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Shop the Sale: Turkey in a Paper Sack

Turkey in a Paper SackThis will be our second Thanksgiving together, and this year, Paul is cooking the turkey his way. I mean, mine was good and all that, but Paul never steers me wrong, especially when it comes to cooking meat.

Late celebrity chef David Wade from Dallas was not only a great chef, but he was a personal friend of Paul’s, so Paul makes his Thanksgiving turkey the way David Wade prepared his: in a brown paper grocery bag.


Yep, a brown Brookshire’s bag works just fine.

Is it okay if it has ink on it? Yep, that’s perfectly fine, too.

What you must NOT do is deviate from this recipe. The turkey has to be 12 pounds or larger, or it won’t cook right. Don’t use more than a cup of peanut oil, or you’ll have a fire on your hands. It must be peanut oil, which has a high heating point. Other than that, it’s a simple and delicious recipe, and I look forward to not basting the bird or wrangling with the hot oven.

Buckley Farms turkeys are on sale now, so grab one (or two), ask for paper bags at the checkout and enjoy a fuss-free Thanksgiving.

Turkey in a Paper Sack

1 (12 lb) Buckley Farms turkey, room temperature
3 Tbs paprika
1 cup peanut oil (no substitutions)
2 Tbs salt
2 tsp pepper
2 Tbs Worcestershire powder
1 heavy, brown paper Brookshire’s grocery bag

Preheat oven to 325° F.

Inspect brown paper bag thoroughly for any holes. Bag cannot have any holes or tears.

Wash turkey and pat dry with paper towels.

Mix paprika, salt, pepper and Worcestershire powder together in a small bowl.

Rub turkey with about 1/2 cup of peanut oil, inside and out. Then, massage seasonings into bird. Pour remaining oil into the brown paper bag, completely coating the surface. Place turkey inside the bag, breast-side up, and place the bag into a large roasting pan.

Seal the end of the bag tightly using twine. Make sure the top of the bag does NOT touch the top or sides of the oven.

Bake 10 minutes per pound without opening the bag.

When time is up, remove from the oven. Carefully slit the top of the bag, allowing steam to escape. Allow to vent, and then remove the bag.

Serves 12

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 937, Calories from Fat: 368, Fat: 41 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (10 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 343 mg, Sodium: 1488 mg, Potassium: 1397 mg, Carbohydrates: 1 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 0 g, Protein: 133 g.

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Dine In: Braised Short Ribs

Braised Short RibsLast Friday night was the perfect night to stay home and cook something fabulous.

It was raining, chilly and the eve of a certain spooky holiday that’s perfect for watching scary movies and snuggling.

So, stay home and cook, we did. I’m oh-so-glad we did, too. It’s five days later, and my house STILL smells like the delicious braised short ribs we made. Yep, they were that good that the scent is still lingering.

This recipe is adapted from a Pioneer Woman recipe. If you’re going to make a slow-cooked, savory dish that features bone-in meat in a rich sauce, the Pioneer Woman is a pretty good example to follow! She serves hers on creamy polenta. I opted for mashed potatoes. Anything to sop up the delicious gravy that’s produced during the braising process would be a good accompaniment for this dish.

Braised Short Ribs

8 whole beef short ribs (bone-in)
kosher salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup all purpose flour
6 slices bacon, diced
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 white onion, diced
2 cups baby carrots
4 oz tomato paste
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
2 cups beef stock
4 Tbs garlic, minced
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh rosemary

Coat ribs liberally in salt and pepper, and then dredge in flour, pressing flour to adhere to meat. Set aside.

In a large Dutch oven or heavy-duty skillet, brown bacon over medium heat until crispy and fat is rendered. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon; set on paper towels to drain.

Add olive oil to the bacon grease in the pan, and raise the heat to high. Working in two batches, brown ribs on all sides, about 45 seconds per side. Remove ribs and let rest. Reduce heat to medium.

Add onions, carrots and garlic to the pan; cook for 2 minutes. Add broth and scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add tomato paste and vinegar. Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes.

If you’re continuing to cook in your Dutch oven, proceed. If you need to transfer vegetable broth mixture to an oven-proof baking dish with a lid, do that now.

