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Dine In: Parmesan Potato Pancake


Parmesan Potato PancakeLast Friday night, we were in the mood to be creative.

Don’t you love that feeling after a fulfilling work week when you’re riding the tidal wave of energy and positivity, and the one thing you want to do when you get home is cook something delicious with your sweetie? I surely do.

We decided to roast a chicken and toss a salad. I had potatoes in the pantry, and we knew we wanted to use them. However, we didn’t want to just roast or mash them. Roast chicken always reminds me of a French country bistro or a Parisian café, which immediately brought to mind a potato pancake. One of the best meals I had in France was a roast chicken with a potato galette on a Sunday afternoon in the north of France. A galette isn’t quite the same as a potato pancake, but when I was looking for recipes for a potato cake of any sort, I came across the potato pancake recipe, which called for freshly grated parmesan cheese. I was sold.

This one takes some patience. Your pan can’t be too hot, but it can’t be too cool either. The potatoes will become mushy if it’s too cool. The best part is flipping the pancake. I was nervous the first time and took forever to flip the pancake onto a plate, then slide it back into the pan. I got the hang of it. Attack it. Don’t think, just flip. That would be my advice. The original recipe didn’t call for adding more oil to the pan before adding the pancake back in, but I found you get a more golden crust if you add about 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and let it heat up before you slide the pancake back into your nonstick skillet.

It was a delicious French country dinner.

Parmesan Potato Pancake

Ingredients:
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
1 cup parmesan, grated
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

Directions:
Warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large (12-inch diameter) nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic; cook until tender and fragrant, about 2 more minutes. Season the onion mixture with salt and pepper. Transfer the onion mixture to a large bowl and set aside. Reserve the pan.

Meanwhile, grate the potatoes in a food processor using the grating attachment blade. Use a kitchen towel to help squeeze out the water from the grated potatoes. Add the potatoes to the bowl with the onion mixture. Add the parmesan and the basil. Stir to combine; season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.

Warm the remaining olive oil over high heat in the same pan that was used to cook the onions. When the pan is hot but not smoking, add the potato mixture. Use a spatula to press the mixture down into the pan firmly and evenly. Turn the heat down to medium, and cook the potato mixture until the bottom is golden-brown and the pancake can move in the pan, about 12 to 15 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium-low if the pancake is browning too fast in places. Place a large plate on top of the pancake and flip the pancake out of the pan. Turn the heat on the pan back up to high. Add one tablespoon olive oil. When the pan is hot, slide the pancake back into the pan. Cook until the bottom is golden and the pancake is cooked through, about 12 to 15 minutes. Slide the pancake onto a serving platter, slice and serve.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 460, Calories from Fat: 207, Fat: 23 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (10 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 41 mg, Sodium: 1133 mg, Potassium: 1021 mg, Carbohydrates: 46 g, Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 24 g

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In


Dine In: Pesto Grilled Shrimp Kebabs


Pesto Grilled Shrimp KebabsPollen be darned!

Nothing is going to keep me from enjoying my patio this spring. Nothing relaxes me more than coming home on a Friday night and sitting outside with the birds singing, the sun setting and a great meal being prepped on the grill.

Shrimp are so fast and easy. This dish comes together quickly, right in the comfort of your own home with no long waits in the restaurant lobby and no being jostled by tweens taking selfies so they can post to Instagram.

When you make this, grill some lemon halves, then squeeze the smoky sweet juice over your shrimp, too. Serve with a crisp salad and a cold glass of sauvignon blanc.

Grilled Pesto Shrimp Kebabs

Ingredients:
1/2 cup basil, packed
1 small clove garlic
1 Tbs pine nuts, toasted
2 Tbs parmesan cheese, grated
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined

Directions:
Pulse the basil, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender until smooth.

Marinate the shrimp in the pesto for at least 20 minutes (up to overnight) in the refrigerator.

Skewer the shrimp and grill over medium-high heat until cooked, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 184, Fat: 11 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 147 mg, Sodium: 755 mg, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 0 g, Protein: 18 g



Shop the Sale: Lasagna Pasta


Lasagna PastaI have not made Italian food in a long time, at least not the variety with pastas and sauces. That’s a very different thing than the lighter fare that comes from the Mediterranean side of the country. That’s one of the things that makes Italy so entrancing: every region has a very distinct culinary style. The layered pastas tend to come more from the southern portion of the country.

