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Product Talk: Texas Meat Packers Seasoned Beef for Fajitas


Texas Meat Packers Seasoned Beef for FajitasYesterday morning, I got the text I love from Paul.

“Hey, I’ll take care of dinner tonight.”

Now in all fairness, he does that quite frequently, but it was especially wonderful yesterday as I was trying to shake a two-day migraine and wrangle soccer games, regular weekend tasks and the flurry of things to keep up with at the end of the school year.

I love it when Paul cooks because, very often, he makes something I’ve never had before.

Last night was no exception.

He brought Texas Meat Packers Seasoned Beef for Fajitas. I’d never seen this product before, but it’s not the last time I will buy it, I assure you.

The Texas Meat Packers website describes this melt-in-your mouth beef as, “Texas Style Fajitas brings a slow-cooked smoky edge of hardwood mesquite flavoring to a TexMex Classic! Our approach accentuates flavors and aromas of old-world peppers and spices, and that sneaky lingering heat you get from Hatch green chilies.”

The fajita beef was fork-tender and delicious grilled. Texas Meat Packers also makes chicken fajitas and will offer pork soon.

We didn’t make fajitas with it, but here’s what we did do!

Texas Meat Packers Seasoned Steaks

Ingredients:
2 pkgs Texas Meat Packers Seasoned Beef for Fajitas
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Pico de Gallo:
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
4 green onions (white and green parts), diced
1 jalapeño, diced
Juice from 2 large limes
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Prepare pico de gallo, and place in refrigerator to let flavors blend.

Prepare grill to medium-high heat. Grill steaks, about 3 minutes per side, until cooked to desired doneness. Remove from grill; top with pico de gallo and cheddar cheese. Place under broiler on high heat until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 401, Calories from Fat: 194, Fat: 22 g (10 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 109 mg, Sodium: 236 mg, Carbohydrates: 3.4 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 2 g, Protein: 46 g.

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



Dine In: Jalapeño Sausage Balls


Jalapeño Sausage BallsI tend to get stuck in a pattern for Friday night meals. When I lived overseas in Germany, my best friend Susan and I walked down to our favorite Greek restaurant every single Friday night.

When I had kids, I continued a tradition that my mom started by serving pizza on Friday nights.

Now, I tend to use the smoker for Friday night festivities. I run home at lunchtime to put dinner on to smoke (or prep it in the morning, depending on what we’re smoking), and it’s done by the time we’re home from work and relaxing on the back porch.

I saw a smoked dish on Instagram that I wanted to try, and it only takes about two hours on the smoker. Even if you don’t have time to run home at lunch on a Friday, you can still enjoy this on your porch on Friday evening.

You can switch up the fillings, too. I have one person in my family who doesn’t like cream cheese, so he just gets cheddar. I have another who doesn’t like jalapeños, so he just gets cheese pressed into the middle of the sausage ball. I like bleu cheese, so I’ll mix that in with mine. The sky is the limit.

Jalapeño Sausage Balls

Ingredients:
12 jalapeño peppers, tops removed, seeded and pithed
6 Tbs whipped cream cheese
6 Tbs sharp cheddar cheese, grated
3 Tbs white onion, finely minced
2 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
2 lbs Owens Pork Breakfast Sausage
12 strips bacon, uncooked

Directions:
Remove the tops from the jalapeño peppers. Slice a slit through lengthwise, not cutting all the way through. Remove pith and seeds.

Mix cream cheese, cheddar cheese, onions and cooked bacon. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stuff each pepper with a heaping tablespoon full of the cream cheese mixture.

Using your hands, mold sausage around pepper, forming a ball and completely covering the pepper. Wrap sausage ball with two strips of bacon; secure with toothpicks.

Prepare smoker. Place sausage balls on rack, and smoke for about 2 hours or until cooked through. Alternately, place on the grill over indirect heat (the bacon will cause flare-ups if it’s not indirect) and cook through, several minutes on each side.

Serves 12

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 460, Calories from Fat: 330, Fat: 36 g (12 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 104 mg, Sodium: 1576 mg, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 0 g, Protein: 29 g.

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



Shop the Sale: Bacon-Mushroom-Swiss Slow-Cooked Chicken


Bacon-Mushroom-Swiss Slow-Cooked ChickenIn a house with two picky eaters, one dieter and one kid who eats everything but the kitchen sink (and that’s only because I’ve never put hot sauce on it and put it on a plate), dinner can sometimes be a challenge to put together without repeating the same dishes over and over.

One kid doesn’t like mushrooms. One man doesn’t like white cheese or white sauce. One dieter doesn’t eat carbs.