Add broth, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and black pepper to the liquid in the large ovenproof pot. Add ribs to the liquid; they should be almost completely submerged.

Add whole sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme.

Place a lid on the pot and put in the oven. Cook at 350° F for 2 hours, and then reduce heat to 325° F, cooking an additional 45 minutes at that temperature. Remove from oven and let stand, covered, for 20 minutes. Meat should be fork-tender and falling off the bone. Serve on top of creamy polenta, mashed potatoes, rice or egg noodles.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 377, Calories from Fat: 228, Fat: 25 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 47 mg, Sodium: 1408 mg, Potassium: 694 mg, Carbohydrates: 18 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 5 g, Protein: 20 g.

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Shop the Sale: Chicken and Rice Bake

Chicken and Rice BakeWhen I graduated from college and moved away, I didn’t just go across town or a few hours away, I moved from Virginia all the way to Germany.

It was an amazing adventure, but I was pretty homesick, especially at first. One of the things my mom gave me before I left was a recipe box filled with index cards on which she’d painstakingly copied some of my favorite recipes, so I could recreate them on my own. I was a pretty spoiled kid; I’d never had to cook because my mom always did it. The cooking learning-curve was pretty steep, and there were no cooking shows on Armed Forces Network in the early ‘90s.

One of the first recipes I tried was a chicken dish featuring leg quarters, rice, cream of something soup and broccoli. The rice didn’t cook, and it was hard and crunchy. I bought chicken thighs instead of legs (the thigh is part of the leg, right?), and it was pretty much a total disaster.

Years later, I pretty much know what I did wrong, but there are also products like instant rice available to help out.

I also figured out chicken leg quarters, which are a delightful cut featuring tender, juicy parts of the bird. They’re also on sale this week at Brookshire’s, so I figured it would be a good time to reprise this old favorite.

Chicken and Rice Bake

4 chicken leg quarters
1 (4.5 oz) pkg instant long-grain and wild rice
2 cups water
1 (10.75 oz) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 (8 oz) ctn sour cream
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbs garlic, minced
1 cup broccoli florets
salt and black pepper, to taste
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Spray a large 9 x 13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Place chicken leg quarters in pan, covering with foil. Bake for 45 minutes.

Combine rice and seasoning packages, salt and pepper, water, soup, sour cream, garlic and broccoli; stir to thoroughly combine.

Remove chicken from oven, and remove chicken to platter. Drain oil and juices from baking pan. Spread the rice mixture in the bottom of the pan; top with cheese then chicken. Bake uncovered for an additional 30 to 45 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked through.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 801, Calories from Fat: 445, Fat: 50 g (21 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 230 mg, Sodium: 1766 mg, Carbohydrates: 37 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 54 g.

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Shop the Sale: Oven-Baked, Crunchy Honey-Garlic Chicken

Oven-Baked, Crunchy Honey-Garlic ChickenI’m forever in the market for delicious, interesting, not-your-average chicken recipes.

This one fits the bill to a T.

At first, honey and garlic sounded like a strange combination to me, but the pungent garlic offsets the sweetness of the honey and the added spices complement it all beautifully.

The true majesty of this recipe comes in the double-dredge and oven-baked crispiness. The secret to crispy, oven-baked chicken is keeping the temperature of the oven hot, hot, hot. First, you heat the pan. Then, you keep the oven door closed tightly against drafts and against soggy chicken. The double-dredging helps, too. When you flip the chicken, take it all the way out of the oven and close the door while you’re turning the chicken to help the heat stay in, too.

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are on sale this week at Brookshire’s. You might want to buy extra because your family is sure to love this recipe.

Oven-Baked, Crunchy Honey-Garlic Chicken
Serves 4

4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups flour
4 tsp salt
4 tsp black pepper
3 Tbs ground ginger
1 Tbs freshly ground nutmeg
2 tsp ground thyme
2 tsp ground sage
2 Tbs paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
4 eggs
8 Tbs water
canola oil, for greasing pan
2 Tbs olive oil
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tsp ground black pepper

Pound chicken breasts between 2 sheets of wax paper to an even 1/2-inch thickness.

Sift together flour, salt, black pepper, ground ginger, nutmeg, thyme, sage, paprika and cayenne pepper.