While this isn’t a true lasagna, it definitely reminds you of a lasagna when you eat it. A few websites I cross-referenced claim this is a recipe from a weight-loss program, but I couldn’t confirm that.

Either way, you get the taste of lasagna without all the calories. In addition, you get a great deal because ground chuck is on sale this week at Brookshire’s.

Lasagna Pasta

Ingredients:
1 lb bowtie pasta, uncooked
1 Tbs olive oil
1 lb ground chuck
1 jar spaghetti sauce (or 3 cups homemade sauce)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 (heaping) tsp Italian seasoning
1 cup mozzarella, shredded
1 cup sour cream

Directions:
Boil pasta in large pot of salted water until al dente; drain. In large skillet, brown and crumble ground chuck until fully cooked; drain fat and return to pan. Pour cooked pasta on top of meat, then drizzle olive oil on top. Pour jar of sauce, salt, garlic powder and Italian seasonings on top of pasta. Stir pasta. Add cheese and sour cream. Stir over low heat until cheese is melted and all ingredients are combined. Taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve with parmesan or additional mozzarella, if desired.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 472, Calories from Fat: 162, Fat: 18 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (8 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 42 mg, Sodium: 679 mg, Potassium: 128 mg, Carbohydrates: 59 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 20 g

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



Healthy Living: Skinny Buffalo Chicken Soup


Skinny Buffalo Chicken SoupAs winter fades into spring, it reminds me that bathing suit season is right around the corner. “Hooray,” said no one, ever.

All joking aside, it also reminds me that I should be thinking about bathing suit season all year long, but my overall health is more important than how I’ll look in a bathing suit.

This soup combines the flavors of my favorite food in a healthy form. To eliminate even more calories and fat, use boneless, skinless chicken breasts in place of the rotisserie chicken, and poach or roast then shred before use.

Skinny Buffalo Chicken Soup

Ingredients:
2 lb rotisserie chicken, cooked and shredded
3 Tbs dry ranch dressing mix
1 large head cauliflower, chopped
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1 lb carrots, sliced
6 stalks celery, sliced
1 medium onion, diced
1 Tbs butter
1 cup Frank’s RedHot® Sauce
chopped green onions and bleu cheese crumbles, for garnish

Directions:
Boil cauliflower in stockpot with water, ranch seasoning, chicken broth and chicken stock until very tender, approximately 10 minutes.

While cauliflower is cooking, sauté carrots, celery and onions with the butter. Cook on medium heat until the onions are translucent and the vegetables are fork-tender.

Using an immersion blender, blend the cauliflower into a puree in the stockpot. It should blend completely and form a thicker base for the soup. Add the hot sauce and stir.

Add the celery, carrots and onions to the stockpot and stir.

Stir in chicken and let cook on low heat for 20 to 30 minutes

Serve hot with green onions and bleu cheese as garnish (optional).

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 436, Calories from Fat: 188, Fat: 21 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 140 mg, Sodium: 2257 mg, Potassium: 772 mg, Carbohydrates: 19 g, Fiber: 6 g, Sugar: 9 g, Protein: 38 g

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



Product Talk: Swanson Chicken Stock


Spanish RiceOf course, you can make soup with chicken stock, but it’s also really good in rice!

I’d always searched for a Spanish rice recipe that was like the kind you get when you eat in a Mexican restaurant, but hadn’t had any luck, until now.

The chicken stock adds a rich flavor to this rice but so does toasting the rice before adding the stock. You start this rice almost like you would a risotto, but the cooking method is different. It still produces a flavorful, rich finished product with a nutty taste and full flavor.

The chicken stock permeates the rice and gives it a great taste.

Spanish Rice

Ingredients:
3 Tbs butter
1 lb long-grain rice
1/3 cup onions, finely chopped
32 oz Swanson Chicken Stock
1/2 cup picante sauce

Directions:
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add raw rice and stir to coat. Cook, stirring constantly, until rice begins to toast. Add onions. Stir frequently until onions become translucent. Add chicken stock and picante sauce. Cover pan and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and leave pan on the burner for 18 minutes. Do not open the lid.

