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Shop the Sale: Baked Coconut Chicken Strips


Baked Coconut Chicken StripsI need sunshine. I need sunshine BADLY. I suspect most of us who live in this part of the country – or even anywhere in the United States during the winter months – share my sentiments. (Or, is it desperation?)

It’s the time of year when I’m ready to shed the vestiges of winter for the spoils of spring, but the one thing I’m not quite ready to give up is my cold-weather comfort foods.

This coconut chicken is a marriage of comfort (baked, crunchy chicken), sunshine and lightness. Because when I think of coconuts, I think of Hawaii, and Hawaii is a warm tropical place where there’s plenty of sunshine and light during some of the dreary days of winter.

This recipe is baked, not fried, so you can even imagine yourself on a beach in a bikini.

This week, Brookshire’s chicken breasts or tenders are on sale, so you can transport to the tropics with this family-friendly recipe.

Baked Coconut Chicken Strips

Ingredients:
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or 6-8 tenders, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness and cut into strips
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
2 eggs
1 Tbs water
2 cups coconut flakes
sweet & sour sauce or Asian sweet chili sauce, for dipping

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400° F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.

Whisk together flour and seasoned salt in a small bowl. Whisk together eggs and water in a second bowl. Place coconut flakes in a third bowl.

Toss strips of chicken in the flour mixture, and then dip in the eggs. Lastly, roll in the coconut flakes, being sure to coat well. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and chicken is cooked through. Serve warm with dipping sauce of choice.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 401, Calories from Fat: 172, Fat: 19 g, Cholesterol: 169 mg, Sodium: 301 mg, Potassium: 401 mg, Carbohydrates: 18 g, Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 39 g

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Healthy Living: Dark Chocolate


Dark ChocolateFebruary is American Heart Month, which is when we focus on good cardiovascular health. Programs like Go Red for Women highlight the fact that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of American women.

February is also Valentine’s Day, which is when we love to give chocolate to people we care about.

Well, did you know that dark chocolate is actually heart-healthy?

Dark chocolate, with 70 percent or higher cocoa content, can be a good source of resveratrol and cocoa phenols (flavonoids). Both are essential to heart health. Flavanal, a plant antioxidant, helps widen blood vessels and increases blood flow in the brain.

Studies show that daily consumption of dark chocolate lowered people’s blood pressure an average of two to three points.

Now, don’t think you can just eat a lot of dark chocolate candy bars; the sugar and fat contents of candy are counterproductive. You can mix a concentrated cocoa powder into a drink and take it that way.

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Posted in: Healthy Living


Product Talk: Smithfield Bacon


Smithfield BaconI just realized that I write about bacon a lot.

However, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like, OK, LOVE, bacon.

Smithfield Bacon with Sea Salt is one of my favorite brands. Nestled in the refrigerated case at Brookshire’s, the Smithfield Bacon with Sea Salt still has a salty flavor with less sodium than regular cured bacon.

I will admit being partial to this product because the company was founded in 1936 in Smithfield, Virginia, as a small meat-packing company along the James River.

Well, I’m from Virginia, and Smithfield isn’t that far from my hometown of Richmond. Every year, when we drove east to go to the beach on summer vacation, we’d pass through Smithfield where the company is still thriving and the backbone of the town. It smells SO GOOD when you drive through. The smell of smoky meats just hang in the air in Smithfield no matter the time of day. You might also have heard of Smithfield hams, perhaps the most famous of the company’s pork products.

The bacon cooks up to crisp perfection.

Grab some today.

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Posted in: Product Talk


Dine In: Gouda Grits with Brown Butter Shrimp


Gouda Grits with Brown Butter ShrimpI go through phases with Friday nights. Sometimes I love to whip up a great meal on Friday nights; sometimes I like to order pizza.

Lately, I’ve been in a cooking mood, or maybe it’s an eating mood. Are the two mutually exclusive? I don’t think so.

