Dean Fearing has quite a story to tell. The chef came to Dallas in 1978, everything he owned packed into a brown Celica, to work in the Pyramid Room at the Fairmont Hotel. At the time, Dallas was “a French restaurant town,” he says.
In 1981, he changed all that with the opening of Agnew’s, the first five-star American restaurant in the city. Many restaurants and cookbooks and television appearances later, he’s the most lauded chef in Dallas, and he’s still making headlines and history at his namesake restaurant, Fearing’s, at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Uptown.
In this video, the latest in the series called Dean’s Texas Cuisine, Fearing gets romantic with a heart-themed dinner for two.
He combines lobster, white wine, and artichokes for a refreshingly simple, one-pan meal that's sure to impress your dining companion. And Paul Botamer, the wine director for Fearing's restaurant, is on hand to offer pairing advice.
Watch the video to see what Fearing and Botamer believe when it comes to cooking with wine, and then try your hand at re-creating this romantic dish at home.
Butter-poached Maine lobster fricassee with artichoke hearts, fennel, wild mushroom and potato ragout
2 tbsp. olive oil
3 artichoke hearts (see recipe below)
1 cup fennel, julienned
2 cups fingerling potatoes, steamed and cut into half-inch discs
1 cup wild mushrooms, cleaned
2 lobster tails, cooked and cut into medallions
1 cup chicken stock, reduced
2 tbsp. whole unsalted butter
1 tbsp. Italian parsley, minced
1 tbsp. chives, minced
Salt to taste
Chablis white wine to taste
Add the olive oil and artichokes to a large saute pan over medium-high heat and cook for 1 minute.
Add the fennel, potatoes, mushrooms, and a few splashes of chablis and continue to cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the lobster and chicken stock, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 1 minute and gently stir in the butter until fully combined.
Turn off the heat and stir in the parsley and chives. Season to taste with salt.
Poached artichoke hearts
3 large artichoke hearts
Juice of 2 lemons
Lots of olive oil
2 smashed garlic cloves
1 tbsp. parsley, minced
1 tbsp. chives, minced
Trim the artichokes, then slice lengthwise into pieces roughly ¼ inch thick.
In a medium-size mixing bowl, add the lemon juice and then dip the artichoke slices in the lemon juice.
In a large, heavy-bottom pot, pour in a layer of olive oil. Add the smashed garlic cloves and turn the heat to low.
Remove the artichoke heart slices from the lemon juice and salt them well. Slip them into the olive oil in layers, adding more olive oil to cover. Tip: You will probably need about a pint or so of olive oil — it is very important they are completely covered.
Cover the pot and cook on the lowest setting for about 45 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the oil cool for another 20-30 minutes. Remove the artichokes and reserve the oil.