Remove from burner, fluff rice and let rest. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 260, Calories from Fat: 43, Fat: 5 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 11 mg, Sodium: 344 mg, Potassium: 73 mg, Carbohydrates: 47 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 6 g

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



Dine In: Quick Cheesy Garlic Crescent Rolls


Quick Cheesy Garlic Crescent RollsI think I’ve mentioned before that my boyfriend loves all things meat and potatoes. The problem, sometimes, is finding things to go with meat and potatoes, or as my sons say, “sides.”

“What sides are we having with the steak tonight, Mom?” is an example of a frequently asked question at my house. Even if dinner is a slow cooker or one-dish meal, they want to know what “sides” will be served to complement the main dish.

Their favorite side dish usually comes in the form of bread or rolls. They love garlic bread, cornbread, homemade beer bread, rolls with butter and really any kind of bread you could name.

I knew we’d end up making this recipe when I saw it was a combination of bread…and CHEESE. Now, it had all their favorite ingredients.

Plus, it’s quick and easy to make. They can pretty much do it themselves. It’s a delicious side dish (just don’t forget the vegetables) for a stay-at-home-meal on a Friday night.

Quick Cheesy Garlic Crescent Rolls
Makes 8

Ingredients:
1 pkg Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
4 units string cheese, cut in half
4 Tbs garlic, minced
4 Tbs butter, melted

Directions:
Preheat oven according to crescent roll package directions.

Unroll each crescent roll. Spread with about 1/2 tablespoon of minced garlic. Place a string cheese half on the long end, roll up and place in pan. Try to cover as much of the cheese as possible. Repeat with remaining cheese, garlic and rolls. Melt butter; pour over rolls in pan. Bake until golden-brown. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 197, Calories from Fat: 133, Fat: 15 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (8 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 23 mg, Sodium: 372 mg, Potassium: 19 mg, Carbohydrates: 13 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 4 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 Hormel Ham


Bacon-Wrapped Hormel HamI always host Easter Sunday at my house. Since I don’t have family in the area, it usually means my adopted family comes for the day. My adopted family includes the people from my Sunday school class and their children.

The number of guests usually multiplies faster than bunnies, so I need a simple supper that can feed a crowd with little fuss.

Hormel hams are the way to go.

They are pre-cooked, so you REALLY don’t have to do anything to them if you don’t want to. However, dressing them up a little bit doesn’t take much time or effort, and the results are quite dazzling and crowd-pleasing, if I do say so myself.

That leaves you time to dye eggs, hunt for eggs, and visit with friends and family.

Hormel hams are on sale, just in time for the holiday.

Bacon-Wrapped Hormel Ham

Ingredients:
1 Hormel Cure 81 ham, any size (about 1/2 lb per person)
1 pkg Hormel Black Label bacon

Directions:
Place the cut surface of the Cure 81 ham face-down in a baking pan or cast iron skillet, and add one cup of water.

Take a package of Hormel Black Label bacon, weave it together on a separate plate and flip the plate upside down over the ham so the weave covers the ham.

Cover the pan with aluminum foil, and bake the ham at 325° F for 15 minutes per pound.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 574, Calories from Fat: 318, Fat: 35 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (12 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 171 mg, Sodium: 3831 mg, Potassium: 864 mg, Carbohydrates: 9.2 g, Fiber: 3 g, Protein: 52 g

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Dine In: Toasted Italian Sandwich


Toasted Italian SandwichI’ve been craving a really good sandwich. I mean, a REALLY good sandwich with crusty bread, melty cheese and lots of savory fillings.

We have a really good sandwich place nearby; it’s just a little out of striking distance from my office and when they run out of fillings, they close down. They’re so popular that I have almost no hope of getting a sandwich there in the evenings. I had a Chicago beef sandwich there once that was the stuff dreams are made of. Seriously, that sandwich was as big as a football, and I could only eat about a quarter of it before crying “uncle.”

Therefore, I have to turn to my kitchen for a stacked cheesy, bready, meaty delight.

This recipe is delicious, simple to make and perfect for a casual Friday night. I’m not a HUGE fan of sun-dried tomatoes, so I made it with fresh ones, which worked just as well. I’d also urge you to use fresh mozzarella if you can; it makes a world of difference.

