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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

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Dine In: Steak and Potato Bites


Steak and Potato BitesMy boyfriend is a carnivore if there ever was one. He likes meat. He likes potatoes. The more ways I can cook them, the better.

So, last Friday night, we were trying to decide what to make for dinner. I’d worked a long day, and he’d worked an even longer one at his job, where he doesn’t follow a traditional schedule. All that to say, we were both tired.

The temptation to go out was strong, but the lure of making a meal at home together and relaxing (this means yoga pants, people) was a far greater pull. While this meal has a lot of steps, it’s easy and comes together quickly.

Don’t flip the potatoes once you have them on the grill. That will get messy. Instead, after they’re golden-brown on the bottom, close the lid of the grill in order to let the tops of the potatoes get warm and melty.

You can make these as appetizers and serve a big group, or as a dinner for two as we did. (Make more steak and this could easily serve four, just by the sheer volume of potatoes!)

Steak and Potato Bites

Ingredients:

For the Potato Bites:
1 lb baby potatoes
1/2 cup butter, divided
1 cup mozzarella
1 to 2 chipotle peppers in adobo, diced super small
1/2 tsp onion salt
1/2 tsp garlic salt or powder
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup olive oil

For the Steak Bites:
1 1/2 lb sirloin steak
4 Tbs butter
salt and pepper, to taste
1 to 2 Tbs roasted garlic
1 to 2 Tbs mixed black pepper, red pepper and paprika

Directions:
Preheat the grill to medium heat.

For the Potato Bites:
Boil your potatoes for 8 to 12 minutes, depending on their size, until they are fork-tender but still firm enough that they won’t fall apart when hollowing them out.

Drain your potatoes and allow to cool slightly.

Take a small measuring spoon or melon baller, and scoop out as much of the inside of the potatoes as possible without them falling apart. Transfer those scooped out bits to a food processor bowl that’s been fitted with a steel blade for mixing. Set the hollowed-out potatoes aside.

Add the rest of your ingredients to the food processor bowl, and process a few times until your potato mixture is the consistency of cookie dough. Add a small amount of olive oil, if necessary. Scoop out about 1 tablespoon of your mixture for each potato and start stuffing them. Place the finished potatoes in a grill pan.

Add butter; don’t fear the butter.

Put the grill pan on a preheated medium-heat outdoor grill, and cook for about 10 minutes (covered). Uncover and cook another 2 to 5 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes and the heat of the grill. You want them browning on the bottom and the filling just starting to ooze and melt.

Once they are ready, carefully remove them from the grill and transfer them to a serving plate.

For the Steak Bites:
Cut the beef into bite-sized pieces; think beef tips when you go to a restaurant.

Add half of the butter to a cast iron pan. Put the pan on the grill. Allow it to sizzle a bit and start to turn to brown butter, then toss in your beef to cook it. Stir the beef as it cooks.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss the rest of the butter, the garlic and the pepper into the pan.

Continue to cook and allow the spices to coat the meat. Total cooking time should only be about 6 or 8 minutes total, depending on the size of the beef pieces.

Remove from heat and transfer to a serving bowl or plate.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 920, Calories from Fat: 549, Fat: 61 g (30 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 260 mg, Sodium: 755 mg, Potassium: 1111 mg, Carbohydrates: 20 g, Fiber: 5 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 74 g

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Dine In: Chicken Mozzarella Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes


Chicken Mozzarella Pasta with Sun-Dried TomatoesI’m always in the market for a good pasta dish.

Sun-dried tomatoes were a popular ingredient a few years ago. You saw them in salads, casseroles, on pizzas and in pastas, but I hadn’t seen them around for a few years until I ran across this recipe recently.

Sun-dried tomatoes are exactly what they say, sun-dried slices of summer. You can find them dried or packed in oil. They have a concentrated flavor and a chewy texture. They are delicious!

This recipe calls for shredded mozzarella, but if you use fresh, cut it into small chunks about the size of dice. You’ll love the fresh flavor it imparts to the dish.

This meal packs protein, carbs and delicious flavor into one meal. Serve with a salad and breadsticks for a wonderful Friday night dinner that will wind down the week in style.

Chicken Mozzarella Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Ingredients:
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 small jar (3 to 4 oz) sun-dried tomatoes in oil, or use 3 to 4 oz fat-free sun-dried tomatoes
1 lb chicken breast tenders
salt, to taste
1 tsp paprika
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
8 oz penne pasta
1 Tbs basil, if using dry basil (if using fresh basil, you can add more)
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup cooked pasta water, reserved

Note: If using sun-dried tomatoes in oil (in a jar), make sure to drain sun-dried tomatoes from oil before using them. Reserve 2 tablespoons of this drained oil for sautéing as described below:

Directions:
In a large pan on high heat, sauté garlic and sun-dried tomatoes (drained from oil) in 2 tablespoons of oil reserved from the sun-dried tomatoes jar (see note above) for 1 minute until garlic is fragrant. Remove sun-dried tomatoes from the pan, leaving the oil. Add chicken tenders, salted and lightly covered in paprika (for color); cook on high heat for 1 minute on each side. Remove from heat.