Whisk together eggs and water to create an egg wash.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and then dredge in flour mixture. Dip into egg wash and then again into the flour mixture, pressing crust to chicken to help it stick.

Heat a baking sheet in a 425° F oven. Preheating the pan helps make the crust crispy. Cover the bottom of the pan with a thin drizzle of canola oil using only enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Working quickly, place all the chicken pieces on the pan and return to the oven.

While the chicken is cooking, make the sauce by heating a heavy saucepan to medium heat. Add olive oil and minced garlic; cook until soft but not browned. Add the honey, soy sauce and black pepper. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes; remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Bake the chicken for 15 minutes without opening the door. At the 15-minute mark, flip the chicken over and continue cooking for 10 to 15 more minutes until golden-brown. Do not open the oven door while cooking or the crust won’t be crisp.

Remove chicken from oven; dip in sauce and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 882, Calories from Fat: 198, Fat: 22 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (5.4 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 265 mg, Sodium: 3394 mg, Potassium: 698 mg, Carbohydrates: 129 g, Fiber: 5 g, Sugar: 71 g, Protein: 47 g.

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Shop the Sale: Smoked Sausage Casserole

Smoked Sausage CasseroleIt has been dry as a bone in East Texas where Brookshire’s is headquartered, but today, it’s finally raining.

I think it’s only rained once since May, and the landscape is a dust bowl, needless to say. My backyard is a sand pit, and my big, old dog tracks it in every time he goes in and out. So then, by default, my living room is a sand pit, too, and it takes a lot of work to keep it clean.

Right now, the rain is falling blissfully, gently enough to let it soak into the parched earth but continuously enough that it’s helping the parched conditions.

I love to be outside on the patio in the evenings, but tonight is going to be all about candles, my couch and a movie! This casserole is the perfect comfort food. It’s warm, gooey and delicious. Of course, best of all, it uses Eckrich Smoked Sausage, which is on sale this week at Brookshire’s.

Smoked Sausage Casserole
Serves 4

3 cups baking potatoes, peeled and diced
1 lb Eckrich Smoked Sausage
1/2 cup white onions, diced
4 Tbs butter
4 Tbs flour
2 cups milk
1/2 lb Velveeta cheese, diced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Boil potatoes until fork tender; drain and cool.

Slice sausage into rounds, then in half again to make “moons.”

Sauté in a heavy skillet with onions until sausage is slightly browned and onions are opaque.

Gently combine potatoes, sausage and onions in a large casserole dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large saucepan, melt butter. Whisk in flour until a paste forms; slowly add milk and let thicken. Add Velveeta, salt and pepper; stir until smooth and creamy.

Pour on top of potato mixture. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top.

Bake at 350° F for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the top is golden-brown.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 871, Calories from Fat: 587, Fat: 65 g (32 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 177 mg, Sodium: 2327 mg, Carbohydrates: 37 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 7 g, Protein: 34 g.

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Shop the Sale: Carolina Pulled Pork

Carolina Pulled PorkI’ve been craving some North Carolina-style barbecue. Pulled pork with a vinegar-based sauce on a soft bun with coleslaw.

Today, my boyfriend Paul is indulging me in that craving.

He got up at the crack of dawn and headed to Brookshire’s for a pork butt (which, incidentally, are on sale now at your local store), which he rubbed with a secret (until you read the recipe below) spice rub and put in the smoker, slow-cooking it over mesquite until it developed a glorious crisp crust and a juicy, tender, fall-apart interior. Then he toted it over to my house, undoubtedly leaving behind a trail of aromatic smoke. I’m surprised half the city isn’t sitting in my driveway right about now.
Meanwhile, I made a vinegar-based coleslaw (neither of us are huge fans of mayonnaise) to serve on top. In North Carolina, they pull (or shred) their pork, put it on a bun, add a dollop of sauce and a scoop of coleslaw and there you go! Dinner is served.

Carolina Pulled Pork
Serves about 10


4 lb pork butt
2 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs garlic powder
1/2 Tbs ground black pepper
1/2 Tbs ground cumin
1/4 Tbs oregano
1 Tbs Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
barbecue sauce, to taste

Combine spices in a shallow bowl until blended. Rub spices into pork butt until well-coated. Drizzle meat with Worcestershire sauce.

