share. The Brookshire's Blog

Product Talk: Lemongrass

Lemon Chicken Broth Lemongrass is a sublime, delicious ingredient that I just started using regularly in my cooking.It’s a bit more subtle than grating lemon zest, with an earthier flavor. I like to use the leaves to infuse flavor into a broth, much as you would a bay leaf.
 You can also crush the stalk and steep into a pot of tea (heavenly!) or mince the leaves and toss it into the water to steam shrimp or shellfish.
It’s so versatile it can be used in almost any cuisine. I can’t believe I didn’t use it much before!Look for lemongrass that feels firm at the bulb end because that’s where the flavor is. Store it in the refrigerator, loosely wrapped in plastic. It will keep for a week or more.

Lemon Chicken Broth
Serves 6
(Sip on its own or use as a base for other soups – like chicken noodle)

8 cups water
2 lbs skin-on, bone-in chicken leg quarters
3 stalks fresh lemongrass
4 (1/4-inch) slices peeled fresh ginger
1 Tbs chopped garlic
1 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

Combine 8 cups water and chicken leg quarters in a Dutch oven. Bring to a boil, skimming and discarding foam as needed. Reduce heat to low.

Trim and discard root end of lemongrass stalks; discard toughest outer leaves. Smash stalks with the flat side of a knife. Add lemongrass, ginger, garlic, and peppercorns to pan. Partially cover, and simmer 50 minutes, skimming and discarding foam as needed. Remove chicken from pan using a slotted spoon; reserve for another use.

Strain broth through a cheesecloth-lined colander; discard solids. Cool to room temperature. Cover and chill for 8 hours or overnight. Skim solid fat from surface; discard.

Heat the broth in Dutch oven over medium heat, and stir in salt. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 19, Fat: 1 g, Protein: 3 g, Carbohydrates: 0 g, Fiber: 0 g, Cholesterol: 12 mg, Iron: 0 mg, Sodium: 210 mg, Calcium: 2 mg

View this recipe to print or add items to My Shopping List.


Family Matters: Baby

As I sit down to write this blog, my son is celebrating his 11th birthday.

Eleven years old.

I can’t really remember where the past 11 years have gone.

I also can’t remember where I got the idea for the tradition of the Birthday Chair.

Each year, in the dark hours before the birthday boy wakes up, the Birthday Chair is born.  It started with balloons fastened to a high chair for a 1-year-old to bat around with cake-smeared hands. When the boys were toddlers, they were bent on dismantling the Birthday Chair moments after waking up; not on purpose, but that’s just what toddlers do.

The Birthday Chair is usually decorated with balloons – we used to have one balloon per year of age, but 11 balloons didn’t fit on the chair when I was decorating it last night. Some years it’s festooned in crepe paper matching the theme colors of the birthday party. One year it was Batman crepe paper for a child particularly captivated by the Dark Knight. One year the crepe paper ribbons and balloons were all primary colors to match the bounce house rented for the occasion.  One year I made a fabric cover for the back of the chair in festive birthday fabric.

No matter how it’s decorated, the Birthday Chair is always the place of honor for the birthday boy, until the crepe paper wears off days later and the balloons pop (or are spirited away for balloon wars).

The past few months leading up to this 11th birthday have been an exercise in all things being too babyish for my fifth grader. I wondered how he’d react to the Birthday Chair this morning, as I never quite know what will set off an episode of “THIS IS TOO BABY!!!”

“Mom, make sure I always have a birthday chair,” he said.

And I will.

Shop the Sale: Ground Round

Has your child ever gone on an eating strike?  Mine do, on a regular basis. I feel like a broken record, saying my kids don’t like anything except pizza and tacos.

For example, tonight I made homemade dirty rice. My younger son PICKED THE GROUND MEAT OUT OF THE DISH AND ONLY ATE THAT.


Don’t even ask about the steamed green beans I made as well. He dissected them and only ate the “beans” out of the green beans.


Needless to say, finding recipes they don’t pick apart is a challenge. This one includes ground round, which is on Luke’s “Approved To Eat” list, and it’s a soup, so he’ll drink the broth.  That’s a win/win in my book.  Win/win/win if you consider ground round is on sale this week.

Tortilla Meatball Soup
Serves: 6

2 jalapeño peppers
1 red bell pepper
2 ears corn on the cob
4 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1/2-inch-thick strips
Cooking spray
3/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
6 garlic cloves, minced and divided
1/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 lb ground sirloin
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce, minced
1 Tbs olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
2 (3/4-inch) cups cubed red potatoes
1 (1/2-inch-thick) cup sliced carrot
3 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1/2 cup (2 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup (1 oz) shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat broiler.

