In the Kitchen with Brian and Lisa: Fall Dish Favorites

by | Oct 6, 2016

septemberWRAL reporter Brian Shrader and our own Lisa Prince feature seasonal recipes in their weekly Local Dish Cooking segment. It must be fall in North Carolina. This month Brian and Lisa feature recipes made with sweet potatoes, pecans, acorn squash and apples.  Find these, as well as local beef, pork and sausage, at your local farmers market.

The first recipe is a delicious fall dish combining N.C. apples with acorn squash and pecans. Lisa notes that this is a one-dish side to compliment any meat.

Acorn squash filled with baked apples

  • 4 Granny Smith apples, diced
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1⁄2 cup brown sugar
  • 1⁄4 cup raisins
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 cup pecans, chopped and toasted
  • 2 acorn squash

Cut acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Use 2 tablespoons of softened butter and rub all over the flesh of the squash. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Place squash cut side down and bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. Bake your apples at the same time. In a baking dish, combine apples, brown sugar, raisins and nutmeg. Dot the apple mixture with 4 tablespoons of butter. Cover with foil and bake for 35-45 minutes. Fill the squash with the baked apples and sprinkle with cinnamon and toasted pecans.

The next dish is a hearty and simple appetizer that can be made ahead of time and placed in the oven when your guests begin to arrive. Top these with some fresh chopped tomatoes and chives for garnish.

Beef Pinwheels

  • 2 sheets of puff pastry
  • 1 pound hamburger
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1⁄2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1⁄4 cup red pepper, chopped
  • 1⁄4 cup green pepper, chopped
  • 1⁄2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons horseradish
  • 10 slices Muenster Cheese

In a frying pan on medium heat add oil and sauté peppers and onions, then add ground beef and cook until done. Drain off any grease.

Combine the horseradish and mayonnaise. Prepare a surface with flour and roll out the puff pastries. Divide the horseradish mixture and spread equal amounts on each sheet of pastry. Divide and top each pastry with the hamburger mixture and then top each pastry with cheese. Roll up fairly tight and cut into 1 inch pinwheels. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Cooler fall nights call for soup. Serve this soup with a tomato bruschetta and you have a delicious meal. You can also top it with a little shredded Parmesan cheese.

Two Bean Pork Soup

  • 2 pounds pork butt or pork tenderloin (about 4 cups cooked meat)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 teaspoon red curry paste
  • 1⁄2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Siracha
  • 4 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 2 cups cooked white beans, divided
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cans low sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper to taste

Season pork butt or tenderloin with salt and pepper and cook in a crock pot with ½ cup water or grill slowly until meat falls apart. Once cooked, reserve the juice/drippings and shred or chop the pork.

Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and thyme; sauté for 6 minutes. Stir in red curry paste and Siracha; cook 1 more minute. Add 1 cup of stock, soy sauce and any pork stock or drippings, stirring until combined. Stir in remaining 3 cups of stock. Lightly mash 1 cup white beans. Add mashed beans, remaining 1 cup white beans, ¼ tsp. salt, bay leaves, and black beans to stock mixture in pan; bring to a high simmer. Reduce heat, and simmer at a low boil for 10 minutes. Add 4 cups of shredded pork and simmer 5 more minutes. Remove from heat; discard bay leaves. Stir in spinach until wilted. Enjoy!

Lisa suggests prepping the next dish the night before to have a quick and delicious meal that the whole family will to love. Use any pimento cheese or try one with jalapenos for a little kick.

Baked Pecan Pimento Cheese Chicken Tenders

  • 2 pounds chicken tenders
  • 1 1⁄2 cup easy to spread pimento cheese, we used pepper jack pimento cheese
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1⁄2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt and add to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet and line with wax paper. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a food processor, combine pecans, panko breadcrumbs, salt and cayenne pepper, pulse until fine. Spread pimento cheese on each piece of chicken and roll in the pecan crumb mixture. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

This recipe comes from Lynn Rasmussen who brings in the pet of the day on WRAL each week. Lynn is a vegan and says her husband didn’t know it was Vegan sausage the first time she made it and he had three plates of it. Lisa suggests serving with a green vegetable or salad.

Bag ‘em Up NC Sweet Potato Casserole

  • 1 large N.C.-grown sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tube of Gimme Lean Vegan Sausage (in produce section) or traditional sausage
  • 1 medium apple, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons real maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle powder
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Medium zipper style plastic bag (or gallon size)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove sausage from package (slice at each end and long-wise down the center, to remove casing), chop the sausage in several pieces, take each piece and pinch off 1-inch-by-1-inch sizes. Take care not to go too big, because they won’t brown properly, or too small, because they can get too hard. In 9 by 11 casserole dish, scatter each piece of sausage so they’re in one layer. If you’re using vegan sausage, add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil over the sausage so each piece of sausage will brown nicely without sticking. Bake at 400 for about 20-30 minutes until desired browning is achieved.

While the sausage is browning, place the chopped sweet potato, onion and apple into the zip lock bag and shake to combine. Then add the garlic, maple syrup, spices, coconut oil, salt and pepper. Zip up the bag so there’s some air in it…then shake the bag gently. Be sure all the ingredients are evenly coated with maple syrup and spices. Pull the browning sausage from the oven and use a spatula to loosen any of the sausage pieces that may be stuck to the casserole dish. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees. Add the sweet potato mixture into the casserole dish, and stir to combine with the sausage. Make sure the ingredients aren’t too deep or they won’t brown well. Put the dish back into the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes (longer if you like items more brown and apple softer, or shorter if you like a firmer potato and apple.