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Shop the Sale: Pork and Pasta Stew

Pork and Pasta Stew“Hey Mom, what are you writing about?” my younger son just asked me.

“Pork butt,” I replied.

He collapsed into fits of raucous laughter only a teenage boy could produce at the mention of the word “butt.” Boys never really grow up.

Teenage boys do, however, eat me out of house and home. That’s why it’s important to be able to make them a meal that is filling, nutritious and economical.

Enter Brookshire’s Boston butt roast.

This is one of my favorite things to cook because one roast will feed a small army (aka, teenage boys), and the pork gets so much flavor from the fat.

This meal is super easy because you make it in the slow cooker, so it’s ready when you walk in the door at night.

Pork and Pasta Stew

1 1/2 lbs pork butt roast (Boston butt), cut into 1-inch pieces
4 cups chicken broth
1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes, chopped (liquid reserved)
6 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 Tbs crushed red pepper
1 Tbs oregano
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
6 oz small shaped pasta, uncooked
4 oz baby spinach
2 oz parmesan cheese, grated

Combine the pork roast, broth, tomatoes and the liquid, garlic, red pepper, oregano and salt in a large slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 6 hours.

Just before serving, add the pasta. Cover and cook for 10 more minutes. Stir in the spinach. Cover and cook until the pasta is al dente, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately topped with parmesan cheese.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 400, Calories from Fat: 104, Fat: 12 g (4 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 132 mg, Sodium: 1175 mg, Carbohydrates: 26 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 4 g, Protein: 47 g.

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Shop the Sale: Sunday Roast

Sunday RoastMy mom always made the BEST roast beef.

However, it seems like in my adult years that when I try a roast beef recipe, I get shredded beef or more of a pot roast instead of a piece of meat I can slice and serve with a sprinkling of pan gravy.

Tonight, I’m going to try another new roast beef recipe, and I think this one is going to be a winner. Of course, I’m already starting out winning with rump roast from Brookshire’s.

Use rump roast. Not chuck roast. Chuck roast tends to “shred” and we want to slice, remember?

Be sure to bring your meat to room temperature before you sear it. You’ll get the most beautiful sear that way, I promise.

When you take the meat out of the oven and let it rest, whisk about a tablespoon of flour into the pan juices on the stove over medium-high heat (if you cook in cast-iron, you can just set the skillet on the stove and not dirty another pan). Cook, stirring often, until thickened and bubbly for a brown pan gravy.

Perfect Roast Beef

2 Tbs canola oil
2 1/2 lbs rump roast, room temperature
2 white onions, chopped
1 cup baby carrots
1 cup water
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 300° F.

In a heavy cast-iron skillet, heat oil over heat. Season the room temperature rump roast with salt, pepper and garlic, massaging spices into meat.

Sear in the hot oil, turning so each side gets browned.

Remove from heat and add onions, carrots and water.

Roast for 20 minutes per pound for rare or 30 minutes per pound for medium-rare.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 407, Calories from Fat: 145, Fat: 16 g (0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 16 mg, Carbohydrates: 6 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 59 g.

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Dine In: Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Chicken Cordon Bleu CasseroleGrowing up, the gold standard for a fancy meal was Chicken Cordon Bleu.

I figured if we were having that dish, it was a special occasion. This all stems from my parents taking me to a French restaurant for an early birthday, at age 10 maybe, and that clearly made a huge impression on me. Also, that was the first time I had Chicken Cordon Bleu, and I think I requested it for every birthday after that.

Chicken Cordon Bleu is still a pretty snazzy meal in my book, but it’s faster to make in casserole form!

You can purchase a rotisserie chicken to make this dish quickly as a great date night dish for a Friday night.

Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

6 cups cooked chicken, shredded (from 2 lb chicken)
6 oz ham, diced
4 oz butter, melted
6 oz cream cheese, softened
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 Tbs white wine, optional
2 oz lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
5 oz Swiss cheese, sliced

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Place chicken in the bottom of the pan, and top with pieces of ham.

In a food processor, combine butter, cream cheese, white wine (optional), mustard, lemon juice and salt. Blend until thickened. Pour over chicken and ham in the baking dish, and top with slices of Swiss cheese.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until hot and bubbly.

