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Pumpkin Seed-Crusted Pork Medallions with Wisconsin Cotija Cheese

Pumpkin Seed-Crusted Pork Medallions with Wisconsin Cotija Cheese

Yield: 12 servings.

2 quarts water
2 cups light brown sugar
1/4 cup kosher salt
2 Tbsp. ground cumin
3 Tbsp. ancho chile powder
2 Tbsp. garlic, finely chopped

1 quart boiling water
2 red onions, julienned
3 cups rice vinegar
1 cup sugar
4 blood oranges, cut into supremes
3 avocados, peeled and cut in 1/4" dice
juice of 2 limes

24 slices center-cut pork loin, sliced into 3-oz. medallions
to taste, salt
to taste, freshly ground black pepper
to taste, ancho chile powder
8 cups pumpkin seeds, hulled and crushed
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups Wisconsin Cotija cheese, crumbled

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

For Brine: Combine brine ingredients in 1-gallon saucepan. Simmer until sugar and salt are dissolved. Cool brine to room temperature and add the pork slices. Refrigerate at least 6 hours.

For Mojo: Prepare just prior to service. Pour boiling water over red onions. Let stand 5 minutes. Drain. Combine vinegar and sugar. Mix in onions and let stand 20 minutes. Drain well. Combine blood orange sections, avocados and pickled red onions. Add lime juice and combine. Set aside.

For pork: Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat a griddle over medium-high heat. Blot pork dry and season with salt, pepper and chile powder. Press the crushed pumpkin seeds into the pork slices. Spread olive oil on griddle and sear the slices. Cook until medium rare. Divide cotija cheese to top; the 24 pork medallions. Bake for 2 minutes.

Final Preparation: Place 2 pork medallions in the center of each of 12 12-inch serving plates. Top with 1/4 cup mojo. Sprinkle each serving with chopped cilantro.

Recipe Provided By: Chef/consultant Todd Downs, Food Sense, Inc.

Photo Credit: Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board