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Shop the Sale: The Best Ever Baby Back Ribs


Mrs. S's RibsI have written recipe after recipe on ribs, but I have never truly perfected them myself, until Saturday night.

My friend had posted on Facebook, “I just ate the best ribs ever!” to which I responded, “Do tell, because I’ve never quite mastered them myself.”

At that point, he introduced me, via social media of course, to his mother, master chef of all things ribs. She sent me her recipe (Oh, I love the South, where mamas you don’t even know share their family secrets with you!). I tried it and oh, my, gosh, it was excellent.

My problem was that I’d never cooked the ribs slowly and long enough. This time, however, I wasn’t going to miss.

Not only did I slow roast these, but I finished them off on the grill to caramelize the sugars and give them a brilliant color.

They were slap-yo-mama delicious! Luckily for you, you don’t have to wait until Mrs. S comes into your life. Pork spare ribs are on sale this week at Brookshire’s.

Mrs. S’s Ribs

Ingredients:
2 racks (6 lb) pork spare ribs
2 Tbs salt
2 Tbs pepper
3 Tbs Montreal Steak seasoning
3 Tbs minced garlic
3 Tbs minced onion
2 Tbs liquid smoke
2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce

Directions:
Rinse ribs and pat dry. Place in a roasting pan lined with foil, fat side up. Cover ribs with Worcestershire, liquid smoke and seasonings. Wrap tightly in foil.

Bake, wrapped, at 250° F for 5 hours.

Remove from oven. Let stand for 15 minutes.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Place ribs on grill for about 5 minutes each side, or until golden-brown. Serve immediately with your favorite barbecue sauce. (In lieu of a grill, broil until desired color is achieved.)

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 879, Calories from Fat: 511, Fat: 57 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (24 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 223 mg, Sodium: 4515 mg, Potassium: 51 mg, Carbohydrates: 4 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 82 g.

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Shop the Sale: Crunchy Pork Chops


Crunchy Pork ChopsMy boys came home from a vacation to Branson, Missouri, raving about “chicken fried pork chops.”

I’d heard of chicken fried steak and chicken fried chicken but never chicken fried pork chops.

I understand the concept, so I went online to see if I could find a copycat recipe.

I easily found a recipe that sounded delicious, but I really don’t like to fry anything. I had to continue searching. I finally found an oven-baked recipe that I thought would still give the juicy, crispy results of the deep-fried version. I was right.

Try this recipe with the gravy or with your favorite version. Also, try this while boneless pork chops are on sale this week at Brookshire’s.

Crunchy Pork Chops

Ingredients:
1 egg, beaten
2 Tbs water
6 (3/4-inch thick) boneless pork chops (about 1 1/2 lb)
2 Tbs all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Stuffing, crushed
1 (10.5 oz) can Campbell’s Turkey Gravy

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400° F.

Beat the egg and water in a shallow dish with a fork or whisk. Coat the pork with the flour. Dip the pork into the egg mixture. Coat with the stuffing. Place the pork onto a baking sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until the pork is cooked through.

Heat the gravy in a 1-quart saucepan over medium heat until it’s hot and bubbling. Serve the gravy with the pork.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 249, Fat: 9 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 25 g, Sodium: 470 mg.

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



Shop the Sale: Whiskey Butter Ribeyes


Whiskey Butter RibeyesThe Fourth of July is at the end of the week, and with our nation’s Independence Day falling on a weekend this year, there’s no reason not to celebrate.

This ribeye recipe will having your guests seeing fireworks, so host a backyard barbecue and enjoy this delicious cut of meat while it’s on sale at Brookshire’s.

Whiskey Butter Ribeyes

Ingredients:
1 Tbs New Mexican chili powder or chili powder
1 Tbs chipotle chili powder
1/2 Tbs smoked paprika
1/2 Tbs white pepper
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbs raw sugar
2 (1-inch thick) bone-in ribeye steaks (about 1 lb each)
2 slices whiskey butter

Whiskey Butter:
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 shallots, soaked in whiskey
3 tsp parsley, minced
1/2 tsp Dijon-style mustard
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3 tsp Jack Daniel’s whiskey
1/2 tsp sea salt or salt
ground white pepper, or to taste

Directions:
For rub, combine chili powders, paprika, white pepper, black pepper and sugar in a bowl.

Prepare grill for direct cooking over low heat (about 300° F). Meanwhile, let meat come to room temperature about 20 minutes before grilling. Pat meat with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Just before grilling, brush steaks with oil. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of rub and a little salt on steaks; pat in with fingers.

Place steaks directly over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Turn and grill 5 more minutes for medium-rare doneness. Remove from grill. Let rest at least 5 minutes.

Top hot steaks with whiskey butter. To serve, slice steaks.