Does anyone else feel my pain?

Luckily, bacon makes everything better, especially John Morrell Bacon on sale this week at Brookshire’s.

For whatever the reason (likely the bacon), this dish passed muster with everyone in my house. (I’ll just pretend I didn’t see one kid picking out the mushrooms).

This is delicious served over rice (cauliflower rice if you’re the low-carb dieter) with a side of steamed green beans or a fresh salad.

The bacon gives this dish a smoky flavor and pulls all the flavors together.

Bacon-Mushroom-Swiss Chicken

Ingredients:
3 slices John Morrell Bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 pint fresh button mushrooms
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
6 slices Swiss cheese

Directions:
Spray the crock of the slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Place chicken breasts in slow cooker. Top with mushrooms and cream of chicken soup. Cook on low for 8 hours. Top with Swiss cheese, and cover lid until cheese begins to melt. Sprinkle with bacon and serve.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 484, Calories from Fat: 200, Fat: 15 g (8 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 175 mg, Sodium: 890 mg, Carbohydrates: 6 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 63 g.

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



Dine In: Cheeseburger Hand Pies


Cheeseburger Hand PiesOne of our favorite family activities is to go to the drive-in movies on a Friday night.

We get there early, spread out a few picnic blankets, set up camping chairs and unpack the cooler. We have dinner there in the fading light and pack extra snacks for the movie, of course!

Having dinner at the drive-in is the best. I’ve often said food tastes the most delicious outdoors, and on a picnic blanket in front of a huge screen is no exception. After we eat, we usually kick around a soccer ball or throw a tennis ball until the sun sinks over the horizon and the big screen crackles to life.

One of the best parts is that we’re so busy enjoying each other, that phones and other electronics get left inside the car!

When the movie starts, we pile blankets in the trunk and settle in under the stars. It’s really a perfect Friday night.

I found that I can make these Cheeseburger Hand Pies ahead of time and heat them up before we go, storing them in an insulated bag to keep them warm until we’re ready to eat.

Cheeseburger Hand Pies

Ingredients:
1 lb 80/20 ground beef
1 Tbs Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
1/2 cup dill pickles, finely chopped
1 (8 ct) pkg refrigerated biscuits
8 slices American cheese
mustard and ketchup, to taste
olive oil

Directions:
Mix ground beef with seasoned salt and pickles. Form 8 burger patties. Grill or pan-fry until cooked through to desired doneness.

Preheat oven to 350° F, and spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

Remove the biscuits from the package. Place on baking sheet, carefully separating biscuits into two pieces horizontally.

Press bottom biscuit to flatten. Top with a burger, cheese, mustard and/or ketchup, if desired. Press the other half of the biscuit on top; fold edges of the bottom biscuit piece up to seal.

Repeat with all burgers and biscuits.

Brush with olive oil. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until biscuits are golden-brown and burgers are heated through.

Serves 8

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 392, Calories from Fat: 187, Fat: 21 g (6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 68 mg, Sodium: 1527 mg, Carbohydrates: 27 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 24 g.

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Shop the Sale: Slow Cooker Ragu


Slow Cooker RaguWhen I was visiting Italy, one of my favorite meals, not only of the trip but of all time, was a slow cooked ragu over polenta.

A ragu is simply a meat sauce, slow-cooked until the meat is fork-tender and melts in your mouth, with tomatoes and spices.

In fact, most “sauces” you see in Italy are more a ragu than the marinara we know well in America.

You can make a ragu with almost any meat. I’ve had pork ragus and beef ragus. They’re delicious if you leave the bone in your meat during the cooking process, but it’s just as tasty if you use a boneless cut of meat, like this boneless rump roast on sale at Brookshire’s this week.

The trattoria where I ate my ragu in Italy was on a cobbled side street in Venice with a small garden with a tiny view of the water, covered in a pergola weighted down with flowering vines.

The whole street was resplendent with the smell of cooking meat and spices.

You can serve this over pastas or mashed potatoes, but the polenta provides a bit of bite that complements the heavy sauce.

Slow Cooker Ragu

Ingredients:
2 Tbs olive oil
3 lbs beef rump roast or round roast
1/2 cup white onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 (28 oz) cans San Marzano Whole Tomatoes
1/2 cup red wine
3 Tbs tomato paste
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
2 bay leaves
1 tsp cayenne pepper
3 tsp salt
ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a cast-iron skillet or other heavy pan. Wait until it is fragrant and starting to bubble, then add rump roast. Sear on each side, about 5 minutes per side.