Anyway, I made this Southern delight one Friday night, and it was a huge hit. The smoky, creamy grits beautifully complemented the savory shrimp.

I made this with stone-ground grits and just followed the directions on the package for cooking them with the chicken stock. However, you can really use any kind you want.

I had visions of a restaurant in historic New Orleans when I made these shrimp and grits. I’d love to eat these at an outdoor café with moss hanging from the cypress trees.

Gouda Grits with Brown Butter Shrimp

Ingredients:

Gouda Grits:
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 cup quick-cooking grits
8 oz Gouda cheese, freshly grated
2 Tbs unsalted butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 ears grilled sweet corn, cut from the cob
2 Tbs chives, freshly snipped

Shrimp:
1 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
4 Tbs unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed

Directions:

Gouda Grits:
Bring the stock to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once boiling, add the grits and whisk constantly until they are fully mixed into the stock, about 1 or 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cover, stirring once or twice more, until the grits are thicker and creamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the grated cheese, salt and pepper. Taste and season more if desired. This will depend on the salt in your stock and cheese.

Shrimp:
Pat the shrimp completely dry with paper towels. Once it’s dry, season it with the salt, pepper, paprika, chili powder and cumin. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter. Once it’s melted and begins to sizzle, add the shrimp in batches and cook on both sides until pink. The butter will brown as the shrimp cooks, and you can whisk it occasionally to prevent it from burning. When the shrimp is finished, stir in the garlic and cook for a few seconds. Then, place the shrimp on a plate.

To serve the grits, spoon them into a bowl and add the shrimp on top. Drizzle leftover butter from the pan on top. Cover with spoonfuls of grilled corn and a sprinkling of chives. Eat immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 566, Calories from Fat: 319, Fat: 35 g, Cholesterol: 291 mg, Sodium: 2010 mg, Potassium: 309 mg, Carbohydrates: 25 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 5 g, Protein: 41 g

 

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In


Family Matters: New Year’s Resolution


New Year’s ResolutionsAs we begin moving forward in a new year, many individuals and families are making resolutions of different types. Whether it be healthier eating, weight loss, charity work or starting to go to church, some resolutions, as we know, don’t last long. This year, how about setting a reasonable goal that will not only benefit you but will touch the lives of others?

Have you ever thought about how your “hand-me downs” could make a difference to someone else? How just the giving of something you no longer want or need will change someone’s life? We all outgrow some of our clothes throughout the year, and a lot of times we just trash them or leave them in the closet or drawer for later when they will fit again…we all do this. The truth of the matter is that most of the time we don’t get back into these clothes, and they are not benefiting anyone.

Our family takes our “hand-me downs” to a local clothes closet that benefits families who are less fortunate. We can take clothes, shoes, toys or anything that is still in good shape, and donate it to be used for the good of others. We have a saying at our house “your hand-me downs can raise someone else up.” This means that something we can no longer use or wear can be given to someone who has a true need, and it will bring them comfort and a sense of joy. What is more rewarding than knowing you are helping others by just giving, something that cost you nothing?

Don’t throw good, used clothing away for there is always someone who can benefit from these items. If you can’t find a local charity that takes used clothing, I promise there is some friend with kids that would love to have them; just ask. Rule of thumb: don’t donate items that have holes in them or stains – things that you would not wear. When you want to raise someone else up, make your hand-me downs something they will be proud to wear. Set a goal to clean out the items that your family can no longer wear or use every three months. My kids grow out of things or they decide to change their style (a girl thing) often. Clothes and shoes are expensive, so donating them is a great way to teach your family to give to others.

Count your blessings daily, and give thanks to the Lord for the time you have to share with your family and the opportunities you have to raise others up!

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Posted in: Family Matters


Shop the Sale: Catfish Stew


Catfish StewYou can’t live in the South without eating a lot of catfish. I’ve had it fried, baked and broiled, but I’d never had it in a stew until just a few months ago.

I went to my friend Trish’s house for dinner, and she had a pot of heaven simmering on her stove. Of course, I dipped the spoon right in to see what delight she had cooking.