For whiskey butter, combine butter, shallots, parsley, mustard, Worcestershire, Jack Daniel’s, salt and white pepper. Mix well. Drop butter in spoonfuls onto wax paper. Roll in plastic and smooth out to form a round log. Refrigerate until hard and easy to cut, at least 3 hours. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 383, Fat: 23 g, Cholesterol: 116 mg, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 2 g, Sodium: 435 mg.

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



Shop the Sale: Chocolate Coffee Rubbed Steak with Coconut


Chocolate Coffee Rubbed SteakI sometimes get frustrated because I’d like to try new ways to cook steaks, but I catch myself saying, “There’s only so many ways to cook a steak.”

Don’t get me wrong: there’s nothing better than a simple steak, and a great cut of meat lets the flavor shine through. Every once and awhile, though, I like to get creative.

My friend, Sophia, is from Spain and really needs her own cooking show. She’s vivacious and her food has flavor even bigger than her personality. When she told me about this recipe, I knew it would be larger-than-life.

New York strip steaks are on sale this week at Brookshire’s, so try this flavor-rubbed treat today.

Chocolate Coffee Rubbed Steak with Coconut

Ingredients:

2 New York strip steaks (about 1 lb)

For the rub:
1 tsp ground coffee
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp coconut sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon
pinch of pepper
2 Tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes, for garnish

Directions:
Combine the rub ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.

Cut any large, visible chunks of fat off the steak, and coat it with the rub. Really get in there and make sure the steak is well-covered.

Cover the steak and let it sit for at least an hour in the refrigerator, preferably longer to really infuse the flavor in the meat.

Spray a grill pan (or a regular pan) with cooking spray and preheat on high heat. Also, preheat your oven to 400° F.

Cook the steak until it is nice and seared on each side, about 1-2 minutes per side.

Turn down the heat to medium and continue cooking until it has reached the desired level of doneness.

Once the steak is cooked, transfer to a plate and cover with tinfoil to rest for 5-7 minutes.

While the steak is resting, toast the coconut flakes on a small, parchment paper-lined baking tray. Watch closely as they only take 1 or 2 minutes to get nice and golden.

Serve the steak topped with the toasted coconut flakes.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 489, Calories from Fat: 271, Fat: 30 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (13 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 150 mg, Sodium: 408 mg, Potassium: 52 mg, Carbohydrates: 6 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 2 g, Protein: 51 g.

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



Shop the Sale: Barbecue Chicken Skewers


BBQ Chicken SkewersWhen I start to read a recipe about barbecued chicken, I’m not expecting to see the word “bacon,” let alone the words “bacon paste.”

So, when I did see all those words, I was captivated.

Say it with me: “Everything tastes better with bacon.”

Bacon paste takes it to a whole new level. Raw bacon is processed in a food processor or blender until a paste is formed. It’s then mixed with the spices and rubbed onto the chicken.

It doesn’t get much better than that, except when chicken breasts are on sale at Brookshire’s.

Barbecue Chicken Skewers

Ingredients:
2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 Tbsp sweet paprika
2 tsp smoked paprika
4 tsp sugar
2-3 slices raw bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup barbecue sauce

Directions:
Trim chicken of excess fat, and then cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes. In a large bowl, toss the chicken with the salt. Then, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.

Turn all grill burners to high heat, close lid and heat for about 15 minutes. Leave primary burner on, but turn off other burners.

Meanwhile, pat the chicken dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, combine the paprikas and sugar. Place the raw bacon in a food processor and pulse for about 30-45 seconds until a smooth paste forms, scraping down the sides of the bowl twice throughout. Add the bacon paste and spice mixture to the chicken. Mix with hands or spatula until the ingredients are blended and chicken is coated. Thread the chicken onto the skewers, rolling or folding as needed to maintain 1-inch cubes.

Grill the chicken over the primary burner with lid closed, turning one-quarter of a turn every 2 minutes or so until browned and slightly charred (about 8 minutes total for chicken breast and 10 minutes for thighs). Brush the top of kebabs with barbecue sauce; flip and cook until sauce is browned in spots, about 1 minute. Brush second side with sauce; flip and cook for another minute or so until cooked through.

Remove kebabs from grill and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve, passing remaining barbecue sauce separately, if desired.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 290, Calories from Fat: 90, Fat: 10 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 104 mg, Sodium: 108 mg, Potassium: 383 mg, Carbohydrates. 14 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 10 g, Protein: 34 g.

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Shop the Sale: Chili Lime Chicken


Chili Lime ChickenI love to write about my friends, but not all of them love to be written about.

I don’t think this one will mind.

She came into my life in a professional capacity, a whirling dervish of energy and laughter in an otherwise quiet office. With her feisty Mexican attitude (her words, not mine) and her South Texas flair, she brought a vigorousness to our staid office that hadn’t existed before.

