It's Cinco de Mayo!

Celebrate with the fiesta-worthy Chipotle-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Orange-Onion Salsa. It gets its intense, complex flavors from skillet-roasted pepitas (green pumpkin seeds), chipotle chiles and an easy, do-ahead savory, tangy citrus salsa.

4 tablespoons corn oil, divided
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 large plum tomatoes, seeded, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 large chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, finely chopped*
1/2 cup raisins, chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup tomato paste
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
3 (3/4-lb.) pork tenderloins
1/2 cup pepitas, toasted, chopped**
Orange-Onion Salsa (recipe follows)


1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat until hot. Add onion; cook 3 minutes or until softened. Add tomatoes, garlic, chiles, raisins, vinegar, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon and cloves; cook 4 minutes or until tomatoes are just softened and juice evaporates. Stir in tomato paste; cook 2 minutes or until paste darkens slightly. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Place in large bowl; cool completely. (Stuffing can be made up to 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

2. To create tunnel through center of tenderloins for stuffing: With thin knife, make slit at one end of each tenderloin; work knife in toward center (avoid cutting through sides of tenderloin). Repeat from other end, creating a slit all the way through center. Poke handle of long wooden spoon into slit to enlarge tunnel.

3. Stir pepitas into tomato mixture; spoon into pastry bag or heavy resealable plastic bag. Fill pork with stuffing, working from both ends until pork is uniformly stuffed. Secure ends with toothpicks. Cover and refrigerate. (Pork can be made to this point up to 1 day ahead.)

4. Heat oven to 350°F. Sprinkle pork with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat until hot. Add pork; cook 4 to 6 minutes or until browned, turning several times to brown on all sides. Place on large rimmed baking sheet. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until internal temperature of pork reaches 145°F. (If tenderloins were stuffed and refrigerated, you may need to increase baking time 6 to 8 minutes.) Place on cutting board; cover loosely with foil. Let stand 5 minutes. Remove toothpicks; cut pork diagonally into 1/2-inch slices. Arrange slices over Orange-Onion Salsa.


TIPS *Chipotle chiles in adobo sauce can be found in the Hispanic foods section of most supermarkets. If desired, remove some or all of the seeds. Any remaining chipotle chiles can be covered and refrigerated about 1 week.
**To toast pepitas (green pumpkin seeds), place in dry skillet. Heat over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes, watching carefully, or until pepitas are lightly browned and begin to pop.


8 servings


PER SERVING: 425 calories, 18.5 g total fat (4 g saturated fat), 36 g protein, 32 g carbohydrate, 80 mg cholesterol, 450 mg sodium, 5 g fiber


Orange-Onion Salsa
4 medium oranges
4 green onions, sliced
1 cup chopped white onion
1 cup chopped red onion
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons finely grated orange peel
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin


Cut peel and pith from oranges; remove orange segments by cutting between membranes over small bowl. Reserve 1/4 cup of the orange juice that accumulates. In large bowl, stir together orange segments, reserved 1/4 cup orange juice and all remaining salsa ingredients. Cover and refrigerate. (Salsa can be made up to 4 hours ahead.)



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