Place rump roast in the slow cooker with onions, garlic, tomatoes, red wine, tomato paste, basil, oregano, bay leaves, cayenne, salt and pepper.

Cook on low for 8 hours. Shred with a fork and remove bay leaves.
Serve over polenta, a hearty pasta or mashed potatoes.

Serves 8

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 461, Calories from Fat: 189, Fat: 23 g (9 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 29 mg, Sodium: 1099 mg, Carbohydrates: 29 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 4 g, Protein: 31 g.

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



Dine In: Steak and Cheddar Quiche


Steak and Cheddar QuicheSunday is Mother’s Day and while perusing recipes for this blog post, I came to realize one consistent truth: Mother’s Day is about brunch.

I love brunch. I seriously love brunch. The combination of breakfast and lunch is glorious.

This mama wants a steak for Mother’s Day though.

Then, I got to thinking. How can I have steak at brunch?

Well, I could just grill one and serve it aside fluffy scrambled eggs, or grill a steak and slap a fried egg on top and let the golden yolk smother the steak in velvety goodness.

Or, I could embrace the Mother’s Day brunch and make a breakfast full of steak, eggs and cheese, pretty much all my favorite things!

The beauty of this recipe is that you can grill a HUGE steak on Friday or Saturday night, enjoy it as a meal, and then use the leftovers for this quiche. Or, when you’re grilling your Friday night steak, throw an extra cut on the flames in preparation for this recipe.

You can never have too much steak. Just don’t tell my cardiologist.

Steak and Cheddar Quiche

Ingredients:
1 lb grilled steak, diced
1 cup baby bella mushrooms, diced
1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves, chopped
1 medium white onion, finely diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs butter
8 oz Cabot Sharp Cheddar, shredded
16 eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tbs dry mustard
sea salt and pepper, to taste
2 single-crust, deep-dish pie crusts

Directions:
Separate pie crusts, and defrost while oven preheats to 375° F. Melt butter in a large, heavy skillet. Sauté onions, garlic and mushrooms until softened. Add spinach, and heat until the spinach is wilted. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Whisk eggs and heavy cream together in a large bowl. Season with mustard, salt and pepper; thoroughly combine. Spread half of the grated cheese in the bottom of each pie crust, and then top with the vegetables. Layer the steak on top of the vegetables in each pie pan. Pour the egg mixture on top of the steak, dividing by half.

Bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until the crust is golden-brown and the filling is set.

Serves 16
Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 254, Calories from Fat: 136, Fat: 15 g (6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 206 mg, Sodium: 238 mg, Carbohydrates: 8 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 21 g.

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



Product Talk: Grub Rub


Gordon’s Grub RubToday, we are smoking pork ribs, and there’s only one thing Paul wants to put on them: Grub Rub.

Gordon’s Grub Rub is a seasoning, tenderizer and marinade all in one delicious blend of spices. Seriously, you can use it for anything.

Gordon’s Grub Rub is an old family secret, and according to their website, their claim to fame is that their rub doesn’t RUB off of meats and veggies, excuse the bad pun. The website says that as soon as the rub becomes damp, it clings to the meat, a claim we’ve definitely found to be accurate. Because it clings so much better, it not only flavors and tenderizes the meat, but it forms a beautiful crust as the meat is cooking.

Made in Katy, Texas, Grub Rub is sold on the spice aisle of your local Brookshire’s in a 13-ounce shaker. It contains 3 calories for 1/3 teaspoon, 87 milligrams of sodium and zero fat. They don’t really give away the blend in the ingredients listing, though, or on the website. The label simply reads “sugar, salt, pepper, spices, garlic, onion and tenderizers.”

Grub Rub is gluten-free, has no preservatives, and has no MSG.

As they say (it’s true!), “there’s no need to add anything else.”



Shop the Sale: John Morrell Bacon Egg Salad


John Morrell Bacon Egg SaladWhen I was little, my favorite sandwich was egg salad.

I used to have it in my lunch on Fridays usually (because we didn’t eat meat most Fridays, not just during Lent), and this was back in the days before we packed school lunches in insulated bags with ice packs. Believe it or not, I survived the five-hour-old egg salad sandwich.

I also loved egg salad because it meant I got to help my mom make it and use her nifty harvest-gold colored egg slicer. The little guillotine wires sliced the egg into perfect little rounds, and then I could turn the egg sideways and slice again, cutting it into tiny little pieces.

That’s how I still slice my eggs, although my egg salad has evolved beyond the mayonnaise, salt and pepper.

