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Shop the Sale: Creole Chicken Thighs


Creole Chicken ThighsChicken thighs are easily the most underrated protein you could possibly cook. They’re inexpensive and full of flavor. They also stay juicy, and they’re so versatile.

They’re on sale this week at Brookshire’s, so you can’t go wrong with picking up a package (or three) to feed your family for a few meals.

Chicken thighs are considered a dark meat, but to me, they don’t have the same flavor as, say, the leg. They’re a lighter dark meat, if that’s really possible.

Chicken thighs cook quickly on a grill, in a stew or soup, or in your oven.

This recipe practically bursts with Creole flavor. Cook the chicken with the skin on; it will seal in the juices and flavor. I love the white pepper in this recipe. You can really taste the latent heat after you take a big bite!

Creole Chicken Thighs

Ingredients:
2 1/2 to 3 lbs chicken thighs (about 5 to 6 pieces)
2 tsp Creole or Cajun spice, like Tony Chachere’s
2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp chicken bouillon powder

Directions:
Preheat oven to 475° F.

Rinse chicken thighs, and pat dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, combine the spices and mix well.

Sprinkle both sides of each chicken thigh with a generous amount of the spice mixture, and gently rub into the skin. Place chicken thighs on a baking sheet. If you wish, place them in the refrigerator overnight; it is not necessary to cover them.

Bake chicken thighs in preheated oven starting at 475° F for the first 20 minutes, and then reduce the temperature to 400° F.

Bake until the skin is crispy, the thighs are no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, about 30 minutes or until chicken is 165° F internally.

Serves 5 to 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 438, Calories from Fat: 152, Fat: 17 g (5 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 202 mg, Sodium: 558 mg, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 0 g, Protein: 66 g.

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



Shop the Sale: Rotisserie-Style Chicken


Rotisserie-Style ChickenIf I had a dime for every time I’ve made a recipe that calls for a rotisserie chicken, I’d have enough to buy a truckload of whole fryers and make rotisserie-style chicken myself.

Buying a whole fryer is one of the very best values I think you can get for feeding your family. You get white meat, dark meat, breast meat, legs, thighs, everything…because you get the whole shebang. This week, whole fryers are on sale, so take advantage and stock up. You can freeze them before you cook them, or you can freeze the meat after you prepare it rotisserie-style in your slow cooker, no actual rotisserie needed. The meat is great for tacos, enchiladas, casseroles, chicken salads and almost anything else you can imagine.

Even better, preparing rotisserie-style chicken is easy to do, and it won’t heat up your whole house. Goodness knows it’s hot enough in the South without turning on your oven.

Rotisserie-Style Chicken

Ingredients:
1 whole fryer, about 5 lbs
2 Tbs butter, softened
2 Tbs paprika
1 Tbs garlic salt
1 Tbs onion powder
1 tsp black pepper

Directions:
Rinse fryer and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the chicken with butter. In a small bowl, mix the paprika, garlic salt, onion powder and pepper together. Sprinkle over the chicken, patting gently to help the spices adhere to the chicken.

Place chicken in the slow cooker on low for 8 hours, or on high for about 5 hours.

Serve as a whole rotisserie chicken, or shred the meat for use in other dishes.

Serves 8

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 576, Calories from Fat: 217, Fat: 24 g (8 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 260 mg, Sodium: 266 mg, Carbohydrates: 3 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 83 g.

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



Shop the Sale: Cheesy Pork Chop Bake


Cheesy Pork Chop BakeA one-pan meal is a delicious solution to a Wednesday night meal. A lot of folks go to church on Wednesday nights. Or, this time of year, you might be at baseball, at the pool or just tired of the school year grind.

This dish, with boneless pork chops on sale this week at Brookshire’s, can be prepared in advance and popped into the oven for a satisfying meal, all in one pan. Serve with a side salad, add some chopped broccoli to the dish or add additional veggies.

I know that last Wednesday after a swim party, a long day at work and a long day for my kids, this was an easy dish to prepare for dinner. If you make it in advance, make sure the potatoes are coated in the soup mixture before you pop the pan in the fridge, or they’ll turn brown. Alternately, you could toss them in olive oil before you layer the casserole.

For a bit of bite, chop jalapeños or chili peppers, and mix into the soup before pouring it on top of the pork chops and potatoes.

