EJ Lagasse's Favorite Holiday Dish Is A Portuguese Classic - Exclusive

Holidays are a family affair, but it's hard to get home for the holidays when you're the chef patron of a restaurant. EJ Lagasse has taken over that position at Emeril's New Orleans, the flagship location opened by his father, Emeril, over 30 years ago. EJ Lagasse is a renowned chef in his own right, but that doesn't stop the cravings for a family classic. In an exclusive interview, Lagasse told us his favorite holiday dish.

If he could manage to get away for a holiday meal, Lagasse said, "I'd love to have my grandmother's Recheio, the Portuguese stuffing." He explained that the stuffing is made with "milk soaked like the innards of French bread, with onions and bell pepper, and some dry peppers like cayenne and things like that, cooked down with Portuguese sausage, chouriço. It's really fantastic. It's one of the favorites." We think this dish sounds delicious and would be the star of any table — and apparently, so does Lagasse, as he's also found a way to serve it to restaurant patrons.

The stuffing appears on the Emeril's menu

It's a good sign when the chef raves about a dish, as EJ Lagasse does with recheio. And if you are hoping to get a taste of it for yourself, head over to Emeril's New Orleans around the holidays. "It actually makes an appearance on the menu ... it's in the quail dish on the seasonal menu," Lagasse told us.

The restaurant version differs slightly from the one his family makes at home, but either way, it's still a comforting side dish. "We do small portions of it at the restaurant. We'll [have] a massive portion of it at the house," Lagasse said. "So even if I don't get home, I'll be able to hopefully bag some." Working over the holidays is tough — we hope that Lagasse will get his hands on some recheio this year, whether at home or at the restaurant.

Emeril's New Orleans is now open for dining. For reservations and additional information, please visit Emeril's restaurant website.