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve some cooked pasta water. Drain and rinse the pasta with cold water (to stop the cooking process).

Slice sun-dried tomatoes into smaller bits and add them back to the skillet with the chicken. Add half-and-half and cheese to the skillet, too. Bring to a gentle boil. Immediately, reduce to a simmer and cook, constantly stirring, until all cheese melts and creamy sauce forms. (If the sauce is too thick, don’t worry. You’ll be adding some cooked pasta water soon.) Add cooked pasta to the skillet with the creamy sauce; stir to combine. Add 1 tablespoon of basil and at least 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.

Add about 1/2 cup reserved cooked pasta water because the creamy sauce will be too thick. (Do not add all water at once. You might need less or more of it.) This will water down the thickness of the cheese sauce and make it creamier. Immediately, season the pasta with salt and more red pepper flakes to taste, if needed. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes for flavors to combine.

Note: Make sure to salt the dish just enough to bring out the flavors of basil and sun-dried tomatoes.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 339, Calories from Fat: 88, Fat: 10 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (5 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 83 mg, Sodium: 685 mg, Potassium: 796 mg, Carbohydrates: 35 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 7 g, Protein: 29 g

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Dine In: Parmesan-Crusted Bacon Chicken


Parmesan-Crusted Bacon ChickenI have been putting in some really long hours at work, as I prepare to leave one career and start a new one, but that still gives me time for my favorite hobby: cooking.

Friday nights are the perfect time for trying new recipes. I don’t want to fight the crowds at a restaurant on a Friday night, but I do want to unwind with my kids, my sweetie, a glass of wine and delicious smells coming from my kitchen.

When it’s just me and my boyfriend at home, we tend to grill. When my boys are home, anything I’ve come across that looks delicious is fair game.

I don’t usually fry foods, but putting a golden sear on this chicken adds to the flavor. It’s more of a quick pan-sear than it is a deep-fry. However, it does give the chicken a yummy crust.

We made this not too long ago, and it was devoured before I could make a second batch.

Parmesan-Crusted Bacon Chicken

Ingredients:
3/4 cup vegetable oil, for frying
4 (4 to 5 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 to 1 1/2 cups Asiago cheese, shredded
3 to 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbs water

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350° F.

In a small shallow bowl, mix egg and water.

In another shallow bowl, mix parmesan cheese, pepper, salt and garlic.

Heat oil over high heat.

Dip each chicken breast first in egg mixture then in cheese.

Fry in hot oil until crust is golden-brown. *Note: If oil isn’t hot enough, your crust may stick to the bottom of the pan.

Prepare a baking pan by covering with foil and placing wire rack on top.

Place chicken on rack and bake about 20 minutes, or until juices run clear. (Cook time will depend on thickness of chicken.)

Remove from oven and turn oven to broil setting.

Top each piece of chicken with Asiago cheese and bacon; place under broiler to melt cheese.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 959, Calories from Fat: 685, Fat: 76 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (21 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 198 mg, Sodium: 1258 mg, Potassium: 374 mg, Carbohydrates: 3 g, Protein: 67 g

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Dine In: Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole


Chicken Cordon Bleu CasseroleWhen I was growing up, we always got to choose our birthday dinners. My mom would make us anything our little hearts desired.

I distinctly remember being the complicated kid. Maybe I just had refined tastes. Yep, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

On more than one occasion, I wanted chicken cordon bleu. I’m not even sure where I had it for the first time, but I know I loved it.

This casserole is a much easier version of the classic French dish. I introduced chicken cordon bleu to my boys this way one recent Friday night, and they loved it. They don’t even know there’s a much more complicated way to make it, but it’s the taste that counts, right? This dish captures the taste perfectly.

 

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Ingredients:
5-6 cups cooked chicken, shredded or diced (rotisserie-style is super easy to use)
1/2 lb deli ham, thinly sliced and roughly chopped
1/4 lb baby Swiss cheese, thinly sliced

For the sauce:
4 Tbs butter
4 Tbs flour
3 1/4 cups whole milk
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp white pepper

For the topping:
6 Tbs butter
1 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
3/4 tsp seasoned salt
1 1/2 tsp dried parsley, crushed

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter a 9 x 13 baking dish. Set aside.

Put cooked, shredded or diced chicken on the bottom of the baking dish. Scatter the ham over the top of the chicken. Lay the Swiss cheese on top of the ham.