I was surprised when she said it was catfish, but when you think about it, it makes sense. Catfish is a hardy fish, which can stand up to deep frying or braising like in this stew. Don’t simmer this meal for a long time; the fish will break down. Instead, prepare it just before serving, making it a quick and easy dinner. You can omit the bacon if you want (but why???) to make it a little healthier, and you can also throw in two cups of shrimp at the same time as the catfish, if you are so inclined. I also think it would be good with a diced jalapeño for some heat.

Catfish fillets are on sale this week at Brookshire’s, and it’s perfect weather for stew.

Catfish Stew

Ingredients:
5 strips thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium onion, finely diced
1/2 cup celery, finely diced
1 (14 oz) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
1 1/2 cups fish stock or water
3 Tbs ketchup
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 lb catfish fillets, cut into 1-inch pieces

Directions:
Brown bacon in a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat until almost crisp. Add onions and celery; sauté until onions are tender (about 3 to 5 minutes).

Add tomatoes, fish stock, ketchup, Worcestershire, seasonings and potatoes; stir well. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Cook for 40 minutes or until potatoes are very tender.

Add catfish then reduce heat to low. Cover and continue cooking for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir. Cover and allow stew to rest for 20 minutes before serving.

*To make homemade stock, simmer catfish bones, uncovered, in 3 of cups water until liquid is reduced by half.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 298, Calories from Fat: 130, Fat: 14 g (4 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 57 mg, Sodium: 1082 mg, Carbohydrates: 19 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 6 g, Protein: 22 g

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Mi Blog Hispano: El Nopal y sus bondades


El NopalHace unos días estaba festejando en la casa de una de mis queridas amigas y entre una de las muchas exquisitas botanas (bocadillos) que probé ese día, hubo una que me llamó particularmente la atención “Nopalitos Rellenos”, así que por supuesto que le pedí la receta a  mi amiga. Allí, entre todos los presentes surgió una interesantísima conversación sobre los beneficios que tiene el “Nopal” aparte de ser un delicioso ingrediente culinario.

Hoy, quiero compartir con ustedes todas las cosas que aprendí acerca de los maravillosos usos de este cactus, que además es muy popular en la cocina Mexicana. El Nopal, es uno de los vegetales con más propiedades medicinales y nutritivas, ya que contiene fibra, calcio, potasio,  sodio, fósforo, antioxidantes, clorofila, proteínas, minerales y vitaminas (A, B, B2, B6, C y K). Así que ayuda a mantener saludable al sistema inmunológico, nervioso, glandular, circulatorio, respiratorio y digestivo.

El Nopal, específicamente, es un aliado para combatir y evitar la diabetes ya que controla los niveles de azúcar en la sangre si se consume entre 200 y 300 gramos de Nopal tierno diario. También ayuda a evitar la osteoporosis, disminuye el colesterol y triglicéridos por ser una gran fuente de fibra. También es usado como antibiótico natural ya que inhibe o suspende el crecimiento de especies bacterianas.

El consumo del Nopal es muy recomendado para los padecimientos gastrointestinales, ya que controla la producción de ácidos gástricos, protege la mucosa intestinal, ayuda a eliminar toxinas, además que mejora la digestión evitando los problemas de estreñimiento, por lo tanto al influir de manera favorable en el proceso digestivo de forma indirecta controla la obesidad.  Ayuda a prevenir el cáncer de colon y según la medicina china, el Nopal resulta eficaz para curar el cáncer en general, les recomiendo investigar a profundidad y se van a maravillar.

Otros de los múltiples beneficios del Nopal, es en el ámbito cosmético ya que es usado como ingrediente en cremas, champú, jabones, mascarillas, etc. El uso de mascarillas de Nopal ayuda a controlar el acné y humecta la piel, en el champú también se dice que previene la caída del cabello.

