In the Kitchen with Brian and Lisa: January Recipe Roundup

by | Jan 29, 2015


WRAL reporter Brian Shrader and our own Lisa Prince feature seasonal recipes in their weekly Got to Be Good Cookin’ segment using local ingredients. This month’s recipes are hearty and delicious soups made with ingredients grown, raised, caught or made in North Carolina. Recipes include Red Eye Sweet Potato Soup, Peanut Butter Cup Chili, Crab and Corn Chowder, Sweet Potato Soup and Sausage and Corn Chowder.

The first recipe is for a soup that will keep you warm and awake. The N.C. Sweet Potato Commission shared this recipe  for red-eye sweet potato soup with Lisa. Brian said that “whatever the winter weather, we have our delicious soup…make two gallons of it for the weekend.” Lisa suggest serving it with fried grit cakes or polenta.

Red-eye sweet potato soup

  • 3 cups fresh North Carolina Sweet Potatoes (peeled and cut into a 2-inch dice)
  • 3 ounces North Carolina country ham (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1⁄2 cups sweet onion (finely chopped)
  • 6 whole peppercorns
  • 3 cups water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 3⁄4 cup brewed coffee

In Dutch over or large soup pot over medium heat, add canola oil. When oil is hot, add country ham and cook until brown. Add onion and saute until golden brown. Add sweet potatoes, peppercorns and water. Simmer for 30 minutes over low heat until the potatoes are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat. Add soup mixture to blender and process on medium-high until smooth. Add sour cream and coffee to blender and pulse mix. Serve hot. Serves 4

The next recipe won first place in the N.C. Cattlemen’s Association Chili Contest at the N.C. State Fair. Julia Truelove created this delicious chili that is packed with peanut flavor. Lisa suggests serving with cornbread or a jalapeno cheddar loaf.

Peanut Butter Cup Chili

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt (divided)
  • 2 medium onions (diced)
  • 6 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 jalapeno (seeded and minced)
  • 1 cup raw peanuts (shelled, blanched, peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 ounces)
  • 1 can beef broth (14.5 ounces)
  • 3 ounces dark chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1⁄4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • sour cream
  • chopped green onions

Sprinkle the ground beef with 1 teaspoon salt. Brown the meat in the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of drippings from the pan and add the onions. Saute onions until translucent, then add garlic and jalapeno. After one minute, add the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, spices, peanuts, tomatoes, beef broth and chocolate. Stir well, bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Continue simmering, stirring occasionally for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Add additional beef broth or water to the pot if it begins to get too dry. Remove about a 1/2 cup of liquid into a heat-proof bowl. Stir the brown sugar and the peanut butter into the bowl of liquid until smooth, and then return all to the pot. Stir, taste for salt & pepper, and heat through. Serve with sour cream and chopped green onions.

The next recipe is for a crab and corn chowder that Brian says is a “hearty way to beat the winter chill.” Lisa loves the sweet corn in it and that little bit of crab flavor. She suggests serving with chives, additional grated cheese and toasted French bread.

Crab and corn chowder

  • 8 ounces bacon (chopped)
  • 1⁄4 cup olive oil
  • 3 cups yellow onion (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1⁄4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups white potatoes (unpeeled and medium diced)
  • 5 cups corn (fresh blanch for 3 minutes in salted boiling water or frozen)
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1⁄4 pound sharp white cheddar cheese (grated)
  • 4 ounces lump crab meat

Cook the bacon in a large stock pot or in the microwave, reserve the drippings. Remove the bacon from the pot and add the olive oil to the bacon drippings. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and butter and cook for 10 minutes, until onions are translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper and cook for 3 minutes. Add chicken stock and potatoes. Bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes until potatoes are tender. Add corn, crab, half and half and cheese. Cook for 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with bacon. Serves 6

Lisa received the next recipe from Sherri Pulcino, a friend of hers. The recipe is full of N.C. sweet potatoes. Lisa recommends adding a few croutons and shaved Parmesan cheese to each serving .

Sweet potato soup

  • 3 sweet potatoes (peeled and chopped)
  • 2 onions (chopped)
  • 2 celery stalks (chopped)
  • 2 large carrots (chopped)
  • 1 pound spicy sausage (we used hot Italian sausage)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 7 cups chicken stock

Heat large skillet with first seven ingredients and cook for about 8 minutes, until carrots and potatoes are slightly soft. While vegetables are cooking bring chicken stock to a boil in a separate pot. Add all ingredients to the liquid and cook for another 10 minutes. Place in blender or use a submersible blender and blend until smooth. Serve.

With just five ingredients, the next recipe is perfect for a weeknight dinner. Kerry Prather of Greensboro shared this recipe with Neese’s Sausage Company.

Sausage and corn chowder

  • 1 pound N.C. sausage (hot or mild)
  • 2 cans cream of potato soup
  • 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 10 ounces frozen shoepeg corn
  • 1 cup milk

Brown the sausage in a frying pan and drain. Combine soup and milk in medium cooking pot. Add corn and sausage and heat thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.