Jay Murray, executive chef for Grill 23 in Boston, shares with Wine Unleashed his recipe for Maple Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Peekytoe Crab, Golden Raisins and Toasted Almonds. Chef Murray is an award-winning chef, culinary scholar and “flavor theorist”. What all this means is that he takes his food and flavors very seriously. The outcome is food that’s flavorful and thoughtful. When I made this recipe, I thought, “Seems straightforward enough.” Well, to my palate's surprise, I was rewarded with layers of flavor, all that support the sweetness and richness of the crab. If Chef Murray was a painter, he could not have created a prettier picture. The suggested pairing of the Auxerrois from this month’s selection adds to the symphony of flavors. The acid in the wine keeps everything in check and the body supports the richness. When you are in Boston next... check out Grill 23 for Chef Murray’s other creations.
Maple Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Peekytoe Crab, Golden Raisins and Toasted Almonds
Peekytoe Crab Salad
Maple Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Normally, I’m not one for resolutions. I usually pick a word for the year—one of my favorites is perspective. This year, I thought I would make some WINE resolutions. Not to worry, I’m not giving up wine (tried that for half a day last year, it didn’t take).
Ok…so, here are my top 5 resolutions:
1) Amador County / Sierra Foothills
When I was in Italy, it struck me that I didn’t get out to my local regions enough. Amador County and the Sierra Foothills are right in my backyard, and I‘ve never had the time to go and meet some of the winemakers. This year, I am.
With the economy the way it is (and my husband nipping at my heels), I am rededicating myself to sniffing out the best possible wines for the money.
3) Buy more cellar wines
In addition to the rededication to value wines, I hope there are some coins left for some bottles for the cellar. Maybe if there’s a downturn in the Euro, I’ll be able to pick up a few cellar buys. I’m particularly intrigued by what Parker wrote, “Throughout the southern Rhône, 2007 is the greatest vintage I have tasted in my thirty years working in that region. In a future issue, my enthusiastic notes about Gigondas, Vacqueyras, and the other Côtes du Rhônes will be published. Nearly every producer has attained largely unprecedented levels of quality. Moreover, the vintage is remarkably consistent from top to bottom.” He’s praised the 06 vintage highly, and now this for the 07. You better believe I’ll make room for both vintages in my cellar.
4) More pairing dinners
When I entertain, I used to do pairing dinners quite often. I’m not sure if I got too busy with work, child, husband, and the other trappings of life, but I miss them! They were great fun and I love hearing the opinions of people who are not in the trade.
Admittedly, this country is a weakness of mine. I think I ignored it, since Australia was known for dumping their cheap wine in the States. Everything I’ve tasted at a lower price was highly extracted and unctuous. More recently, though, I’ve come across many interesting winemakers and hope to feature them. It also helps that the dollar is still strong Down Under so there are values to be had.
What are your wine resolutions for the year? Leave your resolution in the comments, I would love to hear them!
Angela Camacho, a certified sommelier and author of a best selling wine tool, The Wine Wheel®, shares her obsession with wine and food.