This extraordinarily rich and sweet pecan pie was the winner at the 1996 State Fair of Texas State pie competition, which Dean Fearing helped judge. "Out of 140 pies, this one was it," he says. "Her name was Bobby Lee; she never told me her last name."Plus: Ultimate Thanksgiving Guide More Pecan Pie Recipes
These spicy, tangy little hors d'oeuvres are chef Dean Fearing's take on the classic combination of smoked salmon, red onion and capers—he throws in roasted garlic, lime juice and jalapeño and replaces the standard cream cheese with sour cream. To make the dish especially Southwestern, he serves the tartare on tortilla chips. "Everything is good on a chip," he says. More Fast Hors d'Oeuvres
Fearing's • DallasWalking into a yakitori bar in Tokyo, chef Dean Fearing was startled by the thick grill smoke filling the room, then delighted by the delicious flavor of the skewered meats. "These chicken skewers are as close to the food from that grill as I can remember," he says. More Cocktail Party Recipes
"This is where I like to use Thanksgiving cranberries," says chef Dean Fearing, who mixes them into the maple-butter sauce topping his brussels sprouts. He roasts the sprouts to bring out their nutty sweetness. "This dish turns a non-brussels sprouts lover over to the other side," he says.
Dean Fearing loves the holiday feel of butternut squash, especially when it's combined with ginger, as it is for his smooth, gently sweet soup. He tops it with whipped cream flecked with chopped pecans for a number of reasons: "Usually holiday soups have a dollop of cream—adding pecans gives it a dollop of flavor. And crunch. I think everything should have a little bit of crunch to it. Plus, this is Texas, and pecans are Texas." Chef Holiday Recipes Made Easy More Squash Dishes
For chef Dean Fearing, these creamy onions, spiked with fresh herbs and nutmeg, have a melt-in-your-mouth lusciousness similar to mashed potatoes. Using large onions, which are easiest to peel and chop, makes the dish much simpler to prepare than the standard pearl-onion version. More Onion Dishes