If desired, broil under high heat for 2 minutes to get cheese golden.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 605, Fat: 39 g (22 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 226 mg, Sodium: 928 mg, Carbohydrates: 4 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 57 g.

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Shop the Sale: Smoked Whole Fryer Chicken

Smoked Whole Fryer ChickenRight now, right this very minute, I have a whole fryer on the smoker.

It’s kind of a misnomer, isn’t it, when you say you are going to smoke a “fryer,” but a whole fryer chicken was originally intended to be processed and fried!

However, as I’m sure you know, they’re delicious smoked or roasted, as well.

Not only are they delicious and deliciously easy to cook, but they smell good, too. Really good. In fact, I’m moving my laptop out onto the back porch so I can work downwind of the smoker.

Be right back.

There. Oh my. This is amazing.

The scent of the smoker always reminds me of fall, even when it’s still hitting 95 degrees down here in the South.

I’m going to love how this smells all day long!

Grab a fryer (or two, or three) at Brookshire’s. Fry it if you want. Smoke it if you want. Roast it if you want. Any way you cook it, it will be delicious!

Smoked Whole Fryer Chicken

1 whole fryer, rinsed and patted dry
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup Twisted Q Crazy Chic Seasoning, or your favorite spice rub

Preheat smoker to 250° F. Sprinkle hickory wood chips near the heat source.

After chicken is rinsed and patted dry, rub with butter, and then sprinkle with seasonings, patting firmly to adhere seasonings to butter.

Place chicken in smoker and close lid. Do not open the lid during the cooking process to maintain proper temperature.

Smoke chicken until meat thermometer reads 165° F and juices run clear, about 1 hour per pound.

Remove from smoker and serve immediately.

Serves 8

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 615, Fat: 22 g (10 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 292 mg, Sodium: 296 mg, Carbohydrates: 0 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 0 g, Protein: 98 g.

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Healthy Living: Autumn in a Skillet

Autumn in a SkilletLast week, my aunt from Maine flew down to visit my mom in Virginia.

I was a little jealous. My aunt is one of the most amazing people I know and certainly one of the strongest women (aside from my mom) in my life.

They had four days filled with fun sister time (again, I was a little jealous). They walked through a designer house, took in the sights and sounds of Richmond, and finally went to western Virginia to visit some historical sites and go apple picking.

Going apple picking is one of my favorite memories from this time of year in Virginia. We did it as a family growing up, but I even went a few times in college, since the picturesque mountain where the orchard was located was also close to the school I attended.

The cool air, crisp fruits and distinctly fall aromas made for the perfect day. There’s nothing like apple picking in the fresh air except maybe turning those apples into delicious treats. This dish combines protein, good fiber, and a ton of vitamins and nutrients in one quick and easy skillet dinner.

Autumn in a Skillet

1 Tbs olive oil
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tsp kosher salt, divided
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 slices bacon, chopped
3 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken stock, divided

Heat olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet until fragrant and shimmering. Add chicken, salt and pepper. Cook until lightly browned and cooked through. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium. Add the bacon; cook until the bacon is crisp. Remove from the skillet with a slotted spoon, and add to the same plate as the chicken.

Turn the heat to medium-high. Add Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes and onions. Cook and stir until the vegetables are crisp-tender and the onions are translucent. Stir in the apples, garlic, thyme and cinnamon. Stir in 1/2 cup of the broth. Bring the broth to a boil, stirring often, and cook down until the broth has evaporated. Add in chicken, bacon and the remaining 1/2 cup of broth. Cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 425, Fat: 20 g (6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 106 mg, Sodium: 1250 mg, Carbohydrates: 25 g, Fiber: 6 g, Sugar: 10 g, Protein: 38 g.

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Product Talk: Campbell’s French Onion Soup Beef Bourguignon

Campbell’s French Onion Soup Beef Bourguignon I spent quite a bit of time in France, visiting the nearby country during the years I lived in Germany.

Suffice it to say that I ate quite a bit of one of the country’s signature dishes, Beef Bourguignon or Beef Burgundy. It was one of my favorites. Not only does the rich flavor develop after hours of cooking, but the smell is so comforting and always reminds me of fall in France.

