Monday, November 15, 2010

Honey, Bacon, and Peppers; or, North, South, East, and West.

Over four weeks have passed since a Swedish-Oklahoman meal was recorded here. While the postdoctorally employed mathematician behind the Swedish-Oklahoman Food Blog has eaten since mid-October (fried catfish for instance!), the simple meals he has cooked for himself have not been very interesting, and hence not blog-worthy.

One explanation for this month-long silence is that the math guy behind this blog has entered a migratory phase. He has already spent a week in New York, a weekend in Tulsa, he is heading for Chicago and Ann Arbor, MI, and he will spend Thanksgiving in Berkeley, CA. Pictures from these travels East, South, North, and West may be made available elsewhere. As might be expected, traveling is great fun, but not very conducive to food blogging. Traveling also seems make our blogger reflect on the impermanence of things in general, and his current station in life in particular. (And "My Station Will Be Changed After Awhile", as the title of one of John Fahey's most gorgeous explorations on Transfiguration of Blind Joe Death has it, so who knows what will happen.)

A blog entry featuring a discussion of this last topic (as well as drinking in New York and Stillwater, red leaves and abandoned warehouses in New Jersey, and assorted pretentious metaphors) was in fact drafted about two weeks ago, pictures and all, and then abandoned for various reasons. (Mostly because the writing was bad. The brussels sprouts themselves were delicious. Eat your sprouts, children!) It seems The Great Brussels Sprouts Blog Entry is destined to remain unreleased material---conceivably to be posthumously bootlegged and/or exploited as a bonus blog to appease the hungry public. But most probably not.

Instead we get tonight's entry, featuring bacon (always a good sign, it is an ingredient that efficiently counteracts pretentious ruminations), locally produced honey, and peppers grown by one of our blogger's colleagues in his Stillwater garden. We take this opportunity to thank our generous sponsor. The idea here is to make a dish that is sweet and hot at the same time, and allows our blogger to make good use of the local Oklahoma ingredients currently in his house. While the small green peppers look like jalapenos, they were actually very mild. But tasty nonetheless!


3 strips of Bacon
assorted bell peppers
1 large onion
2 ripe tomatoes

olive oil
salt and pepper
dried Ancho peppers
ground chili


Start with the bacon! Take three strips of bacon and cut them into little squares. Then, in a frying pan, cook the bacon. Turn the heat way up so that the bacon goes all crispy. Yum.

Meanwhile, chop up the onion. When you are happy with the bacon's crispiness, pour away the surplus
grease, leaving the fried bacon in the pan. (You may want to do something with the grease. I do not.) Add a little olive oil to the pan, then add the onion and two teaspoons of honey. Season with a little black pepper and keep the heat up.

Slice the peppers, then wait for a minute or two, and add them to the pan. Since the peppers I had were so mild, I added one dried Ancho pepper and a little chili powder to make this dish a little hotter. Eventually, when the onion and the peppers start getting brown around the edges, turn down the
heat a little.

Next, chop up the tomatoes, and make sure not to lose the precious tomato juice. You guessed it-no passed tomatoes this time either. Instead, add the tomato chop to the pan and turn down the heat to let the tomatoes dissolve slowly.

While the sauce is simmering, prepare the rigatoni to go with it. It is not difficult, but do make sure to serve the pasta al dente. When the pasta is done, check on the sauce. If it is not spicy-sweet enough for you (this depends on your preferences and the hotness of you peppers), give it a final spice-up before you serve it. Done!

Serving suggestions: "Tonight's the Night" by Neil Young on the side, a Sierra Nevada Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale from Chico, CA.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Simplicity; or, Roasted & Squashed.

This blog post can be considered an addendum of sorts to last week's entry, addressing the same autumnal themes and also involving seasonal vegetables. Autumnal. It is a beautiful adjective, and one that this blogger intends to work into his everyday vocabulary.

