Inside WRAL

Brian's Top 5 favorite 'Local Dish' recipes

Posted February 5, 2010
Updated February 8, 2011

WRAL's Brian Shrader and Lisa Prince with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services bring you seasonal recipes featuring ingredients grown and available in North Carolina.

In an "Inside WRAL" blog last October, Brian Shrader gave us some behind-the-scenes scoop on his weekly cooking segment called "Local Dish," which he hosts with Lisa Prince from the N.C. Department of Agriculture.

Today, Brian shares his Top 5 favorite recipes they've cooked so far:

When people stop me in public, they often ask, “Do you really like those recipes you cook with Lisa Prince?”

I am an honest guy. I’ve liked all but two recipes on the first bite. I was honest on camera about cucumbers, onions and vinegar. I’m a native North Carolinian from a long line of Southerners, but I just can’t stand that stuff. My polite compromise on the air was admitting that “if you like those things together, you’ll like this” – or something to that effect.

I also had a little problem with the recent Stuffed Pork Chops recipe. I expressed approval on the air, and indeed, the flavors were great – but we forgot to salt and pepper the meat. With some seasoning, the dish would have been spectacular.

They’re all great dishes, but I wanted to tell you some of my favorite Local Dish recipes. Here are my top 5:

  1. Jalapeño and Sausage Dip: It may be my favorite. It’s simple and tastes great. I made this for a party a couple of weeks ago, and it was gone quickly, so you may want to make a couple of batches of it. It’s also great because you can make it in advance and freeze it.
  2. Herbed Pork and Apples: We’re airing this one next Friday (see the benefit of reading this blog?) Lisa mixed the pan drippings with maple syrup to make a gravy that knocked my socks off (They flew about 15 feet across the room. It was embarrassing.)
  3. Shrimp and Grits: Seafood month was a treat. I’d never had shrimp and grits before, and I mourn retroactively over what I’ve been missing. Lisa’s recipe (from “Southern Living” magazine) is great. You have to put a little elbow grease into the process, but it’s worth it. I’m told that ordering shrimp and grits at restaurants is a hit-or-miss affair, but Lisa’s recipe is a sure hit.
  4. Fried Oysters: Lisa’s sister, Michelle, is a good cook, too. She offered a simple recipe for fried oysters that was profoundly good.
  5. Chocolate-Covered Peanuts: This is a super-simple candy that we did for our month of Christmas recipes. You put the ingredients in a crockpot, which makes this recipe unique. I’ve made it for several parties since then, and they move quickly.
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Inside WRAL takes you behind the scenes of the news business and the stories we cover.