Now, I add bacon to my egg salad because bacon makes everything better. John Morrell Bacon is on sale this week at Brookshire’s. This crisp, smoky bacon adds a nice hickory flavor to the egg salad, and if you wait to stir it until just before serving, a great pop of texture, too.

Try this for breakfast on a whole-grain bagel thin or in your lunch, refrigeration recommended.

Bacon Egg Salad

Ingredients:
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
6 strips John Morrell Bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup red onions, diced
1 Tbs green onions, chopped
8 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

Directions:
Mix together the Greek yogurt, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, mustard, salt and pepper.

Gently stir in the bacon, red onions and green onions. Carefully fold into the eggs until they’re completely coated with the dressing.

Chill well.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 395, Calories from Fat: 248, Fat: 28 g (9 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 376 mg, Sodium: 1418 mg, Carbohydrates: 4 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 32 g.

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



Dine In: Philly Cheesesteak Sliders


Philly Cheesesteak SlidersThis weekend, Paul made us dinner (twice, actually), and with one of the meals, he served King’s Hawaiian Rolls.

The meal itself was magnificent, but what was totally devoured without a leftover in sight? The Hawaiian rolls. Clearly, all three of my guys love these things.

As for me, I love to make dishes they love, so I searched for more recipes using the rolls. We’ve already done the ham and cheese baked Hawaiian rolls (and they are well-loved, I assure you), but I was looking for something different.

I came across a recipe for Philly Cheesesteak Sliders, so we gave those a whirl last Friday night. They’re quick and delicious, and (you guessed it) they were gone in a heartbeat.

Next time, I might have to make two pans.

Philly Cheesesteak Sliders

Ingredients:
1 pkg King’s Hawaiian Rolls
1 box Steak-umm thinly sliced steak strips
1 green pepper, sliced in thin strips
1 white onion, sliced in thin strips
6 slices provolone cheese
2-3 Tbs mayonnaise
3 Tbs butter, melted
2 Tbs dried onion
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350° F.

Melt butter in a small pan; stir in dried onion. Set aside to cool and let onion soften.

Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Carefully holding the rolls in one sheet, carefully slice through the center, horizontally. Place the bottom of the rolls in 9 x 13 baking dish.

Prepare Steak-umms according to package directions. Remove from skillet. Add onion and pepper; sauté until just tender. They will finish cooking in the oven.

Spread mayonnaise on the bottom of the Hawaiian rolls. Top with beef, onions, peppers and slices of provolone cheese. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Top with the remaining half of the rolls.

Pour butter and onion mixture over the sandwiches. Cover with foil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes.

Remove from oven; cut into 12 sliders and serve immediately.

Makes 12

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 400, Calories from Fat: 263, Fat: 29 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (11 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 74 mg, Sodium: 484 mg, Potassium: 56 mg, Carbohydrates: 23 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 5 g, Protein: 13 g.

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



Dine In: Caprese Chicken


Caprese ChickenI decided to bring someone new to date night: chicken.

We don’t eat much chicken, to be honest; Paul likes red meat. A girl can’t live on red meat alone though (actually, I could, but it’s not the most healthy option), so every once in a while, I have to work chicken in the rotation.

I love this caprese version because it brings in all the best flavors of springtime: basil from the bountiful pot on my back porch and fresh Roma tomatoes from the Brookshire’s produce aisle. Splurge on some fresh mozzarella cheese for this delightful dish, but if you can’t find it, it’s fine to get a package of cheese slices from the deli, too.

You can sear these chicken thighs in a pan and then roast in the oven, but you can also grill them. If you use the grill, place the cheese and tomatoes on at the last minute, covering the grill until the cheese is melty and then topping with the basil and sauce before serving.

I love this with a fresh salad and grilled flatbread.

Caprese Chicken

Ingredients:
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs brown sugar, packed
2 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
2 Tbs unsalted butter
8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 8 slices
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
1/4 cup basil leaves, chiffonade

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400° F.

Combine balsamic vinegar and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and simmer until reduced by half, about 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside.

Combine olive oil, basil and oregano. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Using a pastry brush, work the olive oil mixture onto both sides of the chicken.

Melt butter in cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter is bubbling, add the chicken, skin-side down, and sear until golden on both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. After the chicken is seared, place on a baking sheet in the oven; roast until cooked through, about 30 minutes. Top each piece of chicken with a slice of mozzarella cheese; broil for about 2 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from oven. Top with tomatoes and fresh basil; drizzle with the balsamic glaze.

Serves 8

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 337, Calories from Fat: 221.4, Fat: 24.6 g, (9 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 91 mg, Sodium: 239 mg, Carbohydrates: 8 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 7 g, Protein: 20 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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