Last weekend, three Stillwater mathematicians decided to attend jazz saxophone player Joshua Redman's first performance in Oklahoma in the OSU concert hall. (You see, we do have interests outside of math. We really do.) Along with another faculty member, our blogging math nerd was invited to a colleague's house, just outside of town, for a pre-concert dinner. Very nice! This colleague turned out to be not only an expert in the field of representation theory, a great cook, and an excellent host-he is also the owner of a beautiful garden filled with all kinds of interesting trees. (One of the trees was originally a sapling found in the gutter in Cambridge, MA, another sprouted from a seed imported from China.)

In his garden, our host the professor grows all kinds of vegetables and herbs. What immediately attracted everybody's attention were the very attractively colored butternut squashes. They were clearly in a perfect state of ripeness, and just looked so wholesome and healthy, growing on their vines and absorbing all the best stuff there is in the Oklahoma soil. Eating such a squash must surely be good for you! Now, being a very friendly guy indeed, the host presented each of his two guests with a  squash as we were leaving. Ooo, yum!

Cooking butternut squash is really simple-just roast it! But the end result is a very interesting experience, rich in texture and taste.


1 butternut squash
salt & pepper

Admire the magnificent squash!  Let its prettiness and autumnal qualities sink in.

Then, cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Put the squash halves in a glass oven pan. Turn on the oven; make it pretty hot.

Put a teaspoon of butter where the seeds used to be, and place small pieces of butter along the length of the squash. Sprinkle salt and pepper on it, and into the oven it goes.

Wait for about 25-30 for the squash to be roasted. Read your favorite book, and listen to some relaxing music. (I reread David K. O'Hara's article about the British autumnal folk movement, featuring acts such as Nick Drake, Vashti Bunyan, and Heron.) Check the squash with a fork. When it starts feeling soft, take it out and turn off the oven. Done!

Serving suggestions: "Singles" by New Order and a cup of tea.

Oh, and the Joshua Redman show was great! Make sure to check him out if he plays in your town.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

This Way to Fall; or, Let's Make Use of the Oven.

It must be said that fall is beautiful in this part of the country. After a few cooler days, the temperature in Stillwater, OK, is back in the 85F range and the sun is shining out of a clear blue sky. Our postdoctorally employed blogger experienced a moment of pure contentment and happiness today as he was biking back from the grocery store. His backpack was full of goodies soon to be part of this blog entry, he was full of Pumpkin Spice Latte purchased at the in-store Starbucks, and the sun shone in his face as he made his way up McElroy Road. Perfection!

As the attentive reader will have noticed, our Swedish blogger continues to ride his bike to Food Pyramid.  Indeed, he rides it most everywhere, and no, he still does not own a car. As a matter of fact, he came close to buy one at the beginning of this week, but the fact that the vehicle in question seemed to have received a little "plastic surgery" following what must have been an accident made our automobileophobic blogger reconsider the purchase, especially in view reliability concerns voiced by a reliable mechanic.

His failure to acquire a car does have the positive side effect of leaving funds available for travel. (And the exercise he gets from biking also seems to be inhibiting the weight gain commonly associated with turning 30.) The coming two months will be a migratory period of sorts for our blogger. He will be visiting New York, Chicago, Ann Arbor, and San Francisco, in that order. To some of these cities he has been invited, to others, he has invited himself; some of the trips are work-related, some are mainly social calls.

Anyone who has followed our Polish-Swedish mathematicians past travels closely (eh, hello, mom and dad) will note that he he has been to all these places before. This is true; and in the meantime he has still not been to the Pacific Northwest, up in New England, or down in Mississippi and Louisiana-places he has wanted to visit for years! Reading Mason & Dixon has also made him want to go to Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware. But this will all be remedied during spring, hopefully.

In any case, a perfect day in OK such as this cannot be considered complete without some good food and drink. Here is a dish this Swede has been making for years during fall, back in Sweden.

