Whodunit? Who Ate It? Chapter 2

Dear Husband and I love to read ‘whodunits.’ Crime literature in English harks back to Edgar Allen Poe’s Murders on Rue Morgue in 1841. As the genre took off, a sub-genre developed: culinary crime. These books are read as much for the procedural as for the vicarious thrills of the meals that are described along the way. There are many authors who tantalize our tastebuds while they challenge our little grey cells and today, I will feature foods from two favorites.

MISS JANE MARPLE, the elderly amateur sleuth, was the creation of Agatha Christie. Throughout 19 books, she solved murders in her town of St Mary Mead [and other locales] using her intuition and her knowledge of human nature, all the while knitting up a storm and convincing others that she is a frail, harmless old lady. In the novel At Bertram’s Hotel, Jane Marple was delighted to have been served perfectly poached eggs on toast. She preferred them to be poached in boiling water rather than cooked in little cups.

Poached Egg on Toast:  156 calories 5.6 g fat 2.4 g fiber 10.5 g protein 14.6 g carbs [10 g Complex] 52.6 mg Calcium   NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF — if using GF bread  I never used to like poached eggs, but on a Fast Day, they taste good. Miss Marple would not be pleased with these.

one slice of 70-cal bread one 2-oz egg 1 oz of apple or 1.5 oz melon Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

If using an egg poacher, lightly spray the egg cup and heat the water to a simmer. Toast the bread. Poach the egg for 3-4 minutes, according to your taste. Slide the egg onto the toast; season to taste; enjoy with your hot beverage, and the fruit smoothie. 

JULES MAIGRET, a police detective in Paris, was the creation of Georges Simenon. Maigret and his wife Louise loved good food, whether at home or at restaurants. In the 1952 Maigret’s Revolver, the detective is dining at the grill of London’s Savoy Hotel and he orders Lobster a l’Americaine. Note the spelling: it is a topic of debate among those who study recipes. See alternative below.

Lobster a l’Armoricaine: 282 calories 3 g fat 2.5 g fiber 21.5 g protein 12.2 g carbs 142 mg Calcium  PB GF No, it isn’t a typo. This lobster dish is from the Armor coast of Brittany, therefore: Armoricain, “from the Armor.” The recipe is from Brittany Gastronomique by Kate Whiteman. Elegant yet simple.

3 oz lobster, cooked or uncooked 2 Tbsp shallot, minced + ½ clove garlic 1 oz cognac or other brandy 2 oz dry white wine [not cooking wine] ½ cup tomato, diced + 1 tsp tomato puree [not paste] 1 Tbsp half & half [10% milk fat, called ‘blend cream’ in Canada] 1 Tbsp Gruyere cheese, grated 1 oz broccoli florets + 1 oz carrots, in coins or batons

Remove lobster meat from shell and cut into 1” pieces. Put the shallot and garlic in a pan spritzed with oil. Saute over low heat until soft. Add the lobster meat, and cognac. Tip the pan to distribute the brandy, then flame the contents off the heat until the flames die. Put into a heat-proof dish and keep barely warm. Add the wine, tomatoes, and puree to the pan and cook until syrupy. Add the cream and heat slowly to reduce in volume a bit. Do not let if boil lest the sauce separate. Meanwhile, cook the vegetables. Pour the sauce over the lobster and top with grated cheese. Heat under the broiler or in an oven until bubbly. Plate with the vegetables.

Ingredients for next week: Breakfast, single portion for Monday ……… single portion for Thursday:

Next week, I will discuss ‘curry’1.5 two-oz eggs 
Choose a new favorite fromstrawberries
the Archives Mediterranean Vegetables
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

Dinner, single portion for Monday: …….. single portion for Thursday:

Next week, I will discuss ‘curry’olive oil + onion + garlic + celery
bell pepper + spinach + egg
Find a new favoriteeggplant + tomato + cumin
in the Archivepaprika + oregano + feta cheese
Sparkling waterSparkling water

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