Mandarin Orange and Chili Roasted Pork Loin

MandarinOrangeChiliPorkIf you’re looking for a delicious way to enjoy a pork loin roast in the warmer summer months, I believe I’ve created a recipe you will love.

As I was walking the aisles at my local Trader Joe’s, I came upon a bag of Dried Mandarin Oranges.  They come in a 6 ounce bag and I found these near the nuts and other dried fruits.  I immediately grabbed a bag and started to ponder on what I could make with them. I walked over to the meat section and when I saw the pork roast, I decided that is the type of meat that I would use.  Next I needed to decide what to add to these dried mandarins to make this sauce something spectacular.  I grabbed a bottle of white wine and headed back to the nut/dried fruit aisle and picked up a bag of sweet and spicy pecans (this is where the chili flavor comes in, as I did not add any chili powder to my sauce).  I try to have these in my pantry at all times because they are so good with so many things. They are tasty sprinkled on a salad and also chopped up and sprinkled over a wedge of brie cheese.  The options are limitless.  Next, I hiked back over to the produce section (at least I was getting my steps in!) and selected a package of fresh thyme and a lime.  This recipe was coming together in my head nicely.

To prepare my roast I placed it in a shallow glass dish.  I pierced several slits on the top of my pork.  I sprinkled kosher salt and freshly ground pepper over both sides of the meat. I peeled and cut four cloves of garlic in thirds. I placed each garlic piece in one of the slits I made in the top of my pork.

Next, I prepared the sauce I would roast the pork in.  I chopped my dried mandarins in thirds (I wanted them to stay a bit chunky in the sauce) and put them into my Cuisinart Food Processor (this is one of the best gifts I’ve ever received.  Thank you, Mom!). I added 1/4 cup of the sweet and spicy pecans to the processor, along with two tablespoons of fresh thyme (no need to chop, just remove the leaves from the stems.  The food processor will do the chopping for you.  As I said, best gift ever!   I pulsed these items together leaving the mixture slightly chunky.  I now added olive oil and white wine, plus the zest and juice of one lime.  I pulsed the mixture together one more time and gave it a taste.  I thought it needed a little something, so added about two tablespoons of sugar.  This turned out to be just what my sauce needed.  Perfect!  I placed my roast in a roasting pan, on a rack and poured my sauce over the meat and sprinkled a pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper over the top.

I placed the loin of pork in a preheated 375 degree oven for 40 minutes per pound.  My meat was 2 pounds and was done to perfection in an hour and 20 minutes.  I served this over a bed of cooked spinach.  It was pretty and delicious.

I hope you try it and think it’s delicious too!


  • 1 pork loin roast, 2 pound
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut in thirds
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt, plus a pinch for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, plus a pinch for sprinkling
  • dried mandarins, 3/4 cup, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sweet and spicy pecans
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup white wine


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Pat your pork dry with paper towel and place in a shallow dish.  Cover both sides of your pork with kosher salt and pepper. Pierce pork about 12 times, deep enough to hold a third of a garlic clove.  Chop the dried mandarins and place in a food processor.  Add spicy pecans.  Remove the thyme leaves from the stems and add to the food processor as well. Pulse until mixed together, but still slightly chunky.  Add olive oil, wine and the zest and juice of your lime to the food processor and pulse for about 30 seconds.  Place your pork in a roasting pan on a rack and pour the sauce over the meat.

Place in your preheated oven for 2o minutes per pound.  This came out to an hour and 20 minutes for a 2 pound roast.

 Until next time, Kris


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