5-6 potatoes
3-4 carrots
1 rutabaga, a.k.a. swede (yes, it is a little funny)
fresh haricots verts

feta cheese (chunk)

olive oil
salt and pepper
1 dried Ancho chili pepper

Peel the carrots if necessary, then cut them into reasonably sized pieces (carrot sticks used for dipping are a good guideline). Wash the potatoes (but do not peel them!), cut them into wedges. Peel the rutabaga, and then chop it up. Turn up your oven to mid temperature. Then, in a glass cooking pan, mix the potato wedges, carrot sticks, and rutabaga pieces with a generous quantity of olive oil. Season with lots of salt and pepper, and thyme. Add pieces of the dried chili pod. And then, into to oven the pan goes!

It will take a while for these roots & bulbs to be cooked. Sit back and relax, pour yourself a glass of nice wine or beer, and read a magazine. (In my case, the October issue of The Believer. Sewer bears, hah!)
Periodically, check the oven to see if the potatoes are turning golden brown and crispy.

When this does happen, remove the glass pan. Wash and add the haricots, and a little more salt, pepper, and thyme, and give the vegetables a good mixing. Put the pan back in the oven, and wait a little. When the haricots are look like they've been cooked, remove the pot once more. Cut the feta cheese into little cubes and sprinkle them on top of everything.

Put the pan back in the oven again, and watch it closely. You want the feta to melt just a little, or get a little crispy (what happens at this point really depends on the quality of the feta). As soon as this happens, turn off the oven, remove the pan, and serve steaming hot. Done!

Serving suggestions: "Turns into Stone" by Stone Roses on the side, a bottle of Southampton Publick House Pumpkin Ale from Latrobe, PA.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Goat Cheese and Spinach Non-Hipster Cooking; or, Reminiscing with Huskers & Hobgoblins

The writer of this blog routinely gets accused of being a hipster, by friends and new acquaintances alike. True fact, ladies and gentlemen. In his defense, our blogger wishes to draw your attention to the following facts:

1) He is a mathematician.
2) He lives in Oklahoma, not Brooklyn, NY.

Is the reader satisfied? Is our blogger off the hipster list? No? Ok then.

The writer of this blog has, on several occasions and by independent parties, also been accused of telling long, meandering stories that fail to captivate the listener, provoking instead a certain desire to, well, hit our narrator in the head. With a stick. Repeatedly. Well, as he is pushing thirty (fast!), he feels that he has earned a certain right to, on occasion, reminisce about the past in a semi-organized manner. Especially when it helps him elaborate on why he is not a hipster. And what better forum for this activity than a blog.

Sooo. In his childhood, our Swede spent a number of summers in Mississauga, ON. And these two-months-or-so long visits seem to have had a lasting effect (a fascination with the North American continent, a love of Reese's Peanut Butter cups and other American candies,  an inability to learn to pronounce the word "water" correctly (ie. BE) in school in Sweden). 

During one of these stays, in 1988 more precisely, our blogger learned to love Marvel comics! On a random visit to a record-and-comic book-store in a nearby mall, he bought a couple of issues of the Amazing Spider-Man-and he was hooked! (He also heard a certain, back then pretty new, record playing in the store; more about this later.) He spent the next 6 or so years reading as many titles as he could get his hands on in back Sweden (remember that ordering things on the internet was not yet possible, youngsters!) Mostly Spider-Man, some Silver Surfer, and a little X-Men. In fact, it would be fair to say that whatever our temporary Oklahoman knows about the English language, he learned from reading Spider-Man. He certainly did not speak it when he started out. And surely, dear readers, that is not the hallmark of a hipster? Reading about grown men in yellow jumpsuits tossing exploding pumpkins at grown men in red jumpsuits with spiderwebs glued on? Nah.

An aside: for an in-depth analysis of Spider-Man and his significance in popular culture, we refer the reader to
Especially the essays beginning with
are masterpieces of Spider-Man writing.

