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Film Released: 1965
Genre: Espionage, Spy, Thriller
Directed by: Sidney J. Furie
Cast: Michael Caine, Nigel Green, Guy Doleman, Sue Lloyd, Gordon Jackson


Set in 1950s England, insolent Harry Palmer, played by Michael Caine, was British Sergeant in the army. However, having been caught dealing on the black market in Berlin, he is offered a position as a counter espionage agent in the British secret service in return for not being court-martialed.

He is soon put on the case of finding a missing scientist  who has disappeared along with a top secret file. With two other scientists having also recently been kidnapped and brainwashed to the point of making them useless, the government fears that Radcliffe will also be brainwashed by a method known as the Induction of Psycho-neuroses by Conditioned Reflex under strESS - IPCRESS.

Unfortunately for Palmer his superior played by Nigel Green, is playing a double game, making a deal with the other side to get Radcliffe back which directly leads to Palmer being himself kidnapped and subjected to the same brainwashing leading to a surprising conclusion.

And so to the food.

Editor's note
This film came to my attention whilst I was watching a program on TV about British films. In the program, it made specific mention that the central character, Harry Palmer (Michael Caine) happens to be a lover of gourmet food and showed a couple of scenes.  So began my trial. I promptly ordered the DVD so I could watch it all the way through,  only to be told a couple of days later that it was being screened on UK television later that week. Not to worry I thought, Iíll be able to re-watch the food scenes and get a good feel for it (as I have done with all of the films Iíve featured in this series so far).

Although some say the inclusions of the two  food scenes were important, I was most disappointed that no finished dishes were ever shown. Furthermore, there was only one detailed food scene showing Harry Palmer cutting up green capsicums (sweet peppers), onions and some sort of bacon, and deftly breaking eggs into a bowl with one hand.

However having spent good money on the DVD, I am determined to feature this film in this section, so I am going to use my culinary 'artistic license' and imagination. Hereís what I think he would have done with those ingredients.

Happy Cooking!


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Pepper Pancetta Frittata    HT MC 10mins

Serves 4    
Hot   Pork  Bacon Vegetables Main Course Gluten Wheat Free European

1 Onion, finely chopped
1 Capsicum, (Sweet Pepper), chopped
50g/2oz Pancetta, chopped
4 tbsp Olive Oil
8 Eggs
50g/2oz Butter
A little extra butter to glaze


1. Fry the finely chopped onion, pepper and pancetta in 3 tbsp of the olive oil, until soft.

2. Break the eggs into a bowl and stir them vigorously with a fork or wire whisk.

3. Add in the fried onions mixture and season with salt and black pepper to taste.


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4. Preheat the grill to hot. Melt half of the butter and the remaining olive oil in a large frying pan. Pour in the egg mixture and cook the frittata, lifting the edges to permit the liquid egg to run underneath and shaking the pan to prevent sticking.

5. Transfer the frying pan to the grill and cook the top side of the omelette for 2 -5 minutes or until well set.

6. Serve immediately, cut into wedges.



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