Well this one was a pleasant surprise! I thought this would be a soufflé affair, but actually it turned out to be a much more veggiecentric dish which was surprisingly delicious. This was on the “to test” list because Julia McKenzie is one of the Miss Marples I want to write about in Cooking the Detectives.
A big Agatha Christie fan I spoke to recently was very much Team Hickson on the moving image personification front, but even though I love Joan Hickson AND Julia McKenzie AND Geraldine McEwan AND Angela Lansbury as Miss Marple, I will always be Team Rutherford.
There is much to say about Marple, but for now, I present Julia’s recipe with some cooking notes.
Battenburgbelle came round for dinner and I made half of Julia’s recipe as there was only two of us. This made for a thin, fritter-esque courgette dish and as I had buttered the cooking tin, it was lovely and crispy on the bottom as well as the top.
I’d been a bit heavy handed with the pepper, using Bart’s Coarse Ground Black Pepper because it happened to be in my eyeline rather than grinding it via a pepper mill.
I was surprised at how PEPPERY the resulting dish was. We both liked the pepperiness but it did make me wonder whether the cooking process intensifies this kind of pepper? I am someone who LOVES black pepper and Mr R is always saying things like, “Do you want any potato with that pepper?” – replacing the word potato with whatever I am endlessly grinding pepper over. I’m going to be using these little pepper bombs much more in future when I want a good pepper hit.
We had this as a main dish with some garlic smashed potatoes and a green salad. It was really good. I think this would be a great side dish, as Julia recommended, maybe even with Christmas dinner or as part of a Thanksgiving spread.
Next morning, due to the fact that we hadn’t managed the “moderate drinking” we had planned I woke up with a raging hangover. This sorted that out! A new kind of bubble and squeak…