Posted by: Travis | January 28, 2009

More cooking!

For the most part, three activities rule my life: working, eating, and riding my bike. The rest is just details. Remember those shirts? Anyway, if you haven’t noticed that’s pretty much what i do, and they are all dependent on each other. I eat so that my body has the fuel to work and ride bikes. I ride bikes because it’s fun, but also because burning more calories means i get to consume more calories and eat food that tastes good. Cycling offers a spare time outlet for all of my mechanical/science related thinking that relates to work, and also gives me an outlet so that i can stay emotionally balanced and do better work at my job. And the money i earn from my job goes to support my cycling and food addictions. You see, it’s all cyclical.

After reading a post from a blog that a friend in Chicago just started (shout out to Jenny), i realized that almost all of my food related posts are about eating out and hardly ever about cooking. While it may seem like Rachel and i only eat out, in reality we try to keep our meals out to Friday and Saturday nights, meaning over 70% of the food we eat is stuff we cook at home.

In that past year or so we have become quite the collectors of cookbooks, and make a real effort to cook something new from our many cookbooks at least once a week. So, i will do my best to document these meals and post them here when i can, starting……..TONIGHT!



Tonight’s meal was from the cookbook “A16: Food + Wine” by Nate Appleman, the chef at one of our new favorite San Francisco restaurants, A16 (see my post here). The dish is a pork loin spiedino (skewer) with pine nut, garlic, and currant soffritto, atop a bed of arugula.

It was actually a really easy meal to cook. Start the night before by cutting 1″ cubes of pork, toss in some salt, cover and store over night in the fridge. The next day, cut up some garlic…lots of garlic.


Meanwhile, throw some oil in a pan and add some pine nuts. After a few minutes add the garlic. Keep the heat low and stir continuously until you get them nice and brown. Don’t let them sit too long or let the heat get too high or everything will burn and get really gross.


Once everything is nice and golden brown add some dried currants. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Next, take the pork from the previous night, put it on skewers and grill over high heat until you get a nice char (a few minutes), then move to indirect heat for 8-10 minutes to finish.


Wash some arugula, put on a plate, add the pork from the skewers, then top with the soffritto (the pine nuts, garlic, and currants).


The dish was really tasty. I put just a little too much salt on the pork, but it wasn’t too bad. Luckily it worked out okay balancing with the sweetness of the currants. But still, next time i won’t have such a heavy hand with the kosher salt. The soffritto, with the pine nuts and the currants had a much more middle eastern/mediterranian flavor to it than we’re used to from A16, but still really tasty. Serving it on arugula keeps things light so the dish isn’t too heavy and filling. You can’t really make a bunch of this dish and save the rest for left overs, but at the same time, scaling it back for two (or even a single person) is really easy. This dish is definitely a keeper.



  1. I love the A16 cookbook (and restaurant)! It is one of my goals to cook every recipe in it. This is the last one I made and it was delicious:

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