In adapting this recipe from executive chef Shea Gallante at Cru in New York City, F&W's Marcia Kiesel traded a labor-intensive fresh pasta for premade wonton wrappers and was thrilled with the results. Wonton wrappers are milder-tasting than fresh pasta, which makes them a better showcase for the nutty brown butter, delicate young pecorino cheese and fresh marjoram.
The pungent marjoram in the creamy sauce for this crisp-skinned chicken might seem like it would overwhelm the aromas of melon and honeysuckle in a New Zealand Chardonnay. But lightly oaked Chardonnay can stand up to foods with strong flavors like fresh herbs as long as the dish has some richness.
Peppered Cornish Hens and Asparagus with Lemon and Marjoram
The same lemony marjoram-flavored marinade coats both the hens and the asparagus spears. Marjoram loses much of its taste during drying, so if you don't have fresh, you might prefer to use its brawnier cousin, oregano. In that case, use just three-quarters teaspoon of dried.
If Daniel Humm were cooking in the northern, more Germanic part of Switzerland, he'd probably serve this spectacular roasted veal with spaetzle, but because he's in the southern, Italian region, he makes a luscious risotto with porcini mushrooms.