For the sauce:
Melt the butter in a large sauce pot over medium heat. When butter is melted, quickly stir in the flour to form a smooth roux. Do not brown! Once the roux is smooth and bubbly, slowly pour in the cold milk while stirring briskly to make a smooth sauce. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Stir in the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt, smoked paprika and white pepper. Bring sauce just back to a low boil and turn off heat. Pour sauce evenly over the casserole, being certain to get some of the sauce around the edges of the pan.

For the topping:
Melt the butter in the microwave in a medium-sized microwaveable bowl. Heat it for 30 seconds at a time and stop once it’s melted. Take the bowl out of the microwave and stir in the panko bread-crumbs, seasoning salt and crushed parsley. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole.

Bake casserole uncovered for 45 minutes until hot and bubbly throughout and topping has turned a light golden-brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes prior to serving.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 690, Calories from Fat: 342, Fat: 38 g (21.1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 192 mg, Sodium: 1847 mg, Potassium: 597 mg, Carbohydrates: 32 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 9 g, Protein: 54 g

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Dine In: Cherry-Pineapple Dump Cake


Cherry-Pineapple Dump CakeOne of my most vivid memories of growing up is the night my dad made dinner.

Now, before you think it was a singular night, it wasn’t. There were many nights later on when I remember my dad grilling or helping with dinner, but it didn’t happen very often in the early years.

We lived in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and there were four of us kids at that point. Four kids under the age of 8. My mom was a stay-at-home mom, and my dad was the breadwinner as a physical therapist at a local hospital. My dad worked HARD. My mom probably worked harder.

At some point, they came to an agreement that my dad would help out with dinner on Sunday nights. I don’t remember those details, but I do remember that first time he cooked dinner. It was a big deal with a capital “B” and “D.” (My mom probably played it up to give him incentive to keep doing it!). We had burgers on the grill, french fries and cherry-pineapple dump cake for dessert.

I don’t think we’d ever had a dump cake before, or it wouldn’t stand out so significantly in my mind.

I just remember it being so delicious.

I think I’ll make it for my family tonight.

Cherry-Pineapple Dump Cake

Ingredients:
1 can cherry pie filling
1 can crushed pineapple
1 box yellow or white cake mix (gluten-free works)
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Directions:
Lightly spray a bundt pan or pan of choice.

First, layer the bottom with cherry pie filling then crushed pineapple. Sprinkle cake mix evenly on top. Using a stick of butter, cut into thin slices and lay the butter slices on top of the cake mix layer. Top with chopped walnuts.

Bake at 350° F for 40 to 50 minutes or until the top is golden-brown.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 382, Calories from Fat: 168, Fat: 19 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 20 mg, Sodium: 354 mg, Potassium: 175 mg, Carbohydrates: 51 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 25 g, Protein: 5 g

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Dine In: Hot Chocolate Shots


Hot Chocolate Shots‘Twas the night before Valentine’s Day…and all through the house, I was prepping for a romantic Saturday night meal.

It doesn’t matter if you have a special someone or not, Valentine’s Day is all about the people you love. All of them.

This year, I’ll be spending Valentine’s Day with my sweetie and my first loves – my two boys. We’ll have a special meal, and it will celebrate our love for each other. It will also be kid-friendly.

I did a trial run on these hot chocolate shots (no alcohol involved!) around Christmastime, and they were so popular that I decided to bring them back for Valentine’s Day.

The only problem with them is that you want several! I’m going to dip the chocolate rims of the glasses into red sprinkles before serving to add a Valentine’s flair.

Hot Chocolate Shots

Ingredients:
2 Tbs butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup chocolate ice cream
1 square unsweetened baking chocolate
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 tsp orange extract
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
whipped cream, orange zest and grated chocolate, for garnish

Directions:
In a saucepan, melt together the butter, sugar, ice cream and baking chocolate until smooth. Whisk in the water and orange flavoring. Heat over medium-high heat, just until steaming. Serve with whipped cream, a sprinkling of orange zest and grated chocolate in chocolate-dipped shot glasses.

To chocolate-coat the edges of your shot glasses, microwave 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips in a small, microwave-safe bowl just until melted. (The chocolate should be smooth and melty but not hot. Overheating it will cause the chocolate to mottle as it cools and hardens, so be careful that you only just microwave it until it’s barely melted.) Dip the edges of each shot glass into the melted chocolate. Allow the chocolate to cool and harden before pouring hot cocoa into the glasses.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 194, Calories from Fat: 120, Fat: 13 g (8 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 31 mg, Sodium: 78 mg, Potassium: 146 mg, Carbohydrates: 20 g, Fiber: 1.4 g, Sugar: 17 g, Protein: 2 g

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Dine In: Steak Rolls


Steak RollsDinner last night was transcendent.