Cut jalapeños and bell pepper in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Arrange corn on baking sheet with peppers. Broil 4 to 6 minutes or until blackened, turning corn once. Place peppers in a paper bag; fold to seal. Let stand 15 minutes; peel. Mince jalapeños, and coarsely chop bell pepper. Cut corn kernels from cobs. Set aside.
Place tortilla strips in a single layer on a baking sheet; lightly coat with cooking spray. Broil for 3 minutes or until golden brown, turning after 2 minutes. Set aside.

Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 garlic clove, panko, and the next 3 ingredients (through chipotle chile) in a large bowl, and gently mix until just combined. With moist hands, shape the meat mixture into 24 meatballs (about 2 tablespoons each).

Place a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add meatballs to pan; sauté for 8 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove from pan. Add onion, potatoes, and carrot to pan; sauté 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add remaining 5 garlic cloves; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Add peppers, broth, and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 20 minutes or until vegetables are almost tender, stirring occasionally. Return meatballs to pan. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and corn; return to a simmer.

Cook 10 minutes or until meatballs are done. Ladle 1 1/2 cups soup into each of 6 bowls; top each serving with 4 teaspoons Monterey Jack cheese, 2 teaspoons cheddar cheese, and 4 teaspoons cilantro. Top evenly with tortilla strips.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 380, Fat: 16 g, Saturated fat, 7 g, Protein: 25 g, Carbohydrate: 33 g, Fiber: 5 g, Cholesterol: 98 mg, Iron: 3 mg, Sodium: 631 mg, Calcium: 159 mg

Dine-In: Fondue

Basic Cheese FondueI admit it. I had a horrible case of the winter doldrums last week during the extreme temperature changes and the endless rain. I also had a challenging week at work and a host of other annoying things crop up like needing new rotors on my car and both of my kids busting holes in their school shoes.

By the time Friday rolled around, I didn’t want to even exert the energy to order pizza. Plus, with my new year’s fiscal resolution in place, I didn’t want to spend that money, either.

I knew I needed something to cheer us all up, kick off the weekend right and make our dine-in Friday night a pleasant way to end a rough week.

What’s more fun than fondue?

I got a fondue pot for Valentine’s Day a few years ago, but you don’t have to have any special equipment to make fondue a fun feast for the family.

You can do meat, cheese, or dessert varieties.

I opted for cheese, but you’re only limited by your imagination. It only took about 15 minutes and we all had a blast cooking and eating.

Basic Cheese Fondue
Serves 6

1/2 lb Swiss cheese, shredded
1/2 lb Gruyère cheese, shredded
2 Tbs cornstarch
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 cup dry white wine
1 Tbs lemon juice
1/2 tsp dry mustard
Pinch nutmeg
Assorted dippers

In a small bowl, coat the cheeses with cornstarch and set aside. Rub the inside of the ceramic fondue pot with the garlic, and then discard.

Over medium heat, add the wine and lemon juice and bring to a gentle simmer. Gradually stir the cheese into the simmering liquid. Melting the cheese gradually encourages a smooth fondue. Once smooth, stir in mustard and nutmeg.

Serve with chunks of French and pumpernickel breads. You could also use apples and blanched vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and asparagus. Spear with fondue forks or wooden skewers.

Nutritional  Information: Calories: 343, Calories from Fat: 205,Total Fat: 23 g, Saturated Fat: 14 g, Cholesterol: 76 mg, Sodium: 202 mg,Total Carbohydrates: 6 g, Sugars: 1 g, Protein: 22 g


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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In

Family Matters: Family goes far deeper than bloodlines

Sometimes being a family doesn’t’ mean you’re related by blood. Sometimes it means that you’re there for someone else, through thick and thin, no matter what.

Although my family would do anything, at any time for me, they live far away, but I’m blessed – and blessed is the only word for it – to have several close friends nearby who I consider as much my family as my flesh and blood.

We’ve seen each other through divorces, job losses, ailing, aging parents, a cancelled wedding, countless boyfriends, children troubles, children triumphs, a new baby and several new places to live. We’ve helped each other move, we’ve painted bedrooms, we’ve held garage sales together and taken trips together. We’ve taken a few of us to the emergency room and gone to birthday parties and celebrations for our children. It’s quite fair to say we’ve done a lot of laughing, a little crying, a ton of talking and texting and phone calling. We’ve been irritated with each other and we’ve spoken our minds, but at the end of the day, we’re still so much like sisters it’s… yes, a blessing.

