Calling Mrs. Kay: Pre-Spring recipes from Brock’s files

Spring is almost here, and I have been abundantly blessed to have had the privilege to sit down with my friend Mrs. Kay DePriest Robertson and collect some of her finest recipes. If you have ever tasted Kay’s cuisine, it is some of the best in the south. She has catered and cooked for many people in her lifetime. Her deep and genuine love for cooking is truly a gift! This week, readers, I am preparing you for some of Kay’s all-time spring favorites! Mrs. Kay has tempted me all over again with her scrumptious recipes! The first recipe is a brilliant appetizer recipe for asparagus roll-ups. They are out of this world! I enjoyed them at a wedding reception once, and believe me, you can’t eat just one! The second recipe is a recipe for succulent bourbon and brown sugar pork tenderloin. This pork tenderloin will knock your socks off, readers! It is incredibly moist and delicious! And the third recipe is a recipe from Kay’s grandmother (as she refers to her as Mom Goodman) called a grape juice pie! This was Kay’s grandmother’s specialty. Oh, I am in heaven now! I love you Mrs. Kay! These are some of the most excellent recipes I have ever published. Here’s to superb southern cooking and splendid southern entertaining! Enjoy, readers!

Kay’s Asparagus Roll-Ups

Note: This is one of the finest appetizer recipes I have in my files! They are mouthwatering and perfect for spring get-togethers!

  • 1 loaf thin style sandwich bread
  • Large jar Cheez Whiz
  • 1-2 cans stem asparagus (not cut), drained
  • Mayonnaise (Blue Plate or Hellman’s preferred)

Cut crust off bread on all sides. Lightly spread Cheez Whiz on bread. Then place 1-2 stems of asparagus on each piece of bread from corner to corner. Roll up with seam sides down. Using your fingers, spread tops evenly with a light coating of mayonnaise. Spray a large cookie sheet with Pam, and place the roll-ups on the cookie sheet, leaving small space between each so they can brown evenly. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 min or until lightly brown. Serve hot.

Kay’s Bourbon-Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin

Note: This is for all you pork tenderloin lovers! I know you are out there! This is an exceptionally delightful recipe! So moist and tender!

  • 2 (1 lb) pork tenderloins (Bryan)
  • Third cup dark brown sugar
  • Fourth cup minced green onions
  • Fourth cup bourbon
  • Fourth cup soy sauce
  • Fourth cup Dijon mustard
  • Half tsp. coarse ground black pepper
  • Half tsp. cornstarch

Remove silver skin from tenderloins, leaving a thin layer of fat. Combine brown sugar and next five ingredients. Pour into a large Ziploc freezer bag. Add pork and seal bag. Chill for 8 to 18 hours (whatever you prefer), turning bag occasionally during the time. After chilling, remove pork from marinade. Reserve the marinade. Preheat grill to 350-400 degrees (med-high). Grill pork covered with the grill lid for 8 min on each side, or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion of meat reads 155 degrees F. Remove from grill. Let stand 10 min. Meanwhile, combine reserved marinade and cornstarch in a saucepan. Bring to boil over med heat. Cook, stirring constantly for 1 min. Cut pork diagonally into half inch slices. Arrange on serving platter and drizzle with warm sauce. Serve with Kay’s Ranch Potatoes (recipe from last week) and a nice green salad.

Mom Goodman’s Grape Juice Pie

Note: This pie is one of the specialties of Kay’s beloved grandmother, her Mom Goodman.

  • 1 frozen Pet-Ritz pie crust (regular, not deep dish)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • One and one half cups Welch’s grape juice
  • 1 egg, well-beaten
  • 2 Tbsp. real butter
  • 2 tsp. real lemon juice
  • 8 oz. Cool Whip

Prebake the pie crust 15-18 min, or until golden brown. Set aside. In a medium size boiler, mix sugar with cornstarch, and then add juice. Boil on med high heat until this thickens. Add 1 well-beaten egg. Beat well with a whisk, and then add butter and lemon juice. Remove from heat and pour into prepared pie shell. Let cool completely. Top with Cool Whip before serving. You may also use blackberry juice instead of grape juice to make a delectable blackberry juice pie if desired. Refrigerate after serving.

Editor’s note:

Brock Wetherly Rogers is a southern food writer, an educator, an overseas traveler, and a passionate student of the culinary and pastry arts. Please e-mail him with your comments at brockrogers1@gmail.com, or find him on Facebook at Brock’s Bites-Southern Recipes.