spice up your life. [adobo-rubbed pork tenderloin w. glazed carrots & rosemary-chili fingerling potatoes]

May 19th, 2011 by | comments

I had a random inspiration to cook pork tenderloin when shopping at the market the other day. I’ve eaten a lot of chicken lately, so I thought this would be a nice change.

I wanted to work with ingredients already in the pantry, so I created a simple rub for the meat. I found a few recipes online and altered the seasonings to my liking. Although I have an embarrassingly low spice tolerance, I made sure to add a generous amount of chili powder to the rub, so the meat wouldn’t be lacking in flavor.

The slightly charred exterior of the meat from pan-searing juxtaposed the succulent and tender interior. I made some glazed carrots and fingerling potatoes, which I sprinkled with rosemary and chili powder, to compliment the meat.

Leftovers were aplenty–I’ve brought the meal to work for lunch the past two days. Yum!

Adobo-rubbed pork tenderloin recipe:

3 tbsp. paprika

1 tbsp. black pepper

1 tbsp. salt

1 tbsp. chili powder

2 tbsp. brown sugar

24 oz. pork tenderloin

Olive oil


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Trim silver off of both pork tenderloins. In a small bowl, mix paprika, black pepper, salt, chili powder and brown sugar.

Thoroughly rub both sides of pork tenderloin pieces with dry rub. Preheat skillet or indoor grill pan over medium-high heat and add a bit of olive oil so the spices don’t burn. Pan-sear pieces until golden brown on both sides. Transfer tenderloin pieces to cookie sheet and place in oven. Cook until done, about 6 to 8 minutes for each inch of thickness–about 25-30 minutes total.

Fingerling potatoes recipe:

8-10 fingerling, or small, potatoes

1 tbsp. olive oil, plus more if necessary

1/2 – 1 tsp. rosemary, sprinkled evenly among potatoes

1 tsp. chili powder, sprinkled evenly among potatoes


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Rinse potatoes, dry, then place on cookie sheet. Coat potatoes evenly with olive oil, then sprinkle seasonings on both sides of potatoes. Bake potatoes 15-20 minutes, or until fork pierces the potatoes easily.

Glazed carrots recipe:

5-6 carrots, stems removed

3 tbsp. butter or margarine

Salt and pepper, to taste


Wash carrots to remove dirt. Cut off tips of the carrots. Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots and season with salt and pepper. Toss with tongs until evenly coated and sizzling, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium or medium-low and cook until carrots are tender, about 10 minutes.

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33 thoughts on “spice up your life. [adobo-rubbed pork tenderloin w. glazed carrots & rosemary-chili fingerling potatoes]”

  1. I’ve also been eating a lot of chicken lately — and I love (love) pork tenderloin. So this spice rub is something I’m definitely going to try. The potatoes sound awesome, too.

    1. Thanks so much! The kick of the chili powder worked perfectly with the sweetness of the brown sugar. This was a winner. :)

  2. I love pork tenderloin – I can’t believe I only had it for the first time a few months ago – I’d been missing out all my life! The spice rub for the meat looks great. I always cook mine plain, but this is tempting me to be a bit more adventurous next time :)

  3. Mmmm your rub looks amazing! I love dinners like this that can be pulled together with ingredients on hand! Pork tenderloin is my favorite for tenderness and flavor and always loved by everyone! Great photos Caroline!

  4. This looks amazing! What a gourmet meal and with so few ingredients. I’ve come to love pork tenderloin when it’s cooked just right! Your random inspiration seems to have worked out well :)

  5. I m seeing so many adobo recipes around.This rub sounds so so good.I like to rub meats with a lot of spices too..brings out so much flavor in every bite.Love your meal.

  6. Both of your veggie sides sound wonderful, and I can imagine them being right at home on any dinner plate, any time of the year. Gotta love a timeless preparation like that. :)

  7. I’m a bit the opposite, I have a fairly high spice tolerance :)
    Your dish looks delicious, and I love how all the components make it so nicely balanced…

  8. Sounds delicious! I’ve been using paprika in my cooking a lot lately (well, relatively speaking….). This rub sounds great. I will mark this post for the next time I use pork, because I’m always looking for new ways to prepare it!

    1. Thank you! It was a nice way to give the meat a boost of flavor. Next time I make pork tenderloin, I’ve decided I’m going to make some sort of marinade and see how I like that. :)

    1. It surprisingly worked very well! I figured adding spices to the potatoes couldn’t hurt, especially since it would compliment the meat. :)

  9. I’m usually not a pork person, but this looks amazing! And surprisingly easy, which is a must for me. It’s definitely going on my wish list!

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