If you are still not convinced, one might add that our old non-hipster later got his undergraduate degree in engineering physics. Unexpected, given the above, huh? Hipster or no, he learned many things during those years (as one usually does when one goes to college); in particular, he learned to cook the following dish. One or two of our readers may recognize it (I'm thinking f-man, f-mbl, f-mab and f-psu on this particular occasion.) 

1 roll of French goat cheese
1 package of (organic) spinach
2 apples
1/2 package of half & half

olive oil



Wash and dice the apples. In a frying pan, saute the apple cubes with the walnuts in a modest amount of olive oil. I used about half a of a small bag of walnuts. Wait until the apple pieces are brown around the edges, and then add the spinach. You might want to add a little olive oil.

Wait until the spinach is soft and stringy (but still green of course, you don't want to deep fry things). Now add a little half & half (I used about half a pint), and let the sauce simmer. In the meantime, crumble the goat cheese into small pieces. Then toss them into the sauce and stir to make the cheese dissolve. Add lots of pepper to the sauce (but no salt). A little brandy is optional (I didn't use any this time), but it was part of the original recipe. Let the sauce simmer.

In the meantime, cook the rigatoni. It is not difficult; as usual, make sure to serve the paste al dente. Pour the water, then pour the sauce onto the pasta and mix. Done!

Serving suggestions: "Warehouse: Songs and Stories" by Husker Du on the side (yes! the very record that was played in the store in the mall, and later accidentally purchased for $1 at a record sale in Mörby Centrum); a glass of Tres Suenos, a Pinot Grigio from Luther, OK. Pumpkin for show.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Live Orange; or Chicken Cuts the Mustard

It has been a while since our postdoctorally employed Swede in Stillwater, OK, last posted something on this food blog. "Has he not eaten since August?", we may ask ourselves, worriedly. Fortunately, he has. For instance, a recent trip to Austin, TX, featured chilled cucumber soup, country-style toast, delicious Mexican cuisine, agave syrup drinks, and some very fine margaritas, chips, and salsa at Takoba in East Austin. Some of these treats were sampled in restaurants, some of them were prepared by friends; all were great.

Now that our hero is back in Stillwater, where Oklahoma began (Apparently.  At least this is what a wall downtown maintains.), and he will be staying put for a while. Hence he needs to feed himself once more, and just as before he will share the results of his efforts on the internet. Unlike the previous posts, this one will not be vegetarian, for the following reason.

Today is game day here in Stillwater. The OSU Cowboys are playing Tulsa, people are tailgating, feasting on assorted barbecued meats and, well, Coors and Budweiser, and generally rooting for their team. Football is a big deal here! "Live orange" is one of the slogans of Oklahoma State University, and while the Swedish mathematician writing these lines does not know much about football, he likes the idea of supporting his home team by living, or at least, eating orange. But what should he eat?

Tags on huge SUV style cars parked in the lots close by politely offer "May we suggest beef?" I should think not, this blogger thinks to himself, vaguely disturbed by the concept of a pumped-up, beef-eating SUV. Carrots and oranges? "Not very supportive of your team, are you Mister?" But maybe, just maybe, fried chicken might work for us. But we want something orange with it. Ah!-bell peppers come in orange varieties. So why not make the mustard chicken pasta with peppers some of our blogger's friends in Sweden have been exposed to on numerous occasions? Perfect!

In the store, our wannabe blogger/math guy is reminded that it's pumpkin season-those things are everywhere! Pumpkins. Pumpkins are orange. Hm, he thinks, let's go past Brown's Bottles on the way on the way home... and get some pumpkin ale.


2 chicken breast filets (organic)
2 orange (!) bell peppers
1 onion
16 oz. sour cream
1 jar of Dijon mustard

olive oil


Starts by cutting the chicken into reasonably thin strips. Then, in a frying pan, fry the chicken in a generous amount of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. We are handling chicken here, so you want to make sure it is properly cooked before proceeding to the next step. Wait until the chicken strips have a golden brown surface-but don't wait to long. You don't want to burn the chicken or let it go dry. Turn down the heat for a while if necessary.