Every Thursday is Girls Night Out. We get together, usually at the same place, and wrap up the week. The food is fabulous and the conversation is even better. I love our weekly tradition and I love the women who are my family, when my flesh and blood is far away.

Family goes far deeper than bloodlines. Family goes straight to the heart.

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Posted in: Family Matters

Shop the Sale: Fresh Catfish Fillets

After 15 years of living in Texas, I almost didn’t realize that you could do anything with catfish other than deep fry it. I’ve been to many a fish fry where golden nuggets of cornmeal battered catfish were served by the pound.

Last summer, I went to eat at a friend’s home. She’s extremely health conscious, as she had a heart attack at an early age.

She grilled the catfish and it was deliciously spicy and the grill brought out a flavor I’d never before experienced with catfish.

With fresh catfish fillets on sale at Brookshire’s this week, it’s the perfect time to expand your catfish repertoire.

Spicy Grilled Catfish
Serves 4

4 (6 oz) catfish fillets
1/4 cup bottled lemon juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 Tbs finely chopped fresh gingerroot or 2 tsp ground ginger
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped (1 Tbs)
3 green onions, chopped
1 tsp instant minced onion
1 tsp paprika
1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

In a shallow dish, arrange catfish fillets. In a small bowl or jar, combine lemon juice, soy sauce, vegetable oil, ginger, garlic, green onions, minced onion, paprika and cayenne pepper. Pour it over catfish. Cover, marinate then refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

Remove the catfish from marinade; grill or broil 4 minutes on each side, or until catfish flakes with fork.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 377, Calories from Fat: 240, Total Fat: 27 g, Cholesterol: 80 mg, Sodium: 992 mg, Total Carbohydrates: 6 g, Dietary Fiber: 1 g, Sugars: 1 g, Protein: 28 g


I adore casseroles. A big pan of mixed goodness and usually only one dish to wash.

But I’m not such a fan of the fact that casseroles (at least the ones I love) are usually laden with cheeses and cream-of-something soups.  Perhaps it will be my mission in 2013 to create lighter versions of some of the foods I love best.  It’s often not hard to reduce fat and calories in a recipe. You can often reduce the amount of cheese called for by at least half. Instead of creamy bases, use broth and thicken it with a bit of cornstarch. Certain vegetables, when pureed, also thicken a soup or cream sauce instead of adding extra fat. Increasing the spices adds more flavor without adding any extra calories.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Serves: 4

Cooking spray
4 bone-in chicken thighs, skinned
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1/3 cup (3 oz) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp ground red pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 cups chopped onion, divided
6 garlic cloves, minced and divided
1 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
2/3 cup salsa verde
1/4 cup water
2 Tbs chopped, pickled jalapeño pepper
9 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1/4 cup (1 oz) shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 425° F.

Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; sauté 4 minutes on each side. Place skillet in oven; bake at 425° F for 10 minutes or until done. Remove chicken from pan; let stand 15 minutes. Remove meat from bones; shred. Discard bones. Place chicken in a medium bowl. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons cilantro, corn, and next 5 ingredients (through black pepper) to chicken; toss to combine.

Return pan to medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup onion; sauté 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 3 garlic cloves; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add onion mixture to chicken mixture; stir to combine.

Combine remaining 1 1/2 cups onion, remaining 3 garlic cloves, broth, salsa, 1/4 cup water, and jalapeño in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Carefully pour mixture into a blender; add 2 tablespoons cilantro. Process until smooth.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tortillas; cook 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Remove tortillas from pan; repeat procedure with remaining tortillas. Cut tortillas into quarters.

Spread 1/2 cup salsa mixture in the bottom of an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 12 tortilla quarters over salsa mixture. Spoon half of chicken mixture over tortillas. Repeat layers, ending with tortillas. Pour remaining salsa mixture over tortillas; sprinkle evenly with cheddar cheese. Bake at 425° F for 15 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned. Top with remaining cilantro.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 371, Fat: 12 g, Protein: 23 g, Carbohydrate: 45 g, Fiber: 5 g, Cholesterol: 80 mg, Iron: 2 mg, Sodium: 759 mg, Calcium: 141 mg

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Posted in: Healthy Living


Walking through Brookshire’s last weekend, I spotted something I’d never seen, or heard of, before. And for me, that’s saying a lot. After all, I do eat voraciously. Wait! Did I say “eat?” I meant READ. I READ voraciously.