A few years after I returned, I went to a friend’s house for dinner, and she had made Beef Bourguignon. While I was helping her prepare a side salad, I noticed empty cans of Campbell’s French Onion Soup in her trash can.

Surely, she hadn’t used canned soup (gasp!) in the beef bourguignon.

She had.

It was delicious, just as good as anything you’d eat in France.

I have to say that I use it myself now.

Campbell’s French Onion Soup has a rich flavor that any French chef would approve of.

Campbell’s French Onion Soup Beef Bourguignon

2 lbs beef stew meat
1 large onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
1/2 lb bacon, diced
2 cans Campbell’s French Onion Soup
1 bottle burgundy (or dry red) wine (if you really don’t want to use wine – the alcohol does burn off – substitute 1 can beef consommé and 1 can tomato paste)
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Season the meat with salt and pepper. Set aside. In a heavy skillet, sauté bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. In the bacon grease, sauté onions until translucent. Add garlic and mushrooms; stir for 1 minute. Add in the beef, and sear on all sides. Remove from heat. Transfer the meat mixture to an oven-safe baking dish with a lid. Stir in soups and burgundy. Braise at 375° F for 2 hours.

Serve over rice or egg noodles.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 710, Calories from Fat: 239, Fat: 27 g (9 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 177 mg, Sodium: 1819 mg, Carbohydrates: 22 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 8 g, Protein: 63 g.

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Shop the Sale: Super Easy Slow Cooker Chicken

Super Easy Slow Cooker ChickenWhenever I’m asked to list my hobbies, I always wonder if “reading cookbooks” is included as a hobby. Since it is a favorite pastime of mine, I always write it down.

I would keep a stack of cookbooks on my bedside table and pour over the recipes nightly, marking pages with scraps of sticky notes to save the ones I wanted to make.

I still read cookbooks. I have shelves full of them in the built-in bookcase in my living room and another several lined up on the baker’s rack in my kitchen. If I’m being honest, I don’t spend as much time with the paper version of cookbooks as I used to.

It’s sad, really, because there’s nothing I love more than opening my Southern Living cookbook and having to unstick the pages where you’d find their banana bread recipe because I’ve splattered on it so many times, or knowing exactly where the strawberry jam recipe is in Better Homes and Gardens because the edges of the pages are stained pink.

These days, I find a lot of recipes online, which is also fun, and I discovered last week that it’s literally impossible to scroll by a recipe that calls itself “Stupid Easy.”

I did change the name because in my house growing up, “stupid” was akin to a curse word, and I’ve kept that going in my own household.

So, this “Super Easy Slow Cooker Chicken” recipe isn’t just super easy, it’s super economical as well, as boneless chicken breasts are on sale at Brookshire’s this week. No matter where you find your recipes, you can always count on Brookshire’s ingredients to make them an instant family favorite.

Super Easy Slow Cooker Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
2 (14 oz) cans Italian diced tomatoes
1 packet Lipton Savory Herb & Garlic Soup Mix
1 tsp crushed red pepper
16 oz farfalle pasta
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded

Mix tomatoes, Lipton soup mix and red pepper in the crockery of the slow cooker. Mix in chicken cubes. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. Mix into chicken in the slow cooker. Serve immediately topped with parmesan cheese.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 670, Calories from Fat: 158, Fat: 18 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 204 mg, Sodium: 400 mg, Carbohydrates: 71 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 5 g, Protein: 57 g.

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Family Matters: Football & French Dip Sandwiches

Football & French Dip SandwichesThe weather feels like it’s finally turning a little cooler, and just in time for football season. We no longer have a football player in the house, but with a college game or a professional game on almost every night of the week, my family will be tuned into football on the big screen for the next several months.

Nothing is more perfect than football season and snacking season. So, I try to bring some of that tailgating into the kitchen with chili, tortilla soup, meatballs or BBQ sliders. This year, I kicked off the season right with Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches. You can put this in the slow cooker early on a Sunday morning before church, and then return home to a yummy Noon kickoff!

This recipe scored big points with my family, and it was easy to eat while watching the game and having a little football family time.

