I have mentioned before that I am a food snob, but I’m actually much better than I used to be. Believe it or not, there was a time when I made everything single thing from scratch. I did not believe in buying prepared herb or spice mixtures, pastes, marinades, sauces, and so forth. I still don’t buy marinades or sauces at all, because that’s just silly. However, I have relaxed my ways in the other categories.
To defend myself for a second, why would anyone purchase Italian Herbs when you can just use individual Italian herbs? Why would anyone use a curry powder or garam masala when you can easily own all of the individual components? Why would you purchase Schezuan pepper salt when you can make it so easily?
But we live and learn. And the good thing about aging is relaxing a bit. So I now actually own Italian herbs, a sweet curry powder, Old Bay, a barbecue 3000, a garlic pepper, a smoky salt mixture, a Bavarian spice mixture, a lemon pepper, chili powder, and many more blends, thanks to Penzey’s, mostly, that I never would have dreamed would be in my spice cabinets. And I’m okay with it!
And so I’ve also been a purist when it came to pestos and pastes that can be so easily made in a food processor or blender, with no chemicals or preservatives required! Fortunately, I’ve relaxed in this area as well, and have really come across some delightful products.
One was gifted to me by my Hungarian girlfriend. It’s called Paprika Creme. I could smother this stuff on everything, including myself. In fact, I used it in a paprika risotto on the blog and it was fabulous. I’ve smothered it on chicken, added it to soups and stews, and also used it to season polenta/grits. It’s quite versatile!
It typically comes in a jar, produced by Univer, but it also comes in a tube.
And so, tonight I’m smothering a pork tenderloin with this beautiful, aromatic paprika creme for dinner.
Paprika-Smothered Pork Tenderloin
1 pork tenderloin, patted dry, and almost at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place a little oil in the bottom of the baking dish. Add the pork tenderloin and roll it in the oil a bit. Pork tenderloins have a smaller end, so I just always tuck that end underneath. Then the tenderloin is more uniform in thickness.
Then, spoon the paprika creme generously on the top of the tenderloin.
Smooth the top. I also added a few pieces of purple onion just for fun.
Place the baking dish in the preheated oven. If you are worried about being distracted and overcooking the tenderloin, take advantage of an oven probe if you have one. This little guy has become my best friend in the kitchen, because I’m often distracted.
Cook the pork until the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees. Or more if you’re one of those people who doesn’t like pink pork. Then remove the tenderloin to a cutting board to rest.
The reason I don’t use a higher temperature with the paprika creme is that I don’t want it to burn. You can see how it looks almost the same as before cooking.
Slice the tenderloin and serve immediately.
I served the paprika-smothered tenderloin with steamed Brussels sprouts and some of the onions, which I let brown a little longer in the oven.
If you love the flavor of roasted Hungarian red bell peppers, you will love this dish.
I encourage you to try this product. One word of warning, however, the paste stains everything.
note: There are spicy and mild varieties of paprika creme, and they’re both wonderful.