That little slip aside, the Asian pear is a sight to behold. Rounder than a traditional green pear, with a nutty-colored skin, the Asian pear has a texture more like an apple but a mild, subtle flavor.

The Asian pear is native to northern China but also grown in Japan.

A good-quality Asian pear is selected by smell rather than variations in firmness. Unlike other pears that yield to gentle pressure when ripe, Asian pears are ripe even when they are extremely firm. Select by their strong and sweet aroma. Asian pears, like green pears, are delicate and bruise easily. Ripen in a cool, dark place or refrigerate for a few days. They are meant to be eaten crunchy, not soft.

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Posted in: Product Talk

Family Matters: Keeping your pet warm in the winter

The weather outside can be frightful, but your pet still needs to go outside to potty.

Or, if your dogs are like mine, they spend the majority of their time during the day while I’m at work outside playing (and digging…).

It’s essential your outdoor – or indoor – pet stays warm in the winter. For animals that are spending time outside, whether just during the day or all the time, they need shelter that protects them from wind, rain and snow. A place that is small and well insulated, for the pet’s own body heat to keep the temperature up. You can even use hay and blankets to keep shelters or doghouses nice and cozy. For inside pets, soft, warm places to snooze are a must, especially if you have tile, stone or wood floors instead of carpeting. Older pets, especially, will snuggle into thick beds with egg-crate-type padding. Older pets are extremely susceptible to cold, so think about a warm sweater or wrap for your older pet as well.

Don’t forget about food and water. With freezing temperatures, water bowls freeze as well. Make sure your pet has a fresh supply of non-frozen water to drink during the day. Some retailers even offer heated bowls to help keep your pet hydrated.

In the coldest of colds, use caution when starting your car if you are a cat owner. Cats notoriously creep into car engines to stay warm.

If your pet goes out to potty, you might want to consider pet shoes or booties to keep his paws protected from snow and ice. Just be sure to ask him to wipe his feet before he comes back inside.

Finally, if at all possible, bring your pets inside as often as you can!

Shop the Sale: Whole Chickens

If chicken soup is for the soul, then homemade chicken stock is pretty much for all that ails you.

With cold and flu season in full force, any extra defense we can provide our bodies against germs is critical. Not only does a chicken soup warm the body from the inside out, but it provides its historic medicinal properties for the sniffles and aches, too. A homemade chicken stock is full of calcium. Also, the gelatin-rich broth helps the digestibility of our entire meal, supports liver function, and aides bone and teeth health through the easily absorbed minerals.

Did I mention it smells divine? I leave mine simmering on the stove overnight and when I wake up the following morning, the whole house is infused with the scent of the rich broth. I’ll make a double batch in a huge stock pot and freeze what I don’t use for other projects.

It’s so easy and delicious.

Plus, whole chickens are on sale at Brookshire’s this week.  I’d venture to guess that once you’ve had a homemade chicken stock, you’ll be hooked.

Chicken Stock
Makes about 6 servings

1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
Gizzards from 1 chicken (optional)
1 gallon cold filtered water
2 Tbs vinegar
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
3 sticks celery, roughly chopped
1 bunch parsley

Butcher your whole chicken into multiple pieces. It doesn’t have to be pretty. In fact, you want some bones exposed. Exposed bones leach calcium and other ions into your broth.  Cut off the wings and the neck and cut those down. Put the chicken pieces in a large stainless steel stock pot and cover with the water, vinegar and veggies (minus the parsley). The role of the vinegar is to suck the calcium and nutrients from the chicken bones and add it to your broth.

Let the mixture stand for 30 to 60 minutes. Bring to a boil and skim off any foam that rises to the top. Once you have that all skimmed, reduce the heat and cook (covered) for 6 hours to 24 hours. The longer the better – it will yield a much richer stock. About 10 minutes before the stock is done, add the parsley. The parsley is important because it adds mineral ions to the broth.

Let the broth cool slightly and then remove the chicken pieces with a slotted spoon or tongs. If you used a whole chicken, make sure you save the meat for casseroles or soup.  Strain the stock into another bowl and stick it in the fridge until the broth congeals and the fat rises to the top. Skim off the fat and reserve it for future projects.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 164, Calories from Fat: 86, Cholesterol: 64 mg, Sodium: 111 mg, Total Carbohydrates: 5 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugars: 2 g, Protein: 14 g

Copyright © 2010-2017, Brookshire’s. All rights reserved.
The products mentioned in “Share, the Brookshire’s Blog” are sold by Brookshire Grocery Company, DBA Brookshire’s . Some products may be mentioned as part of a relationship between its manufacturer and Brookshire’s.

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