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Serves: 6 to 8

2 to 3 lbs chuck roast
24 oz Brookshire’s Beef Flavored Broth
1 (10.5 oz) can French onion soup
6 to 8 sandwich-length French bread loaves or rolls, sliced open
1/2 lb provolone, Swiss or mozzarella cheese, sliced

Cut roast into big chunks. Place meat, broth and onion soup in slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours.

Once cooked, shred meat. Set oven to 400° F. Spoon meat into rolls; top with cheese. Melt cheese in hot oven for a few minutes. Serve with beef juice.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 1341, Fat: 23 g (8 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 130 mg, Sodium: 2963 mg, Carbohydrates: 197 g, Fiber: 9 g, Protein: 88 g.

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Shop the Sale: Chile-Rubbed Roast with Chipotle Gravy

Chile-Rubbed Roast with Chipotle GravyYou know I use my slow cooker all year, but there’s something particularly comforting about a slow-cooked meal in the fall.

This dish screams Sunday dinner, and the aroma of this cooking is quintessentially fall.

For an added depth of flavor in the meat, combine the rump roast with the spices and seal into a zip-top bag in the refrigerator overnight before you make this dish. The flavors will be a little bolder and will seep nicely into the meat. This is a great meal to serve over mashed potatoes; I add cheese to mine. It would also be good over rice, or anything that could hold and absorb this delicious gravy.

Chile-Rubbed Roast with Chipotle Gravy

3 lbs rump roast
1 Tbs paprika
1 Tbs ancho chile powder
1 Tbs cayenne pepper
1 Tbs garlic powder
1 Tbs onion powder
1 tsp salt
3 Tbs olive oil
12 oz beer
1 (7 oz) can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2 Tbs flour
mashed potatoes, for serving

Trim the roast of visible fat, and cut roast into large cubes. Place the meat in a large mixing bowl.

In a small bowl, combine paprika, ancho chile powder, cayenne, garlic, onion powder and salt. Mix well. Rub into meat.

Heat olive oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Place meat in the pan in two batches, searing on all sides.

Add beer to the skillet to deglaze the pan, scraping up browned pieces from the bottom.

Pour mixture into slow cooker. Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until meat is fork-tender and falling apart.

Drain juices from the slow cooker into the cast-iron skillet, and heat over medium heat. Pulse chipotles in the food processer until smooth and add to the skillet. Whisk in flour and stir vigorously to remove lumps. Cook until gravy thickens. Serve meat and gravy over mashed potatoes.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 528, Fat: 21 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 394 mg, Carbohydrates: 10 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 72 g.

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Shop the Sale: Grilled Beefy Cheese

Grilled Beefy CheeseThere is nothing better than a grilled cheese sandwich, unless it’s a grilled cheese sandwich stuffed full of cheesy beef.

To say this is a hearty sandwich is putting it mildly. It’s a full meal, for sure. Just add a side salad or a cup of soup, and you’re ready to go. Plus, it cooks up quickly, something I love, especially for a weeknight meal.

To make this even more perfect, Angus ground chuck is on sale this week at Brookshire’s, so feeding your family is delicious, quick, easy and economical!

I’ve also added chopped green bell peppers into the mixture and cooked them at the same time I added the mushrooms, onions and garlic.

Grilled Beefy Cheese

1 lb Angus ground chuck
1 clove garlic
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup white onions, diced
8 slices good-quality sandwich bread
4 tsp butter, softened
8 slices Swiss cheese
8 slices American cheese

Brown ground Angus in a large pan. Drain fat. Add garlic, mushrooms and onions to the pan; cook until vegetables are soft. Drain any excess liquid. Remove from heat and set aside.

Butter 1 side of each slice of bread. Heat a griddle pan to medium-high heat, and place 4 slices of bread, butter-side down, on the griddle. Top with 1 slice each of American and Swiss cheese, and then add 1/4 cup of the beef mixture. Top with remaining slices of bread, butter-side up. When the first side of bread is golden and browning, carefully flip and cook until the second side of bread is golden and browning, and cheese is melting. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 654, Calories from Fat: 339, Fat: 38 g (21 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 197 mg, Sodium: 865 mg, Carbohydrates: 18 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 5.6 g, Protein: 60 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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