Calibama Cooking: Garlic and Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin Recipe

by Nancy Zaffaro
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Lori Rogers, a.k.a. Chef Lorious, is the author of the new book, Calibama Cooking: Classic and Contemporary Comfort Food. And we’re happy to share her garlic and brown sugar pork tenderloin recipe from that new book.

When someone is a good cook, I love hearing about their culinary influences. We learn what foods they and what they don’t like, of course. We learn whether they enjoy the fact that they manage to make good food without spending the whole day in the kitchen, or whether that time in the kitchen is part of the fun itself for them. Do they like to follow a recipe or wing it and use what’s on hand?

Our culinary influences disclose not only the particulars about where we’re born, where we grew up, the foods we like and don’t like. We also learn who is or was important to them. Their values. And we learn about the memories and moments they hold dear. Our culinary influences often tells so much about us as people; what we like and why we like it. For me, that adds so much to the appreciation I feel for what they do.

Calibama: the Intersection of California and Alabama

Hearing a bit about Chef Lorious made me appreciate what she’s doing all the more. Lori Rogers was born in California. But her family hails from the heart of Dixie: Alabama. And both locales have influenced her cooking, her life and values. “Calibama,” she says, “is the intersection of where I grew up and where I’m really from. At the end of the day, knowing who I am and where I’ve come from is the foundation for my classic cooking style. Accepting where I am and embracing my future is the stepping-stone for my contemporary interpretation of what true comfort food is.”

What other recipes will you find in her cookbook besides this one for pork tenderloin? Just a few other recipes include spicy shrimp and grits, country fried steak and gravy, rosemary seared chicken thighs, chipotle deep-fried macaroini-and-cheese balls (I’m there) and bourbon peach cobbler.

Garlic and Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin Recipe

Serves 6


For the pork tenderloin:

  • olive oil, for coating skillet and pork
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • and 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 pounds pork tenderloin

For the sauce:

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bunch thyme sprigs
  • 4–5 fresh sage leaves


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Coat bottom of an ovenproof skillet with olive oil and heat over medium-high heat.
  3. In a large bowl, combine salt, pepper, brown sugar, and olive oil. Add pork tenderloin and coat completely with the mixture.
  4. Place coated pork in skillet with hot olive oil and sear on all sides for 5–7 minutes. Do not cook it completely; just get the outside golden brown. Be sure to turn the pork frequently so all sides can get evenly browned. Remove pork from pan and set aside.
  5. Make the sauce: Melt butter in same skillet. Add brown sugar, garlic, parsley, and salt. Bring to a boil and add thyme sprigs and sage leaves.
  6. Return pork to skillet with sauce. Place a lid on skillet and bake for 20 minutes.
  7. Remove pork from oven and let rest 5–7 minutes before slicing. Top with the sauce from the pan.


  • Be sure to let the tenderloin rest when you remove it from the oven. The resting time is important to let the juices stay inside the meat. If you cut it too soon, the juices will run out, and you’ll miss out on the goodness that you just baked into it.
  • If you don’t have an ovenproof skillet to cook the entire dish in, transfer the pork and sauce to a roasting pan or baking dish before putting it in the oven.

About Chef Lorious and Calibama Cooking

Chef Lorious shares her recipes and meal preparation ideas on television in the Washington, DC metropolitan area and via various social media outlets. She made her national television debut on Home and Family on The Hallmark Channel and can be seen regularly on Washington DC’s “Good Morning Washington” (WJLA-ABC) and “Good Day DC” (WTTG-FOX).
Lori is a devoted wife and mother of three beautiful children, and she especially enjoys serving her church family.

Do visit her website and check out some of her YouTube videos. She’s got a great presence; her love of food and showing love for family and friends with food really shines through. And her recipes are easy to follow and practical for home cooks. To me, her recipes are suitable for both weekday dinners as well as for weekend dinner parties.


For More:

  • Buy Calibama Cooking: Classic & Contemporary Comfort Food on Amazon.
  • Watch the video for this pork tenderloin recipe from on YouTube.
  • More recipes from Chef Lorious.
  • Calibama Cooking: Classic & Contemporary Comfort Food was published by Chef Lorious Media in November 2019.
  • On our site: more great recipes.

Photos courtesy Lori Rogers, a.k.a. Chef Lorious. Header photo features her garlic and brown sugar pork tenderloin recipe.

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