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Spicy Ideas for Holiday Dinner

Nov 24, 2014 03:41AM, Published by Family Features, Categories: Family Features Food, Family Features

(Family Features) The holiday season tends to overflow with traditions – recipes passed down through generations, annual family gatherings, tree trimming parties and gift exchanges, to name a few.

But it’s also a time filled with opportunities for the traditional to meet the modern as Thanksgiving becomes “Friendsgiving” and Christmas includes potlucks and parties with friends, coworkers and family from near and far, from a variety of backgrounds – and with all different kinds of tastes.

So how can you put a modern spin on your holiday menu? It’s simple: add bold, exciting flavor to your home-cooked holiday favorites using a versatile ingredient like juicy, tender pork.

Start with the traditional – tart, sweet cranberries and pork tenderloin – and add a twist, like jalapenos, to create robust, complex flavor. With seven total ingredients and less than an hour of total cook time, Spicy Cranberry Pork Tenderloin is a celebration-worthy meal that will delight your taste buds and your guests with the perfect combination of classic meets new inspiration.

For a garnish, sprinkle freshly chopped sage on top of the finished product. Serve the pork and spicy cranberry sauce with roasted sweet potatoes, skinned and mashed with butter and honey.  

Find modern and mouthwatering ways to add great flavor to your holidays at and

Spicy Cranberry Pork Tenderloin


  • 2 pork tenderloins, about 1 pound each
  • 2 limes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cranberries
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Finely grate zest from limes. Juice limes (about 4 tablespoons). In small bowl, mix half lime zest (about 2 tablespoons) with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Brush tenderloins with oil.
  2. Place tenderloins in nonstick roasting pan, fat side up. Roast, flipping them over after 8 minutes. Add lime zest mixture to top, and continue roasting until digital meat thermometer reads between 145°F. (medium rare) and 160°F. (medium), about 35-40 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in medium saucepan, mix 1 cup water with cranberries, brown sugar, jalapeno and remaining lime zest and juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until berries have burst and juices thickened, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Transfer pork to carving board and let stand for 3-5 minutes. Meanwhile, in roasting pan, bring cranberry sauce to a boil over medium heat, scraping up any browned bits in pan with wooden spoon. Carve pork and serve with sauce.

Sponsored by National Pork Board

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