Prepare smoker or grill pan with mesquite chips. Smoke pork butt for 6 hours (1 1/2 hours per pound). Shred, either adding your favorite sauce to the meat or pouring it on top.
Serve alone or on a bun.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 364, Calories from Fat: 113, Fat: 13 g, Trans Fat:0 g, (4 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 167 mg, Sodium: 151 mg, Potassium: 741 mg, Carbohydrates: 3 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 57 g.

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Product Talk: Foster Farms Buffalo Wings

Foster Farms Buffalo WingsOn vacation last summer, we spent a dreary, drizzly day touring the USS Wisconsin, a naval warship dry docked in Norfolk, Va. We spent hours on the ship, where a very enthusiastic and loquacious World War II-era volunteer (who had served on the ship) taught us how to tie every kind of knot that you might ever need in your whole entire lifetime. He went into great detail. Very great detail.

Point being, by the time we ended that adventure, we were hungry. No, starving.

Being in unfamiliar territory, we didn’t want to venture too far off the beaten path to look for lunch. I was willing to Google some great places to eat, but the teenagers in the backseat weren’t as accommodating. We ended up eating at a national chain restaurant that served chicken wings.

Now, you KNOW I love buffalo chicken, so I ordered the buffalo chicken hot wings.

Oh. My. Goodness. Gracious.

I love hot food. I love spicy food. I love hot, spicy food.

However, for whatever reason, these wings bamboozled me, setting my mouth (and my stomach) on fire. No amount of water quelled the flames I was facing (and I wasn’t desperate enough to drink milk, even though dairy products are the most effective at cutting the heat from fiery foods).

I swore I would never eat wings again.

That was until I was tempted to try a frozen brand from Brookshire’s. You know how the “never” word works!

Foster Farms Hot & Spicy Buffalo Wings ARE hot and spicy, but not enough to require an oral lavage and case of antacids.

They bake up crispy, yet saucy, and have a deep tang with a burst of flavor that satisfies all the senses.
Best of all, you don’t have to work with the raw chicken; you just pop them in the oven and heat them quickly.

These have become a favorite in our household, and I’ll keep choosing them over mouth-burning, stomach-churning wings any day.

Shop the Sale: French Onion Burgers

French Onion BurgersI love a good burger.

I also love the fact that burgers are almost a blank canvas; you can create almost any meal with a good, basic burger.

A good burger starts with good meat. I like Angus ground chuck, which is on sale this week at Brookshire’s.

Then, you can add anything you want, from a light seasoning to a total burger overhaul.

Recently inspired by a picture of French onion soup in a magazine, I went for total overhaul. The classic elements of French onion soup are caramelized onions, a rich stock and a cheesy crouton on top to sop up the juices.

I tried to create a burger that would mimic the flavors and classic elements of the soup. I think it was a success!

French Onion Burgers

4 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 large yellow onions
1 1/2 lbs Angus ground chuck
1/4 cup dry red wine
4 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbs garlic powder
2 Tbs Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
4 good-quality hamburger rolls, sliced
4 Tbs butter, softened
4 oz Swiss cheese, sliced

Heat a skillet to medium heat and add olive oil. Swirl until olive oil is warmed through. Add onions; cook slowly, about 20 minutes, until they are a rich, caramel color. Set aside.

Meanwhile, mix red wine, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder and Lawry’s into Angus ground chuck. Form into 8 thin patties. Place a heaping tablespoon of onions on top of 1 thin patty, and then cover with another patty, making 4 burgers. (If you want to stuff with the cheese as well, instead of placing on top, do so at this time.)

Grill burgers over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes each side, or until cooked to desired doneness.

While burgers are cooking, slather butter onto insides of hamburger buns, and grill until slightly toasty. Remove burgers from grill, and top with Swiss cheese. Place patties on buttered, grilled buns and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 950, Calories from Fat: 617, Fat: 67 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (28 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 177 mg, Sodium: 624 mg, Potassium: 210 mg, Carbohydrates: 35 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 10 g, Protein: 43 g.

