Traditional recipes

Pork Tenderloin with Cocoa-Nib Crust

Pork Tenderloin with Cocoa-Nib Crust

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"Study after study proves that dark chocolate—sweet, rich, and delicious—is good for more than curing a broken heart. The secret behind its powerful punch is cacao, also the source of the sweet's distinct taste. Packed with healthy chemicals like flavonoids and theobromine, this little bean is a disease-killing bullet."

- Women's Health


* Available at health-food stores.

Nutrional Information per serving:

230 cal; 4.5 g fat; 9 g carbs; 330 mg sodium; 1 g fiber; 36 g protein


  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa nibs*
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 Teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 Teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Kosher salt or sea salt
  • 1 Teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 Pound pork tenderloin
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

Recipe Summary

  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground ancho chile pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground dried chipotle pepper
  • 2 (1 1/4 pound) boneless pork tenderloins
  • kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • ⅓ cup cherry preserves
  • ⅓ cup white vinegar
  • 1 pinch dried oregano

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Whisk cocoa powder, ancho chile powder, cumin, black pepper, and chipotle pepper in a bowl. Set aside.

Generously season tenderloins with salt, then coat in the cocoa powder mixture. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place tenderloins in the skillet and reduce heat to medium. Cook until browned on each side, about 4 minutes.

Transfer tenderloins to a baking dish cook in the preheated oven until pork is slightly pink in the center, about 20 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 145 degrees F (63 degrees C).

Whisk cherry preserves, vinegar, and oregano in a small saucepan over medium heat bring to a boil and cook 30 seconds. Remove from heat season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon sauce over pork tenderloin and serve.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 ½ pounds pork tenderloin
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ½ cup Italian-style dried bread crumbs
  • 1 pinch garlic salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Slice tenderloin into 1/4 inch rounds. Place rounds between sheets of plastic wrap and pound until thin.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

Beat eggs and milk together and pour into a shallow dish or bowl. Set aside. In a separate dish or bowl combine breadcrumbs with garlic salt, oregano, salt and pepper. Mix all together. In a large skillet heat oil over medium high heat. Meanwhile, dip tenderloins in egg mixture, then coat with bread crumb mixture. When oil is hot, add coated tenderloin to skillet and fry until golden brown on both sides (not cooked through)!

Place browned tenderloin in a 9x13 inch baking dish lined with aluminum foil. Fry any leftover eggs and bread crumbs together for 'breadings'. Add 'breadings' to baking dish. Cover tightly and bake in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes or until meat has reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees F (63 degrees C).


1. Preheat oven to 350°F/177°C. Season pork with salt and pepper.

2. In a frying pan over medium-high heat, heat vegetable oil. Place pork portions in pan, cooking each side until caramelized and golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side.

3. Remove pork from pan and place in oven for 6-8 minutes, check for internal temperature of 150°F. With pastry brush, lightly cover each pork porting with melted chocolate and roll in ground cocoa nibs. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Chocolate Red Wine Pork Jus

1. In a medium pot on medium-high heat, caramelize chicken pieces until golden.

2. In a separate medium pot over medium heat, cook shallots and garlic, 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Add cooked chicken legs to pot and deglaze with wine. Boil until liquid is reduced to a syrup consistency.

4. Add chicken and pork stock, thyme and bay leaves. Boil until liquid is reduced by half. Strain liquid through a fine sieve and return to pot.

5. Whisk in butter and dark chocolate shavings until smooth. Keep warm.

Parsnip Purée

1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, bring cream, parsnips and salt just to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until parsnips are very soft.

2. Drain parsnips, reserving cream. Blend parsnips until smooth in blender or with hand mixer, adding reserved cream if needed to reach desired consistency.

Baby Spinach

1. Line a plate with paper towels. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and sauté shallots, 2-3 minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Transfer spinach to paper towels to soak up extra moisture.

Braised Cipollini Onions

1. In a frying pan over medium-high heat, heat vegetable oil and sauté onions, stirring often, until golden brown and caramelized, about 2-3 minutes per side. Add red wine and reduce to low heat. Simmer until onions are cooked through and liquid is reduced to a glaze.

