Classics & Cocktails
My next Dinner and a Movie event from the TCM Wine Club was Sabrina. A film I love even though the match of Humphrey Bogart and a young Audrey Hepburn seemed a bit off. Cary Grant was offered the lead role, but declined, supposedly because of an umbrella. He didn’t want to carry one on screen. Bogart was on loan from MGM, but was unhappy during filming convinced he was all wrong for the roll. I still think he carried it off beautifully.
This film definitely has some great scenes, and the story of Sabrina growing into womanhood made an impression on me. I first saw it as a young girl, one who climbed trees just like the young Sabrina. To evolve from that to the sophisticated adult Sabrina was this girl’s dream come true. This film was a big influence on fashion of the day. Although Hubert Givenchy designed Audrey’s wardrobe for the film, Edith Head took home the Oscar for Best Costumes. Givenchy wasn’t given credit at all! The little black cocktail dress popularized by Hepburn featured a high “Sabrina” neckline in front. Hepburn was paid $15,000 for the film AND had to pay for her dresses out of that! Compare that to Bogart’s $300,000 and William Holden’s $150,000.
So first up was planning my menu. My mind immediately went to a wonderful souffle! And since Sabrina goes to Paris in the film, surely the wine would be French. But no! Here TCM is missing the mark big time. A wonderful film, with perfect food and wine pairings already in the script, and instead TCM suggested an Italian Chianti paired with Spaghetti Bolognese. Sorry TCM, but this is an epic fail, virtually out of the gate (I’m still in my first case of wine). Why wasn’t this wine and meal paired with Roman Holiday?
Despite my misgivings, I did make a wonderful Spaghetti Bolognese. I started off with a truffle infused cheddar served with crackers. The Chianti was good and paired well with the food. I followed it up with a Torta Caprese, another nod to Italy. But if this was a do-over, a French wine and souffle would be perfect. A fun twist is to serve a martini – in a skinny olive jar!
Sabrina was made in 1954, directed by Billy Wilder. It started production without a finished script! Screenwriter Ernest Lehman worked himself to exhaustion, even suffering a nervous breakdown during filming.
Bogart didn’t like working with Audrey Hepburn, he wanted Lauren Bacall to have the role of Sabrina. And he and William Holden couldn’t stand each other. Filming must have been rough for him. I feel that added to the gruffness of his character.
Look quick in the film, Raymond Bailey and Nancy Culp make an appearance. You will remember them as the banker and Miss Hathaway in Beverly Hillbillies. And a last Easter Egg? When Linus takes Sabrina to the movies, the film on the marquis is “The Seven Year Itch”, Billy Wilder’s next movie project!
Here’s the recipes:
Spaghetti Bolognese Sauce
2 T olive oil
1 med onion diced
1 large carrot diced
1 celery stalk diced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb italian sausage
1 cup red wine
18 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 t fresh rosemary, chopped
2 t fresh sage, chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
1 t rosemary infused sea salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
12 oz whole wheat spaghetti
Fresh chopped parsley and shaved parmesan cheese to garnish
Heat olive oil in dutch oven or (transfer to a crock pot) Cook onions, carrots, celery, garlic for about 5 minutes. Add meat and cook for 10 minutes, crumbling into small pieces. Add wine, crushed tomatoes and seasonings and let simmer for 2 hours.
Cook spaghetti according to package instructions. Drain, toss with sauce and garnish with parsley and parmesan cheese.
12 oz unblanched whole or sliced almonds
1 ¼ cup sugar, divided
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 sticks unsalted butter
6 eggs, separated
½ tsp sea salt
2 T Grand Marnier
Powdered sugar for dusting.
*Preheat oven to 325, rack in the middle. Grease a 9” springform pan, line the bottom with a circle of parchment.
Grind the almonds in a food processor with 6 T of the sugar. Melt the chocolate and butter together in a microwave safe dish. Beat the egg yolks in a large bowl until lemon colored, about 5 minutes. Gradually beat in 10 T of the sugar. Add the melted chocolate, stirring to mix well. Add the ground almonds and salt and the Grand Marnier, stir to combine.
In clean bowl, beat the egg whites with remaining ¼ cup sugar until they form firm peaks. Gently fold this into the chocolate mixture. Spoon the batter into the pan, smoothing the top. Bake for 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before removing from the springform pan. Cool completely.
Transfer to a serving dish, and lay a doily across the top and sift powdered sugar over it. Carefully remove the doily and voila!