Fr. Z’s Kitchen: Odd Brit Sandwich, Priest Killer Pasta, Beautiful Youth Missal

So there I am, minding my own business, watching an episode of Endeavour (UK HERE prequel to Inspector Morse UK HERE), and there’s Thursday eating a “cheese and pickle” sandwich.

“?!?”, quoth I. “That can’t mean what it seems to mean. Brits don’t ever mean what they mean when they use common words. Hence, pickle must be something like Indian pickle, like a chutney.” I was, of course, correct. A quick online search revealed that not only does “cheese and pickle” involve something other than pickled cukes or other, it generally involves Branston’s Pickle (UK… well, it’s probably on every corner).

Another online search revealed that a nearby grocer had it in stock.

“!!!”, quoth I.  “I must try this.”

Additional research suggested a hearty bread (check), sharp cheddar (check), a bit of butter (check – this is Wisconsin)

As far as the mechanics are concerned, I think you know the rest of the sandwich process.  I would only add that, when you make a sandwich and need to spread something on the bread, always go to the edges.  Yes, it makes a difference.

“But Father!  But Father!” some of you are saying, what is that … glimpse of ‘CATH’ in the background.  Does that stand for “Cathars”?!?  We all know you HATE VATICAN II and therefore you must hate Cathars too!  They were so mistreated and misunderstood by mean people like you.  Who are we too judge?  We should celebrate the Cathar centenary!”

You can read the UK’s best Catholic weekly online for a relatively small cost.  You get far more than is in the online edition.  I think it is a a good idea to keep current with what is going on the Anglophone Church.  I guess that also means England.  But I digress.

But wait, there’s more.

As you read on, perhaps listen to the theme from the show Endeavour, which reprises the haunting theme of Inspector Morse.   Since the next bit involves “priest killing pasta”, this might be just the tune to use.  Note the clever use of Morse Code.  — — .-. … .

I am starting to experiment with menus for another Supper For The Promotion of Clericalism.

The next time, I think I might make strozzapreti alla puttanesca (some of you will get that, and some won’t).

Begin with anchovies.

The mise en place, or I suppose, “predisposizione” includes a couple kinds of pitted olives, minced garlic, rinsed anchovy fillets, the pasta (strozzapreti), capers, San Marzano tomatoes (thank you, readers!).

A splash of olio nuovo in the pan and start mashing the fishies.  The next time I do this, I’ll dice them up first.

I might try with paste the next time.

Add garlic.  I never let garlic get too brown.  It becomes bitter.  Give it some color, but never really dark.

In go the capers.

In go the olives.


I added cayenne, because I didn’t have any peperoncini.

In goes the mostly cooked pasta.  Salt the water sparingly if at all, since the anchovies and capers have salt content.

Give it some time, to finish in the sauce with the addition of a splash of the hot starchy water from the pasta pot.  It’s a chemistry thing.

At this point you could add a bit of parsley, but I forgot.

With some ground pepper.

This was outstanding.  Will other clerics think so?  Good question.

The recipe goes quickly enough that I could make a second version substituting tuna or… not, in a third version.

So, I’m exploring options.   My deep gratitude to the reader who sent the strozzapreti from my wish list.  Come to think of it, it might have been from a liberal, if you get my drift.  Nomen omen, right?

Back to the cheese and pickle sandwich.   Would I do this again?

Yes.  I am wondering how best to pair it.  Tea?  Beer?  Either?  Both?

Finally, some food for the soul, specifically the souls of young people who are being introduced to the traditional Mass.  Or even if they know it already!

A reader from across the Pond (who sent the spiffing tea pot which I now use often – thanks), wrote the following:

I visited the Benedictine abbey of St Michael in Farnborough. The monks here are from St Peters Solesmes branch of the family.

They have a good printing press and bee hives. But I found this lovely missal printed in the good old US of A. I bought it for my nephews who serve the UA [TLM] regularly. The boys will love it. Perhaps your readers should be alerted to it.

It starts by saying.

This is the Mass. This is not a “religious service” or a scripture class. This is Heaven on earth: it is where our God comes to us.

As you can see its fabulously laid out. With an index at the back and so easy to appreciate the Mass for anyone trying to understand the Tridentine rite.

Yes, indeed, sir, I know this book well.  I have written of it in the past. I know the author. I advertise St. Augustine Academy Press on my left side bar!  It is indeed a beautiful book.  I warmly recommend it.

Here are some snaps which my correspondent sent.  TREASURE AND TRADITION!







About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Fr. Z's Kitchen, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. stuart reiss says:

    Your Reverence just ate a Ploughman’s

    I met my wife whilst making these. We used to feed the homeless on London’s streets with these at the St James church Spanish place. We also collected about to expire sandwiches from M&S and Pret etc. But the homeless love the Cheese and Pickle

  2. PostCatholic says:

    Plowman’s Lunch is found on almost every bill of fare in English pubs, which might inform your pairing choices.

  3. Elizabeth M says:

    A hearty bread calls for a hearty beer!

    Will you be making a paella for St. James Feast?

  4. Elizabeth M says: paella for St. James Feast?

    What a great idea! Maybe, however, I’ll make it on Sunday evening, the vigil of the feast and invite some folks.

  5. benedetta says:

    Beautiful book. But, Father, that sandwich sounds very strange to me. I don’t know what to make of that at all.

    Here we had griliata di verdure using some great locally grown beautiful zucchini, Japanese eggplant, pepper, some red onions, and split a steak grilled with a little drizzle of the same balsamic marinade as the veggies. As the homeschooler quipped, “House arrest has its benefits”. The steak was bought frozen from a local shop, and the package said “grass fed Angus from New Zealand”.

