Each year around this time, I look forward to revisiting some unforgettable and classic old movies. There is just something about viewing them that is synonymous with the Holiday Season. One recent feature of my film fest starred the unforgettable Bette Davis… a true legend. Sitting at the computer later in the day, I checked out some of her past accomplishments. It was inevitable to stumble upon her association, together with Joan Crawford, as the poster girl for an infamous Hollywood feud.
A feud, according to Webster, is “…a prolonged and bitter quarrel or dispute”. This alone lead me to a very recent New York Times article that tweeked my curiosity. It had made the headlines in January 2020… the reported legal battle was over cheese!
In 2019 French chef Marc Veyrat lost a lawsuit against Michelin after the prestigious dining guide downgraded his restaurant, La Maison des Bois, from three stars to two stars. The reason for the legal battle? Michelin had erroneously accused him of putting cheddar in a French souffle! Apparently putting cheddar rather than Comte in a souffle is a punishable offense to Michelin… but mistakenly accusing Veyrat of this was not… at least in the eyes of a French court. As such, the chef continues to denounce the guide. “I don’t want to be a part of the Michelin Guide anymore!” he continues..”I don’t want to have to deal with these people! They are bad, bad, bad!!!” And so the souffle saga continues…
Returning to my Bette Davis search I found one of her favorite recipes: ‘Stuffed Fillets of Sole’. In it she calls for one can of cheddar cheese soup. Yikes!! I am left wondering what Michelin would say to that?!
Bette Davis’ Spinach Stuffed Fillets of Sole
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
2 tbsp. butter
2 bunches fresh chopped spinach
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. white pepper
900g fillet of sole or flounder
1 can cheddar cheese soup *may we suggest your favorite cheese sauce 🙂
2 tbsp. milk (or beer)
Ground nutmeg to taste
Cook onion in butter until tender, but not brown. Cook spinach quickly in small amount of salted boiling water. Drain well, pressing out all liquid. Combine spinach, salt, white pepper, and onion mixture. Mix well. Spread each fillet with a thin layer of spinach mixture; roll up tightly and spear with skewer or wooden toothpick. Put fillets into a lightly buttered, shallow baking dish. Mix cheese
soup sauce with milk or beer until smooth and spoon over fillets. Sprinkle nutmeg on top. Bake uncovered in preheated 350F degree oven for 20 – 25 minutes. If desired, run under broiler until cheese is bubbly and browned.