick size strips
1/2 Cups Chopped Cilantro
1/4 Cup Sherry Vinegar
1 Tsp Sugar
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1 Tsp Tajin Calsico Seasoning (con limon)
1 Tsp Ground Cumin
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Black Pepper
1. Placed sliced fennel, onion, carrot and cilantro in a large salad bowl.
2. Mix vinegar, sugar, olive oil, Tajin, cumin, salt and pepper together, pour over salad.
3. Refrigerate at least an hour, toss salad prior to serving to ensure even coverage of the dressing.
This is a pretty low-maintenance dinner but it's a tasty way to kick off the week!