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Dine In: Veal Milanese

Veal Milanese with Lemon Wine Caper SauceOver the weekend, we tried a new-to-me restaurant in our town where my boyfriend, Paul, used to be a regular. I can’t believe I’ve lived in Tyler, Texas, for seven years and had not been to this restaurant yet (especially with my love of eating out), but I hadn’t. When Paul suggested it for a pre-symphony feast, I readily hopped on board.

The Italian restaurant, in an unobtrusive commercial location, strikes the perfect balance between traditional and kitschy, with homage to the red-checked tablecloths that have come to mean Italian dining, juxtaposed with pictures of famous movie stars and singers that lend a slightly pretentious suggestion of connections to a bright, bold and flashy world. The lounge singer who came on while we were there was the perfect touch.

Kitsch aside, the waitstaff and the food were impeccable. The bread, freshly out of the oven, was crisp on the outside, and chewy and hot on the inside. The house Chianti was fragrant and fruity, and the meatballs were just like the ones my mom makes.

I indulged in the Veal Milanese because it’s a dish I would rarely make at home, except for maybe a special Friday night every once in a while. A traditional milanesa is a breaded veal cutlet. This version featured a lemon wine sauce, but what set it apart, other than the fact you could tell it was fresh and homemade, was the capers. The capers were plump and bright, and lent a burst of acidity to the rich dish.

This dish also works if you substitute chicken for veal.

Veal Milanese with Lemon Wine Caper Sauce

salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup flour
2 lbs veal, portioned into 4 parts and pounded to about 1/2 inch thick
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 Tbs butter
3/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup capers
1/2 lemon, juiced
chopped parsley leaves, for garnish
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced (for garnish)

Mix salt, pepper and flour in a shallow dish.

Pound veal cutlets to thin and even dimensions.

Dredge the veal cutlets in the flour mixture. Shake off excess; set aside.

Melt 2 tablespoons olive oil with the butter in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat.

Add the veal and brown on both sides. When cooked through, remove from pan and tent with foil to keep warm. Deglaze the pan with white wine and swirl, scraping the bits of browned veal up into the sauce. Add the chicken stock; cook until the liquid has thickened. Add 1 tablespoon more olive oil, capers, lemon juice and parsley. Stir over high heat for about 5 minutes. Pour sauce over the veal. Garnish with sliced lemons and serve.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 687, Calories from Fat: 305, Fat: 34 g (12 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 250 mg, Sodium: 886 mg, Potassium: 853 mg, Carbohydrates: 26 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 59 g.

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Shop the Sale: Slow Cooker Beef and Rice

Slow Cooker Beef and RiceI’ve made no secret of the fact that my younger son is obsessed with rice. Anything he can eat with the rice is A-OK in his book.

I’ve also overshared about my love of the slow cooker. Seriously? How did we get through life without this invention? Oh yeah, we didn’t work full-time, have second jobs, have to be at soccer practice by 7pm, but before that, homework, chores, more homework and, oh yeah, dinner.

I wouldn’t survive Tuesday nights without my slow cooker; it’s as simple as that. Dinner is ready when we walk in the door. Anything extra that has to be cooked, like rice, can be done during homework. We eat at a reasonable hour so no one is getting a stomachache at soccer practice, and we can get out the door (reasonably) sane.

I also love it when meat is on sale at Brookshire’s because then I can stock up for my meat-and-potatoes (or rice) guys!

Slow Cooker Beef and Rice

4 cups beef broth
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 onion, chopped
2 lbs rump roast, cut into small chunks
2 to 3 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 Tbs garlic, minced
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 cup cold water
3 Tbs cornstarch
4 to 6 cups white or brown rice, cooked

Mix broth, Worcestershire sauce and chopped onions in slow cooker. Add beef. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic and Italian seasoning.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. (I’ve found this works better on low.)

Just before serving, drain juices into a large pot; bring to a boil. Whisk together cold water and cornstarch. Add to pot and stir until thickened. Put gravy back in the slow cooker; stir. Serve over rice.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 494, Calories from Fat: 139, Fat: 15 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 1 mg, Sodium: 1970 mg, Potassium: 264 mg, Carbohydrates: 12 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 76 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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