Usted puede conseguir el Nopal  en la mayoría de nuestras tiendas Brookshire’s, donde tenemos el surtido Hispano. Lo tenemos entero, con o sin espinas, o ya limpiado y cortado en trozos y lo más importante siempre tierno y fresco. Yo, particularmente voy a comenzar a agregarlo a mi dieta diaria y pretendo aprender muchas recetas de platillos deliciosos usando el Nopal, por ahora les voy a compartir la receta que me enseño mi amiga y espero que a ustedes y a mí nos queden tan sabrosos como a ella.

Receta de Nopalitos Rellenos de Queso

10 Nopalitos Tiernos
150 g. de queso panela rebanado
3 Cucharadas de harina
3 Huevos
1 Frasco de Mole
Caldo de pollo preparado (Una taza)
Aceite para freír

Ponga los Nopales a asar en un comal por ambos lados.  Corte 10 trozos de queso como del tamaño de un dedo índice. Coloque cada trozo en un nopal, enróllelo y coloque un palillo para mantenerlo cerrado. Cúbralo con harina. Bata muy bien los tres huevos. Sumerja los nopalitos en el huevo batido y fríalos en aceite bien caliente. Escúrralos muy bien para eliminar el exceso de aceite. Para preparar el mole, diluya el mismo con el caldo de pollo caliente al gusto solo para mezclarlo y que quede como una salsa espesa. Coloque los nopalitos en la salsa de mole y deje cocinar un ratito. Sirva inmediatamente y a chuparse los dedos.



Product Talk: Ryvita Dark Rye Crispbread


Ryvita Dark Rye CrispbreadYou call it a cracker; we call it crispbread.

I kind of like the way “crispbread” sounds, don’t you?

Basically, Ryvita Dark Rye Crispbreads are savory crackers full of flavor that you can find in the frozen foods section at Brookshire’s.

Ryvita Crispbread is known for its naturally crisp texture, mild nutty taste and excellent nutritional value. (They’re chock full of fiber.) Ryvita products are all made with rye, are kosher-certified and are low in fat, sugar and salt. Ryvita is baked using pure natural ingredients with no added artificial preservatives, additives or chemicals.

A fun alternative to a traditional cracker, these are great topped with cheeses, meats, fruits, spreads and anything else you can imagine. The texture really sets them apart from other crackers, and the taste is much more robust.

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Posted in: Product Talk


DINE IN: David Wade’s Old English Prime Rib Roasted in Rock Salt


David Wade’s Old English Prime Rib Roasted in Rock SaltOne of the first things I learned about my boyfriend Paul is that he makes the most incredible steaks known to man.

One of the second things I learned was his secret: David Wade’s Worcestershire Powder. I wrote about the powder earlier this week, so I thought I’d follow up with the most incredible, easiest, most delicious recipe for prime rib I’ve ever tasted.

But, back to David Wade and the powder, just for a minute. Worcestershire powder was invented by David Wade, one of the original TV chefs, cookbook author, award-winning radio and TV personality, and newspaper columnist. I may have missed a few of his accolades there – oh yes – he was recognized for preparing an entire gourmet meal…while flying in a hot air balloon over Dallas. Originally from Dallas, Wade retired to Tyler, Texas, where his kitchen was custom-fitted so he could film his television show there.

In addition to using David Wade’s Worcestershire Powder as a seasoning, Paul was a friend of David’s, having met him through their work in radio. Paul had the privilege of dining with David and his wife Becky on many occasions.

Paul confirms that the David Wade you saw on TV, wearing a formal ascot and a blazer with his personal crest, was the David you got in real life. He sounds like an amazing man to have known; he passed away in 2001 in Tyler.

His prime rib recipe is the best I’ve ever had and the easiest I’ve ever seen prepared. (Paul made it on Christmas Eve, and I promise you it’ll be a new tradition in my house!) I’m sometimes hesitant to cook such a fine cut of meat because I don’t want to ruin it. This is impossible to ruin.