Even before I tasted it, I told my boyfriend, the chef de cuisine for the evening, that I was going to blog about it.

After I tasted it, I wanted to lick the cast iron skillet.

This dish sounded weird to me. I mean, pickles and beef? In theory, it shouldn’t sound odd. I eat pickles on my hamburgers all the time, but I was still curious about how it was going to turn out.

Turns out, it’s amazing with an incredible umami (you know, those elusive flavors which combine to create sheer heaven in a dish). The acid from the pickles works with the sugar in the sauce, and the thickening flour and savory beef bring it all together.

Even my younger son who is an extremely picky eater cleaned his plate.

This was a special-occasion meal for my boyfriend when he was growing up. His face glowed with fond memories when he told me about it. Trust me, it made our evening special, too.

Steak Rolls
Serves 6

Ingredients:
3 lb round steak, pounded to tenderize and cut into (12) 2-inch wide strips about 8 inches long each
12 slices bacon
12 Vlasic Kosher Dill Stackers
4 Tbs Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
6 Tbs all purpose flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil, for frying
2 cups ketchup
3/4 cup, approximately, Worcestershire sauce
toothpicks

Directions:
Place steak strips on a flat surface; sprinkle liberally with seasoned salt. Place a strip of bacon on top of each steak strip and top that with a pickle, trimmed to fit if necessary. Carefully roll into a bundle, securing with a toothpick. Gently dredge steak rolls in flour. Heat vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet until oil sizzles when a drop of water is added. Place steak rolls in the skillet and fry until lightly browned. Turn over and fry the other side until lightly browned. Drain fat from the cast iron skillet or remove steak rolls to another baking dish.

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Mix ketchup and Worcestershire sauce until mixture is almost brown. Pour over steak rolls. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Turn heat off. Let stand in the oven for 10 more minutes. Serve immediately. This dish is great with a side of rice to help soak up the extra sauce.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 940, Calories from Fat: 469, Fat: 52 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (16 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 224 mg, Sodium: 2412 mg, Potassium: 1424 mg, Carbohydrates: 34 g, Sugar: 24 g, Protein: 81 g

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Dine In: Chicken Breasts Lombardy


Chicken Breasts LombardyFor my eleventh birthday, my parents took me to a French restaurant in downtown Richmond, Virginia. La Petite France was an iconic restaurant that opened in 1971, and it stayed in business until 2008.

I can’t even tell you how huge this dinner was for me and how it’s stuck in my head for 30 years.

First of all, we just didn’t eat out. If we did, it was McDonald’s, certainly not a fancy restaurant all the way downtown with valet parking and candles on the tables.

I’m really not sure what prompted my parents to pull out all the stops for my eleventh birthday, but they did.

I got all dressed up. At age 11, that meant a church dress (I can still see it…dove gray with magenta color-blocking on the shoulders), white tights and black patent leather shoes. My fancy clothes. My parents hired a babysitter for the rest of my siblings, and we drove downtown for dinner, just the three of us.

The restaurant was dim and hushed with candles and small lamps on heavy, white tablecloths. My dad wore a suit and tie, and my mom also had on a dress with heels. My dad pulled out the chair for me and my mom.

They ordered for me, I think. I wasn’t a picky eater so I’m sure anything would have been good. I had a chicken breast smothered in mushrooms and a wine sauce (I probably didn’t know that at the time), a fluffy roll served on a separate plate, and asparagus. There was a chocolate confection for dessert, which came with a candle blazing on it.

I felt so grown up.

This recipe is pretty close to what I had at dinner that night, and it takes me back to those memories every time I think of a “fancy” dinner.

Chicken Breasts Lombardy

Ingredients:
1 (8 oz) pkg fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbs butter, melted
6 chicken breasts, skinned and boned
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup marsala wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 green onions, chopped

Directions:
Cook mushrooms in 2 tablespoons butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, for about 3 to 5 minutes or just until tender. Remove from heat; set aside.

Cut each chicken breast in half lengthwise. Place chicken between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; flatten to 1/8-inch thickness, using a meat mallet or rolling pin.

Dredge chicken pieces in flour. Cook chicken in batches in 1 to 2 tablespoons butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until golden. Place chicken in a lightly greased 13 x 9-inch baking dish, overlapping edges. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken and butter. Reserve pan drippings in skillet. Sprinkle mushrooms evenly over chicken.
Add wine and broth to skillet. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in salt and pepper. Pour sauce over chicken. Combine cheeses and green onions; sprinkle over chicken.

Bake uncovered at 450° F for 12 to 14 minutes or until cheese melts.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 586, Calories from Fat: 291, Fat: 32 g, Cholesterol: 193 mg, Sodium: 780 mg, Carbohydrates: 12 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 56 g

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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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