    How about a nice griliatia mista di carne for your next gathering?

  6. btb says:

    Two of my favorite sandwiches: peanut butter and pickle (open-faced), and pickles on grilled cheese. Laugh if you will, but try them you must! Sour dills, of course.

  7. btb says:

    Nota bene: the peanut butter and dill pickle sandwich must be on toast right out of the toaster. Try it in a jiffy.

  8. un-ionized says:

    btb, PB and bologna was my brother’s fave. Actually PB goes with everything, being a universal food. It can probably be found on other planets.

  9. xsosdid says:

    My father was from Birmingham England, and when I was eighteen I saved up enough money to travel to England for a month. Back then I hitch hiked across the country and stayed in hostels (I had a Canadian flag on my backpack and that guaranteed a ride back then!). I had a great aunt who would take me in and feed me periodically, and for lunches she would often give me a cheese and onion sandwich: very thick white cheddar and thick slices of sweet onion – and that’s it – between two slices of bread. To my Canadian-raised, peanut butter or grilled-cheese palate, this was a risk…but I loved this and had forgotten all about it until I read this today. Another weird Brit food: treacle. My dad loved treacle (it’s like corn syrup).

  10. IloveJesus says:

    Love Endeavour!!!

    Literary clues and plot twists, Oxford settings, 1960’s style, and hauntingly beautiful opera!

    (I’ll skip the sandwich however :P )

  11. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    “I am wondering how best to pair it. Tea? Beer? Either? Both?” I’d say, ‘Yes!’ (depending on mood, thirst, immediate responsibilities, etc.).

    Your readers who have not yet experienced the lovely stuff might enjoy a snapshot of the list of ingredients. The “Original” has now been joined by, e.g., a smooth version, for ease of spreading and falling chunk avoidance.

    What do you think of that other curious spread (and cooking ingredient), Marmite, and its Australian ‘cousin’, Vegemite, and/or others of that ilk?

    “The recipe goes quickly enough” (the supposed explanation of the ‘p’ word) – and lends itself to all sorts of tasty variants (I always use tuna, and usually spaghetti: but what an astonishing name ‘strozzapreti’ is!). It seems a fine thing to sing on (light but substantial), when fasting is not a consideration.

  12. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Another delightful bit of film-music writing by Barrington Somers Pheloung of Morse-theme fame, is the (among other things, Handelian) score of the interesting documentary about Queen Elizabeth II, Days of Majesty (which can at the moment be viewed – I know not how legally – on YouTube).

  13. Fr. Reader says:

    “THE Latin Mass”? Oh… THAT one only.

  14. Mariana2 says:

    “strozzapreti alla puttanesca”…aaargh! And to promote clericalism! Oh, Father!

  15. ray from mn says:

    I’d love to try out many of your recipes, but I think I would need a much bigger fridge! Do you eat a lot of “leftovers?” It would be nice to see references to “easy for one.”

  16. ray from mn says:

    For example, if I decided to get anchovies, would I have to eat them every day for a week?

  17. WYMiriam says:

    One of my favorite sandwiches during my first year at college — where I had a seemingly vastly larger selection of food than at home, and could eat to my heart’s content, to boot — was cheese-and-pickle: the sharpest cheddar the cafeteria had available, and sliced dill pickles. The puckery taste was wonderful to the tongue, even though the salt content was way overboard!

  18. Richard Duffield says:

    If you don’t mind a comment from a Brit it’s a bit poncy to cut a cheese and pickle sarnie as a triangle….

  19. un-ionized says:

    Richard Duffield, for truly poncy you gotta cut off the crusts. But what do I know, I eat peanut butter.

  20. Mike says:

    Bergman’s book is a gem. Unlike some illustrated TLM guides, the photos seem deliberately to strive to be instructional rather than artistic. The reproduced engravings make one weep all the more for what generations of Catholics were deprived of when the liturgical tsunami struck.

  21. benedetta says:

    One or two priests (some will catch this) have some really uber-intense “Defenders” out and about and On Patrol — I guess because they are, in a sense, married to the mob. Not because of any attribute of any sort or because they are Catholic. Because, the violent and abusive go together. Hate goes with hate. They don’t care who hurt you, if someone offended you, they are going to pretend that they know them/put them up to it. LOL? Anyway I’m sure they’d enjoy a Clericalist Meal when they are in prison.

  22. Gabriel Syme says:

    Goodness me, Father, this Briton is shocked to hear a Cheese and Pickle sandwich described as “odd”. Clearly the cuisine in the colonies has gone downhill since the British yoke was discarded! Haha!

    Cheese and Pickle is an old favourite here. Is also popular as a toasted sandwich, such that the cheese melts.

    You can actually buy varieties of pickle with smaller than usual chunks, especially for use on sandwiches. (the smaller chunks are easier to deal with, when building ones sandwich!)

    [As you can see, I sorted the oddity. Alas, this being Madison WI, and not London or even Little Snoring, there aren’t many variations of Branston pickle around. But you have inspired me to search it out and add the sandwich friendly version to my wish list.]

  23. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    Rinsing anchovies is a sin. It’s at least a near occasion of sin.

    [That depends on what’s on them.]

  24. Venerator Sti Lot says:


    I think you’ve discussed different ways of working with anchovies, fresh and otherwise, before, but, if so, I do not recall where: perhaps, if you can find the time, a re-post – or a new note – would be welcome.

    As to ray from mn’s questions with respect to small servings, a sort of full-anchovy substitute may be found by way of a dab of Patum Peperium (see the Wikipedia article “Gentleman’s Relish”) or splodge of Geo. Watkins Anchovy Sauce, or something similar (though both would need refrigeration).

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