In the meantime, chop up the onion and the (orange!) peppers. Let them go the way of the chicken, into the frying pan! Note how the peppers orangely liven up the pan.  Turn up the heat a little and fry the chicken, peppers and onions until the vegetables are soft. You may want to add some salt and pepper.

Now open the sour cream and add some; I used about half a 16 oz. package. You want a creamy but not runny sauce. Next, add the mustard using a spoon. Use lots of it and don't be afraid-it's supposed to be strong! I used up about 1/3 of a jar of good imported Dijon mustard. Then let the sauce simmer for a while.

In the meantime, prepare the fettucini. It is not difficult, but remember to serve the pasta al dente. Read the instructions on the package or trust your instincts; it should typically take about 10 minutes. Serve the pasta and the sauce in a bowl, or possibly on a plate. Done!

Serving suggestions: "Monster" by R.E.M. on the side, a "Chuck's Pumpkin Ale" by Battered Boar Brewing Co., Oklahoma City, OK. (It is brewed using pumpkins and pecans.)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Ratatouille Made from Goodies from the Stillwater Farmers' Market

Our blogging hero first heard the expression "farmers' market" many years ago when listening to Neil Young's "On the Beach" album. (It is a fantastic record; you need to listen to it if you haven't already.) On "Ambulance Blues", Young sings

I'm up in TO, keeping jive alive
and out on the corner, it's half past five.
The subways are empty, and so are the cafes, 
except for the farmers' market, and i still can hear them say
 "You're all just pissing in the wind..." 

The (back then) young Swede was puzzled. TO clearly referred to Toronto, Young's old hometown, and he was describing an early morning in that Canadian city in the world-weary tone that permeates the entire On the Beach album. But what was the farmers' market? The literal meaning was clear, but there seemed to be a concept behind it. This had to be looked up! Enter Wikipedia: 
This sounded great, the Swede thought, that's where I would my produce if I was living in America!

Many years later, when the Swedish mathematician's move to Stillwater, OK, had been decided, much time was spent searching for information about the town online. Is there a good cafe? (There is!) Are there any good music venues? (Well, maybe.) And is there a farmers' market?-indeed there is! Stillwater Farmers' Market is open Wednesdays and Saturdays 8am-1pm, just off Main Street, and even has its own website:

The popular music nerd writing this blog realizes that he should probably spend less time listening obsessively to depressed white men with guitars laying bare their Feelings, and, as the popular saying goes, get a life. (It could be argued that doing math is not necessarily a recipe for success, viz. Jaak Peetre's unpublished memoir "Ett liv förslösat på matematik".) Clearly, feeding yourself is a part of any get-a-life program! And as a first step, a visit was paid to Stillwater Farmers' Market, and a dinner was cooked using goodies purchased there! 

Voila la ratatouille, as the French would say. Note the very cute pocket sized eggplants, purchased from a very nice old lady, and the ordinary sized onions, grown on the plains of Oklahoma! Potatoes are not really part of a traditional ratatouille, but they were left over from the Aloo Gobi (the previous post) and I wanted to finish them. They also help turn the ratatouille into a full meal on its own.


a couple of small eggplants
a couple of small potatoes
1 (normal-size) onion
1 green bell pepper
2 ripe tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
1 dried Chili pepper

olive oil
salt & pepper

Peel the potatoes. Then cut them into halves (if they are small, otherwise quarter the potatoes). Chop the onion and the garlic cloves. Slice the dried chili pepper. In a frying pan, saute the potatoes, onion, garlic, and chili pepper in olive oil with some salt and pepper, and just a little cumin. Turn down the heat and wait a little for the potatoes to get brown around the edges and the onion to get soft.