It wasn’t uncommon for me to startle out of deep concentration because she started laughing uproariously at an email she’d received, something she’d read or something she’d seen on social media.

She loves to read, just like me, and she loves to eat, just like me.

While cooking wasn’t her passion in life, she certainly loved to share recipes and discuss cooking (and eating) with me. She made the best empanadas I’ve ever eaten.

She posted this recipe recently, so I know it will be good, plus it’s perfect for the Brookshire’s split chicken breasts that are on sale this week.

Chili Lime Chicken

Ingredients:
6 to 8 split chicken breasts
1/4 cup mild chili powder
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp onion powder
1/2 Tbsp cumin
1/2 Tbsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp chipotle powder or cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
juice of 1 large lime
2/3 cup canola oil

Directions:
In a medium glass bowl, combine all of the dry spices. Whisk in the lime juice and canola oil until well-combined. If it seems too thick, add a little more oil. Taste for salt.

Arrange the chicken breasts in a glass baking dish. Take the marinade and pour over chicken. If you have to, use your hands to make sure chicken is covered completely. Marinate in refrigerator for 3 hours.

Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with foil paper. Arrange chicken breasts onto baking sheet and do not overcrowd. Bake in oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 to 6 minutes.

Serve as is with your favorite rice dish or slice thin for tacos. It makes a great topping for your favorite salad. If you serve it sliced, it yields up to 10 servings.

Notes: This chicken tastes great for tacos, burritos, enchiladas, salads or just with your favorite rice dish. You can also grill the chicken instead of baking it in the oven, just take care that the spice rub does not burn.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 343, Calories from Fat: 252, Fat: 28 g, Trans Fat: 0.1 g (4 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 65 mg, Sodium: 1393 mg, Potassium: 114 mg, Carbohydrates: 4 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 22 g.

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Shop The Sale: Pork Spareribs


Pork SpareRibsLast weekend, I went to one of the best events I’d EVER been to in the city where I live: the Red Dirt & Barbecue Festival. Brookshire’s provided all the sodas for the event…provided all the sodas which were FREE, I might add…and they were certainly welcome on such a warm spring day in Texas.

The Red Dirt & Barbecue Festival was exactly what it sounds like – a day featuring four Red Dirt bands and 15 (yes, 15) different barbecue restaurants from all over the South giving out samples of their best meats.

We were in hog heaven, pun slightly intended.

We spent the afternoon sampling ribs, sausages, brisket, potato salad, beans, chicken and steak. Everything was so delicious, and I didn’t have a bad morsel of food the entire event.

I really enjoyed sampling the ribs. Ribs aren’t something I make at home very often so any chance I get to eat them, I grab it! I quickly got over my awkwardness about gnawing on a rib bone in public and even got to the point of licking my fingers after I finished a meaty morsel. There were beef ribs, short ribs, pork ribs, and spareribs; you name it, it was at the festival!

My boyfriend loved the ribs, too, but he and I disagree on one thing: He doesn’t like any sauce on his ribs, only a dry rub, while I love a tangy sauce to complement the savory meat. Which do you prefer?

In honor of Red Dirt & Barbecue (which should take place in April next year, as well), here’s a recipe for pork spareribs, on sale this week at Brookshire’s. Of course, all the big barbecue joints had massive smokers and grills, but you can make these right in your oven.

Pork Spareribs

Ingredients:
4 to 5 lb pork spareribs
2 Tbsp butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
1 cup water
1 cup ketchup
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp white vinegar
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/8 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp chili powder

Directions:
Cut ribs into serving-size pieces; place in a shallow roasting pan, bone-side down. Bake, uncovered, at 350° F for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat butter over medium-high heat.

Add onion and celery; cook and stir for 4-5 minutes or until tender.

Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat.

Simmer for about 10 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

Drain fat from roasting pan. Pour sauce over ribs. Bake 45-60 minutes longer, or until ribs are tender.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 318, Fat: 17 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 94 mg, Sodium: 478 mg, Carbohydrates: 15 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 27 g.

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Dine In: Brandon’s Whiskey Marinated Steak with Grilled Avocado


Not too longMarinated Steak ago, I had the privilege of having dinner with my boyfriend, the older of his two adult sons and his stepfather. One thing definitely stuck out from that night: like father, like son.

All three of them have larger-than-life personalities and a big sense of humor, and the gift of gab didn’t get watered down through the generations.

Brandon, a student at a local university, kept me laughing all night. When he ordered his meal, a steak, he asked for it with a side of avocado. I couldn’t believe how brilliant that was and why I’d never thought of it before. A velvety avocado would be the perfect accompaniment to a rich, juicy steak.

