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.