Meanwhile, chop up the eggplant and the bell pepper. Add them to the pan. Some maintain that the eggplant (and zucchini, if you're using that too) should be prepared separately. I usually cook everything in the same pan-which is good since I've only got one of them in Stillwater. Sprinkle a little salt, cumin, and thyme over the contents of the frying pan.

Next are the tomatoes. Chop them up, and don't let the juice go to waste! I was lucky to have two really ripe and juicy tomatoes. Add the tomato chop to the pan, and turn the heat down low. 

Let the ratatouille stew. Wait, and stir it a little. Repeat. Wait some more. Done! Now ratatouille is often served as a side dish but I was not very hungry so I had only the ratatouille, with a slice of bread.

Serving suggestions: "Really" by J.J. Cale on the side, a Lakefront India Pale Ale from Milwaukee, WI.

Oh and J.J. Cale is not depressed, you can Call Him the Breeze.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cilantro strikes back; or, Don't fear the cumin.

As is well-known, owning a car often makes life, and in particular shopping, somewhat easier when living in the Southern United States. Regrettably, the Swedish mathematician of Polish descent who is the mastermind, or hack, behind this blog has not yet purchased an automobile. Why, you might ask. Maybe his love of walking everywhere is just too ingrained, maybe he has not had time between preparing his classes this fall, performing computations, and visiting the fair city of Austin in the neighboring Lone Star State. Perhaps he is not sure he really wants to own a motor vehicle on this, or indeed any, continent, perhaps he has just been lazy. Take your pick.

Luckily, our hero has been able to procure a $50 bicycle from a student who is about to graduate from Oklahoma State University and return to his home country. Using this bike, our aging mathematician has been able to extend his shopping trips to include the southern part of downtown, where new finds include: several used & rare book stores, Brown's Bottle Store (carrying a large selection of beers and ales), a musical instruments store, and Territory Western Apparel (for all your Stetson hat & Wrangler jeans needs).

One would not be too far off in guessing that the average patron of Territory Western Apparel would identify with the stereotype of the Oklahoma Cowboy or Cowgirl. Now, the sympathies of this temporary OK resident, when watching John Wayne movies, have always been aligned with Native Americans, or in less precise and appropriate language, Indians. While our hero knows very little about Native Americans preferred traditional meals, he is certainly a fan of Indian cuisine! He recently got treated to an Indian meal at his favorite Swedish/Indian couple's house in Austin, reminding him of the deliciousness of the cuisine, but  he lives in Stillwater, OK, where Indian food does not seem to be readily available in restaurants. The discovery of an anti-cilantro webpage provided additional inspiration to attempt a pale imitation of one of his favorite Indian dishes, Aloo Gobi. For some reason this recipe does not include the gobi (cauliflower)-but it does cilantro, this most noble of plants.

Ingredients:  9 small potatoes
                   1/2 onion (the enormous American variety)
                   2 ripe tomatoes
                   1 green chili fruit
                      large quantities of cilantro

                      salt & pepper
                      cumin (and plenty of it!)


Begin by cutting the potatoes into quarter pieces or halves, depending on how big the potato is. You want the potato pieces to be roughly the same size. Chop up the onion into pretty large pieces and slice the green chili. In a frying pan, fry the potato and the onion chunks in generous quantities of butter, salt and pepper, and more cumin then you've ever dared use before. Add more cumin. Keep stirring the pan until the onion is soft and the potato pieces are brown around the edges. Throw in the green chili slices. Add more cumin.

Turn down the heat a little bit and wait for a few minutes. In the meantime, chop up the tomatoes, without spilling any of the precious tomato juice. When the potatoes start getting a little softer, add the tomato chop. No passed tomatoes this time either-you might want to add a little water, depending on how juicy the tomatoes you use are. This is also where the cilantro enters. Wash it and just throw those little leaves in there!  I used about 1/3 of a standard bundle; you can't really go wrong if you use a little bit more-but make sure to save some for garnishing later. Add more cumin, and then let the sauce simmer.