2. To assemble dish: Place parsnip purée in center of each plate. Top with baby spinach, then pork. Place cipollini onions around the circle. Pour jus over pork.

Cocoa Crusted Pork Tenderloin

& print of recipe
  • 1 pound (16 ounces) pork tenderloin, trimmed of surface fat
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • Nonstick cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Trim fat from pork and remove the thin silver tendon that may be running down the center of the loin. Rub the tenderloin with canola oil. Dust the loin with all of the spice mixture.

3. Heat a cast iron or heavy bottom oven safe pan to high heat. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place the tenderloin in the pan and sear on all sides.

4. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees.

5. Remove the pan from the oven (remember the handle will be hot!)

6. Place the meat on a cutting board and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve.

This dish is inspired by Costa Rica. Although it seems exotic, it uses spices and ingredients you already have around like house like coffee, cocoa and cinnamon. To make this entrée a full DASH meal, try serving it with Cucumber and Tomato Tangy Yogurt Salad and brown rice.

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Cocoa powder is the sort of ingredient usually seen in dessert recipes, but unsweetened cocoa powder adds a deep flavor to meats when used as part of a spice rub. For this pork recipe, mix together chili powder, cocoa powder, brown sugar, cumin, pepper, and a bit of cinnamon and coat pork tenderloins all over with it. For the best flavor, let them sit overnight, but you can also grill them right away. Serve with a Tangy Cabbage Slaw for an easy and light outdoor dinner.

Game plan: After 30 minutes, the spice-rubbed tenderloins are ready to be grilled, but for more developed flavor and juicier meat, let them sit for up to 24 hours.

Recipe: Cocoa-rubbed pork tenderloin with sweet potatoes

TAMPA, Fla. - We&aposre happy to be continuing a new segment on the FOX 13 4 O&aposClock News. It&aposs called One-Hour Suppers with Dr. BBQ.

This week, he&aposs making a pork meal that won&apost dirty too many dishes.


Cocoa grill rub 
⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa
2 tbsp Morton’s Kosher Salt
2 tbsp Sugar in the Raw
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp dried orange peel
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg 

2 whole pork tenderloins, trimmed and about 1 pound each
2 medium sweet potatoes, washed and cut lengthwise into four wedges
Olive oil


Preheat the oven at 400 F.

In the small bowl of a food processor, combine the cocoa, salt, sugar, chili powder, pepper, orange peel, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pulse 4 or 5 times quickly until well blended. Set aside. 

Lightly brush the tenderloins and the sweet potatoes with olive oil. Season the pork tenderloins and the sweet potatoes liberally with the cocoa rub. 

Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper, then coat lightly with olive oil. Place the pork on the sheet pan. 

Place the sweet potatoes on the sheet pan, skin-side down. 

Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes. Flip the pork and continue cooking until the pork reaches and internal temperature of 150 and the sweet potatoes are soft to the touch, about another 20 minutes. 

Slice the pork thinly and place it on a platter. Cut the sweet potato wedges in half if desired and add them to the plate.

What is Mousse?

Mousse is the most delicious dessert, which is very light, creamy, rich and fluffy. It also has a consistency of dense foam. To the base mixture, heavy whipped cream and powdered sugar is added. This particular recipe is completely EGGLESS and COOK FREE.

After preparing the mousse it is mostly kept in the fridge. The base mixture can be made with any chocolate, dark chocolate, fruit pureed, or caramel.