I experimented with a few versions of this and ended up with a delicious recipe that pays homage to Brandon. Thank you for the inspiration!

Brandon’s Whiskey Marinated Steak with Grilled Avocado

Ingredients:
1 (16 to 20 oz) rib-eye steak
2 avocados
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Marinade:
2 Tbsp molasses
2 Tbsp garlic, minced
2 Tbsp steak sauce
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp Louisiana hot sauce
4 to 5 oz whiskey

Directions:
Combine marinade ingredients and whisk well. Place steak in marinade; refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours.
Prepare grill to high heat.
Remove steak from marinade; let excess drip off. Sear steak over high heat on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Lower heat to medium and complete cooking until steak has reached desired doneness, preferably medium-rare to medium.
While steak is cooking, slice avocado in half and remove pit. Scoop out flesh, leaving it intact. Brush with olive oil; season with salt and pepper. *Note, if avocado is not firm enough, leave in peel and remove after grilling.
Remove steak to platter to rest. Place avocado, cut side down, onto grill and leave for 2-3 minutes until grill marks appear. Carefully flip avocado and grill another 2-3 minutes.
Slice steak across the grain; serve immediately with avocado.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 734, Calories from Fat: 490, Fat: 55 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (17 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 94 mg, Sodium: 575 mg, Potassium: 670 mg, Carbohydrates: 18 g, Fiber: 7 g, Sugar: 6 g, Protein: 28 g.

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Shop the Sale: Angus Ground Chuck Sliders


SlidersThis is the time of year that I can’t get enough of the outside. I want to live on the back porch, excluding the pollen, of course.

There’s something about the warm sunshine, cool air and buds on the trees that give me hope and remind me that God is constantly renewing our earth and our spirits. When I hear the chimes ringing, the birds singing and the trees rustling, I know life is good.

Life is also good when I can grill out on the back patio with my friends or with my boys. Sometimes I don’t want a huge burger or we make an assortment of foods, so sliders are the perfect size for a lighter meal or to go with other courses.

The aged cheddar and caramelized onions on these make them quite the tasty bite.

Sliders with Aged White Cheddar and Caramelized Onions

Ingredients:
1 lb Angus ground chuck
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp garlic salt
6 slices aged white cheddar cheese
1 large white onion, sliced
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6 small dinner rolls or slider-sized buns

Directions:
Mix the Angus ground chuck with Worcestershire sauce and garlic salt until thoroughly combined. Form into 6 equal-sized patties.

In a large skillet over medium heat, warm olive oil. Add onions and cook slowly until caramelized but not browned or scorched, about 25 minutes. Remove from pan; drain excess oil.

Prepare grill to medium heat and cook sliders, about 4 minutes per side for medium. Turn off heat. Cover each slider with a slice of aged white cheddar. Let melt slightly. Place on bun, top with caramelized onions and other condiments of choice. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 452, Calories from Fat: 280, Fat: 31 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (13 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 84 mg, Sodium: 429 mg, Potassium: 113 mg, Carbohydrates: 19 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 4 g, Protein: 23 g.



DINE IN: STEAK AND BLEU CHEESE SALAD


Steak and SaladI love a good juicy steak, and I really love stinky cheese. However, I’m trying to lose weight these days (again), so I try to get the flavors I love without all the calories. This is a fun, date night meal that won’t break the calorie bank. I’ve added extra veggies like bell peppers and mushrooms into this salad, too. The vinaigrette dressing is made with only one tablespoon of heart-healthy extra virgin olive oil, so it’s definitely a recipe you can LOVE for a dine-in Friday.

Steak and Bleu Cheese Salad

Ingredients:
2 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/4 tsp black pepper, divided
1 lb lean sirloin steak, trimmed
cooking spray
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6 cups torn Bibb lettuce
3/4 cup thinly sliced peeled cucumber
1 cup red bell pepper strips
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
1/2 cup crumbled bleu cheese (about 2 oz)

Directions
Combine chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper; rub evenly over both sides of steak.

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add steak to pan; cook 5 minutes. Turn steak over; cook 4 minutes or until desired internal temperature. Place steak on a cutting board; let stand 5 minutes. Cut across grain into thin slices.

Combine vinegar, mustard, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/8 teaspoon black pepper in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add oil, stirring with a whisk. Combine lettuce, cucumber, bell pepper and shallots in a large bowl. Drizzle vinaigrette over salad; toss gently to coat. Top salad with steak and cheese.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 269, Fat: 12.4 g (4.9 g Saturated Fat), Monounsaturated Fat: 5.4 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.8 g, Protein: 29.5 g, Carbohydrates: 9.4 g, Fiber: 2.6 g, Cholesterol: 57 mg, Iron: 2.8 mg, Sodium: 671 mg, Calcium: 141 mg



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