In the meantime, boil the rice. Use your favorite method, or follow the instructions on the package. It is not difficult, but make sure you use regular white rice or possibly jasmine rice for this dish.

Periodically check the sauce, possibly adding more cumin. It should simmer, not cook, so turn the heat down if necessary. Be patient and wait until the tomato, onion, cilantro, and chili sauce is suitably "goopy", and the potatoes are soft. Add more cumin, maybe. Done! Serve over rice and garnish with cilantro.

Serving suggestions: "The Suburbs" by the Arcade Fire on the side, with a bottle of Basement Batch Pale Ale-an excellent pale ale brewed in Krebs, OK.

PS. No, the green bell pepper did not make it this time. Add more cumin instead.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Pasta Oklahomana--an introduction.

Many years ago, a young Swede of Polish extraction decided to pursue a PhD in mathematics. Last fall, when it became increasingly likely our young, well, by now old, hero would indeed graduate with a degree from KTH, he decided to apply for postdoctoral positions in the United States.

And so it came to pass that our hero found himself moving to Stillwater, Oklahoma, in August 2010, there to take up a visiting position in the Mathematics Department at Oklahoma State University (OSU). When told about the impending move, most friends of our recent graduate reacted with considerable surprise over the chosen destination, perhaps expecting to hear of a relocation to a more mainstream town like New Haven, CT, Cambridge, MA, or indeed, New York City. After their initial surprise had passed, most friends next suggested that a blog, a travel diary, or some other suitable presence on the international computer network known as the Internet should be established by the aging mathematician so that his doings in the States might be followed from a distance. Either that, or they hummed a few lines from the famous Rogers & Hammerstein musical, viz! The Swede was skeptical, feeling that he did neither wished to discuss trivialities like the weather (yes, it is very very hot here) online nor that more specific issues like mathematical progress (or lack thereof) or Feelings merited a spot in the glare of the Internet.

A smart friend then proposed our hero should focus instead on a specific aspect of his day-to-day life, one that might be of interest to all manners of acquaintances; namely, how a somewhat snobbish Swede with a propensity towards Mediterranean dishes attempts to feed himself on the plains of the Sooner State. Writing about food was something our hero felt he could do with a minimum of embarrassment, initial target group reaction was favorable, and thus, the Swedish-Oklahoman food blog was born!

Now, while Stillwater is a small town (around 50.000 inhabitants) it is, by Swedish standards, rather spread out, making grocery shopping and hence advanced cooking difficult without access to a car. Fear not, dear reader, with the aid of Southern kindness to strangers, our Swede has managed to purchase a bare minimum of goods and tools needed to feed himself these first few weeks.

Our inaugural post presents a suitably simple dish. Quick and easy to make, yet very tasty and satisfying,  a variant of what is sometimes known as Pasta Napolitana, we give you--Pasta Oklahomana!

Ingredients: 1 onion
                   1 yellow bell pepper
                   1 large & ripe tomato
                   olive oil
                   salt & pepper
                   pasta penne
                   2-3 slices of mozzarella cheese

Dice the onion and the bell pepper. Chop up the tomato and pour the tomato chop into a bowl, without spilling any of the precious tomato juice. In a frying pan, saute the diced onion and pepper in a generous amount of olive oil.

Wait until the onion is soft and the pepper starts getting brown edges, then add salt and pepper. Wait for a few seconds, then add the tomato chop. Turn down the heat and let stew. "No passed tomatos on top of that?" Nope- the tomato contains enough liquid to make a great sauce if you let it stew for a while.

In the meantime, cook the penne. Follow instructions on package if unsure of how to do this. It is not difficult, but make sure the pasta is al dente. Cut off 2-3 slices of mozzarella. Mix the penne and the sauce in a bowl, put the mozzarella slices on top (it will melt deliciously) and add pepper. Done!


Serving suggestions: "Harmacy" by Sebadoh on the side, a can of Budweiser.