It’s also impressive to cook, as it comes out encrusted completely with rock salt. No, it’s not salty, at all. However, you DO have to break it open with a hammer. (Is there really a better party trick than that?)

David Wade’s Old English Prime Rib Roasted in Rock Salt

Ingredients:
prime rib or standing rib (1/2 lb per serving)
1 tsp MSG powder (I did skip this ingredient)
rock salt (ice cream salt)
2 Tbs Worcestershire powder
1 tsp paprika
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Select choice of prime rib or standing rib. Season meat with seasonings and rub into the meat. In a large heavy pan, such as the bottom section of a roaster, pour a layer of rock salt until the bottom section of the container is completely covered. Dampen the rock salt with water until the salt is JUST LIGHTLY moistened. Place the prime rib onto the salt in a standing rib position. Then, cover the prime rib completely with rock salt, pouring from the top and allowing the rock salt to avalanche off the prime rib and build itself back up to cover the meat. Dampen all of the salt very lightly with water. Be certain none of the prime rib is showing. It must be completely covered. Without a cover for the roaster, place the meat, covered with salt, into a preheated oven at 500° F. Allow the prime rib to roast for 12 minutes per pound. When cooking time is completed, remove the roast from the oven. The rock salt will be extremely hard and must be broken with a wooden mallet (or ordinary hammer) by striking the surface of the salt. Pull the salt sections away from the meat and brush away any remaining salt particles from the roast. This process, which does not impart a salt flavor to the meat, traps all the vital flavor juices and ensures the very minimum shrinkage. Recipe from davidwadegourmet.com.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 642, Calories from Fat: 497, Fat: 55 g (23 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 134 mg, Sodium: 218 mg, Potassium: 8 mg, Carbohydrates: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 30 g

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

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In


Shop the Sale: Bacon-Wrapped Smoky Chicken Thighs


Bacon-Wrapped Smoky Chicken ThighsEveryone loves bacon, but my friend Nick REALLY, REALLY loves bacon. He could be bacon’s biggest fan.

He even conducted an experiment recently where he cooked bacon several different ways to see which way produced the crispest, flattest bacon with the fewest fat bubbles. It was something about adding ice water to the skillet. I suggested he bake the bacon in the oven, but he wielded his cast-iron skillet in my general direction and told me that was blasphemy (it’s not…really…baked bacon comes out perfectly, in my opinion).

So, I’m not going to convert him to baking bacon, but I can aid him in his quest to eat all things bacon-related.

Right now, Nick is in Kansas, finishing his training to become an engineer with BNSF Railway. He’s been working hard, very hard, on this for a year now, first earning his conductor stripes and then applying to – and getting into – engineering school, which is apparently much more difficult than people might think. I’m super proud of him; he’s sacrificed a lot this year to make this plan a reality.

When he comes back next week, his friends are going to throw a party for him with plenty of his favorite Cajun foods, all bacon-wrapped, of course.

Chicken thighs and legs are on sale this week at Brookshire’s, so I’m planning to make enough of these for a big party!

Bacon-Wrapped Smoky Chicken Thighs

Ingredients:
4 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs
8 slices bacon
2 tsp Smoky Spice Blend

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375° F. Sprinkle the chicken thighs with 1 teaspoon of Smoky Spice Blend, and then wrap each one in 2 strips of bacon. Sprinkle with the remaining Smoky Spice Blend and bake on a lined baking sheet for approximately 40 minutes. You could broil them for a few more minutes at the end to crisp up the bacon.

Smoky Spice Blend

Ingredients:
1 Tbs chipotle powder
1 Tbs smoked paprika
1 Tbs onion powder 
1/2 Tbs cinnamon
1 Tbs sea salt
1/2 Tbs black pepper

Directions:
Combine all spices in a bowl, and then store in a small container. You can use it for other recipes.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 283, Calories from Fat: 170, Fat: 19 g, Cholesterol: 31 mg, Sodium: 655 mg, Carbohydrates: 0.4 g, Protein: 30 g

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



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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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