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Y&R's Jordi Vilasuso and Melissa Ordway Share Their Thanksgiving Recipes

Jordi Vilasuso’s (Rey) Family Favorite Asparagus Roll-Ups

Where did you get this recipe? “My wife. She introduced me to the culinary arts. You can also find it on her blog [www.thatcozylife.com].”

Why do you love this dish? “It’s got cream cheese … need I say more?”

Does this recipe work as an appetizer other than for Thanksgiving? “Yes. It’s a perfect handheld delicacy for any occasion.”

Any tips for nailing this recipe on the first try? “Make sure to really flatten the bread with a rolling pin. A wine bottle works as well.”

Can you make this ahead of time? “Yes, you can make it a few hours before serving.”

Ingredients

24 fresh asparagus spears

1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened

1 4 oz. package crumbled blue cheese

2 Tbsp. mayonnaise

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives

12 bread slices

12 thinly sliced deli ham slices

¼ cup butter or margarine, melted

Directions

1. Snap off tough ends of asparagus. Arrange asparagus in a skillet with about ¼ cup of water. Bring to a boil and allow to steam four-to-six minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove from pan and let cool on paper towels.

2. Stir together cream cheese, blue cheese, mayonnaise and chives.

3. Roll each bread slice with a rolling pin to flatten, then trim crusts off.

4. Spread one side of each slice with two tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture; top each with one ham slice. Place two asparagus spears, tips pointed toward opposite ends, on one end of each bread slice. Starting with a corner, roll up; secure with toothpick, and place (seam side up) on a foil-lined baking pan. Brush with butter.

5. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes or until golden.

Melissa Ordway’s (Abby) Mama’s Southern Cornbread Stuffing

Where did the recipe come from? “It’s from my mom, but I don’t know exactly where she got it. She started making it several years ago. Once people taste it, they always ask for the recipe.”

Have you made it yourself and how did it turn out? “I have made it and it’s not as good as my mom makes it, but nothing tastes as good as my mom makes. I think the difference is because she loosely follows the recipe. She just knows, ‘Oh, it doesn’t need much of this’ and, ‘It needs a little more of that,’ whereas I follow the recipe to the letter and everything is exact and specific.”

Any tips on making this dish taste even better? “Yes, use honey cornbread, so it tastes sweeter. It’s
delicious!”

Can you make it ahead of time? “You can and, in fact, I always make it the night before, keep it in the fridge overnight and pop into the oven before dinner. To me, it takes away a little of the stress that comes with preparing Thanksgiving dinner.”

When you’re hosting the holiday dinner, is this stuffing always on the menu? “Yes, but I’m only in charge of this and mashed potatoes. I’m never in charge of the turkey and I don’t know why.”

Ingredients

1 16 oz. package cornbread mix

2 Tbsp. butter

½ cup chopped celery

1 small onion chopped

2 eggs, beaten

2 cups chicken stock

2 Tbsp. dried sage

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Prepare cornbread according to package directions. Cool and crumble.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3. Grease 9×13-inch baking dish.

4. In a large skillet, sauté celery and onion in butter until soft.

5. In large bowl, combine celery, onion, three cups crumbled cornbread, eggs, chicken stock and sage, and salt and pepper to taste.

6. Place mixture into baking dish and bake for 30 minutes.

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