Pork Tenderloin with Pumpkin-Seed Sauce

Morita chiles are red, fully mature Chipotles. This gives them a unique, medium – hot smokey flavor which is popular in many Southwestern dishes. These can be added to sauces (including Mole) to add smokey flavor and maintain the red color of the sauces. These peppers are about 2-4 inches in length, 1 inch in width, and have a deep brick reddish brown color. The word Chipotle translated to smoked chile. Consider the Chipotle a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the hottest). Scoville heat units 7,000-25,000.

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4 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, chopped, plus 2 Tbsp. sauce
1/4 cup orange juice
1 Tbsp. light brown sugar
2 pounds pork tenderloin
3/4 cup hulled pumpkin seeds
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. chipotle chile powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. pumpkin-seed oil

In a small bowl, combine the chiles, sauce, orange juice and sugar. Put the pork in a baking dish and add the marinade, turning the pork to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

Preheat oven to 375F. Toast the pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet until they have popped and are just starting to brown, 7-11 minutes. Let cool. In a food processor, whirl 1/2 cup of the seeds into a paste.

Heat the grill to medium-high. Grill the pork, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center reads 160F, about 10 minutes per side. Let rest 10-15 minutes. Reserve the juices.

Meanwhile, in a medium pan over medium heat, combine the pumpkin seed paste, cream, garlic, chile powder and salt. Cook, whisking until thickened, 3-5 minutes. Stir in the reserved pork juices.

Slice the pork into 1/2″ medallions. Drizzle with sauce and pumpkin-seed oil, and garnish with the remaining 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds.

Yield: Males 4-6 servings.

Recipe from Sunset Magazine, October 2006.