Princess Cruise’s Recipe for Pork Tenderloin with Cocoa Spice Rub

Variety is the spice of life, especially when it comes to dining. That’s why Princess offers several specialty restaurants for you to choose from on every ship, perfect for special occasions. However, don’t be intimated by their world-class chefs! Give this Pork Tenderloin with Cocoa Spice Rub a try for yourself tonight:


  • 2½ lbs pork tenderloin, trimmed and silver skin removed
  • 2½ oz cracked black pepper
  • 2½ oz salt
  • 2½ oz caraway seeds
  • 2½ oz coriander seeds
  • 1 easter anise
  • 3 tbls olive oil
  • 2 oz cold butter cubes
  • 8 fl oz natural pork jus
  • 2/3 lb ratatouille, prepared
  • 2/3 lb truffled mashed potatoes, prepared
  • 6 ea thyme sprigs, picked, washed and on ice
  • ¾ lb flour


Place the caraway seeds, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, and anise seed in a dry pan and dry roast until golden. Cool slightly and place in a blender and grind down to a powder. Add this mixture to the salt and cracked black pepper. Add all of this to the flour and mix well.

Lightly roll the pork tenderloin through the spiced flour. Dust off all excess flour.

Heat oil in a heavy based sauce pan and add the butter.

Sear the pork tenderloin until well browned on all sides basting well with the oil and butter. Remove from the pan. Place on a roasting tray and into the oven at 275F for about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest before carving.

Use a large spoon and place a quenelle of truffled mashed potatoes as shown in the picture. Using a plating ring or cookie cutter place ratatouille as shown in the picture.

Carve pork tenderloin, arrange as shown and add sufficient pork jus to accompany meat. Refer to the picture for guidance.

Pan-roasted Pork Tenderloin with Cocoa-Spice Rub

Pork and chocolate? It may sound unusual, but this is a partnership that really works.

The combination of crushed cocoa nibs, unsweetened cocoa powder and sweet, aromatic spices highlights tender, naturally succulent pork tenderloins in a surprisingly effective way.

Cocoa nibs & whole cocoa beans

Cocoa nibs are roasted, coarsely crushed cocoa beans, the raw ingredient that is the starting point for all chocolate. Closely resembling coarse-ground coffee, cocoa nibs have a complex chocolaty flavor and nut-like crunch, without the sweetness of processed chocolate. While rather underappreciated as an ingredient in the kitchen, the fruity flavor of cocoa nibs complements many foods exceptionally well, including pork. Aromatic spices – cinnamon, allspice, cumin and paprika – also enhance the naturally sweet flavor and delicate texture of the most tender of all cuts of pork, the tenderloin.

Pork tenderloins typically come two to a package when purchased in the grocery store, so we’ve tailored our recipe to accommodate two tenderloins of about 1 pound each. It’s easy to scale this recipe up or down, depending on how many portions you want to make. Plan on about 6 ounces per serving, but since delicious leftover pork tenderloin makes for quick & easy meals whether hot or cold, don’t hold back.

Cocoa nibs have become easier to find in recent years, but if you can’t find them in your local specialty food markets, order them online at our sponsoring site,

Pan-roasted Pork Tenderloin with Cocoa-Spice Rub

  • 2 Tbsp cocoa nibs
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1-1/2 to 2 lb lbs pork tenderloin
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil, plus more as needed

Searing the pork tenderloins

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Using a spice grinder or food processor, coarsely grind the nibs until pulverized into small pieces. Mix the nibs with all of the remaining ingredients, except the pork and olive oil.

Trim the silverskin from the pork and remove excess fat, if any, then rinse under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Lightly coat the tenderloin with the olive oil. Rub with a generous amount of the cocoa-spice mixture and set aside for a few minutes or up to overnight, refrigerated.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork to the hot pan, turning to sear on all sides until golden brown. Slip the hot skillet into the preheated oven and roast the pork until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 145°F, about 15 minutes. Remove the tenderloin to a platter. Let rest at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Optional: Make a quick pan sauce by deglazing the skillet with 1/2 cup chicken or veal stock. Heat until pan juices and stock have reduced by half. Pour off the sauce, leaving any crusted bits behind. Serve the sliced pork drizzled with the pan sauce.

Many of the ingredients used in this recipe, and other recipes on the Earthy Delights Blog, can be purchased online at our retail website, We welcome you to visit the website to view our extensive selection of hard-to-find ingredients and our complete Recipe Collection of over 500 tested recipes.

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