Toasted Italian Sandwich

Ingredients:
1 ciabatta roll
1 Tbs butter, softened
1 Tbs pesto sauce
1 Tbs sun-dried tomatoes (or 2 slices of fresh tomato)
2 slices fresh mozzarella
3 slices smoked deli ham
1 slice classic salami
1 slice cracked black pepper salami
1 slice classic pepperoni (or a handful of pizza-sized pepperoni)
1 slice turkey pepperoni

Directions:
Slice ciabatta roll in half. Spread a thin layer of butter on each cut side. Toast for about 1 minute. Top one slice with pesto sauce and the other with tomato slices. Toast another minute. Pile meats on top of the pesto and cheese on top of the tomato slices. Toast until cheese is melty and bread is golden-brown. Place cheese side on top of meat side, slice in half and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 699, Calories from Fat: 426, Fat: 47 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (21 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 162 mg, Sodium: 2225 mg, Potassium: 285 mg, Carbohydrates: 22 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 44 g

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

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In


Family Matters: Homemade Banana Bread


Homemade Banana BreadAbout a year ago, I found a recipe for banana bread made with buttermilk that is fantastic; it is so moist and has the best flavor. This is now our favorite bread recipe…it is delicious for breakfast (quick and easy for kids before school), snack time or a bedtime treat. You can heat a slice in the microwave and add a little butter – my husband’s favorite thing to do! It has been a family tradition to bake loaves of strawberry bread and give as gifts to close friends and teachers, and serve at family gatherings. Now, we have added this banana bread. If you enjoy bananas, this is a must-try recipe!

Homemade Banana Bread

Ingredients:
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1/2 cup Brookshire’s Buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups  ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup pecans, chopped

Directions:
Cream together the sugar and butter. Add eggs one at a time using a mixer. Stir baking soda into buttermilk then add to the mixture. Sift flour and baking powder; add to the mixture. Add vanilla and mashed bananas next; mix in and stir in pecans as the last item. Pour in a greased and floured 9 x 5 loaf pan (or 4 mini loaf pans, less cooking time). Bake at 300° F for approximately 1 1/2 hours or until bread is done (check with toothpick). Let cool shortly before removing from pan, or cut immediately and enjoy fresh hot bread with a glass of milk. Note: Bake it in a bundt pan for a fancy look and sprinkle with powdered sugar; it is a great party item.

Plan an afternoon and try this banana bread recipe – time in the kitchen with your family is an opportunity to bond and grow relationships. It may become a favorite family recipe that you can pass on for generations to come. Count your blessings daily and give thanks for the time you share with your family!



Shop the Sale: Smoked Spare Ribs


Smoked Spare RibsMy boyfriend got a smoker for his birthday a few weeks ago!

As of right this second we (notice I interjected myself right into his birthday gift there?) haven’t used it yet, but we’ve been fantasizing about the epic meals we will create in it once it finally stops raining. (Please, please, let it stop raining soon!).

One of the first things we’d like to do is smoke pork spare ribs. You see, we spent the weekend in Fort Worth not too long ago and we ate our body weight in meat. One of the memorable meals we had was at Riscky’s, in the Stockyards. We both had ribs and they had a crisp bark, a spicy sauce and a deep, smoky flavor.

We can’t wait to duplicate them. We might not have to wait much longer, as pork spare ribs are on sale this week at Brookshire’s.

Smoked Spare Ribs
Serves 6

Ingredients:
2 racks (about 4 pounds) pork spare ribs
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs ground cumin
2 tsp salt
2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Your favorite barbecue sauce

Directions:
Let the ribs rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

In a small bowl, make the rub by combining the sugar, chili powder, cumin, salt, mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, white pepper, and cayenne pepper with a fork.

Pat the ribs dry with paper towels. Then coat the ribs with the rub, using your hands to completely cover the surface of the meat with the spices.

Following the instructions below, smoke the ribs at 225°F (107°C) for 5 hours (about 1 hour more than the number of pounds of meat). Keep the coals smoldering at low heat so that the ribs don’t burn, catch fire, or overcook. Check the ribs periodically to make sure they aren’t drying out. Flip and move the ribs 90° every hour in order to get crosshatch sear marks across the flesh. The meat is done when it is tender and releases easily from the bone.

If using a smoker: Put your soaked chips in the smoking basket and your meat on the top racks.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 607, Calories from Fat: 347, Fat: 39 g (16 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 148 mg, Sodium: 1467 mg, Potassium: 72 mg, Carbohydrates: 8 g, Protein: 55 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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