Cheesy Pork Chop Bake

Ingredients:
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
6 (6 oz) boneless pork chops
1 (10.75 oz) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup milk
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
4 potatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400° F. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high-heat until oil is fragrant and shimmering. Sear the pork chops quickly on each side. Remove from pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk soup, milk, salt, pepper and garlic powder together. Arrange the potatoes and onions in the baking dish. Place the seared chops over the potatoes and onions. Then, pour the soup mixture over all.

Bake for 30 minutes. Top with cheese, and bake for 30 more minutes.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 688, Calories from Fat: 478, Fat: 53 g (21 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 169 mg, Sodium: 729 mg, Carbohydrates: 19 g, Fiber: 6 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 45 g.

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



Dine In: Barbacoa


BarbacoaWe went to a beautiful wedding this weekend. My friend and co-worker, Teresa, got married.

Teresa and her new husband, who are Hispanic, had a beautiful Catholic mass all in Spanish, followed by one of the best parties I’ve been to in a long time.

When we pulled up in the parking lot of the reception venue, we could smell dinner before we even tasted it.

On several large grills and pits, assorted meats were grilling and smoking. The smell was a celebratory, olfactory high-five to their new nuptials.

The taste didn’t disappoint either.

On a long table, set with assorted condiments like minced purple onion, shredded cabbage and chopped cilantro, were chafing dishes with steaming, freshly cut beef, a vat of simmering barbacoa and a chafer of seasoned ground beef. All the stuff taco dreams are made of.

The barbacoa was divine. Let’s be honest: true Mexican barbacoa is beef cheeks, but for this purpose, we used beef chuck roast. The result was still worthy of a celebration.

Barbacoa

Ingredients:
2 1/2 to 3 lbs beef chuck roast
1 cup white onions, sliced
3 Tbs apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs garlic, minced
3 chipotle peppers, roughly chopped
3 Tbs freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup beef broth
4 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Spray the crockery of the slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk together vinegar, garlic, chipotle peppers, lime juice, beef broth, cumin, oregano, cloves, salt and pepper. Pour half into slow cooker. Place chuck roast and onions in broth. Pour remaining half over chuck roast.

Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours. Shred with two forks. Place back in juices, and cook for 1 more hour.

Serve in tacos, enchiladas or any of your favorite dishes.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 716, Calories from Fat: 478, Fat: 53 g (21 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 195 mg, Sodium: 578 mg, Carbohydrates: 5 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 2 g, Protein: 51 g.

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Shop the Sale: Salisbury Steak Meatballs


Salisbury Steak MeatballsWe’ve been eating a lot of red meat in my house these days.

First of all, Paul likes it. (Well, we all do!). Secondly, I’m always pretty seriously anemic, which means I have low iron counts in my blood. Red meat is a great source of iron and so is spinach. It’s a good thing that it’s my favorite vegetable. So, I eat a lot of both. I mix spinach into my eggs whites in the morning for a delicious scramble, and we toss a lot of meat on the grill.

However, I don’t want grilled meat every night. (Did I REALLY just say that?) On nights we don’t grill, I often employ the cast-iron skillet. (The iron from the skillet is said to transfer into your cooking and add nutrients to your food as well.)

This dish is a delicious and easy way to get your iron, enjoy your Angus ground chuck (which is on sale this week at Brookshire’s), and enjoy a meal the whole family is sure to love.

I’ve mentioned before that my sons can live off of rice, so serve this over a bed of white or brown rice,  or mashed potatoes. A side of spinach never hurt, either.

Salisbury Meatballs

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs Angus ground chuck
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbs garlic powder
5 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 large onion, sliced into 1/2 rounds
2 Tbs all purpose flour
1 pkg brown gravy mix
1 1/3 cups cold water

Directions:
Heat cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.

Mix Angus ground chuck with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Form into large meatballs.

Place meatballs into the center of the skillet and surround with onion slices. Drizzle the meat and onions with Worcestershire sauce. Sear meatballs, turning frequently to brown all sides. Stir onions while meat is browning so they do not burn.

Slide meat and onions to one side of the pan, and add flour to drippings on other side of the pan. Whisk and cook for 1 to 2 minutes to make a thick roux.

In a small bowl, combine gravy mix and water. Add a few tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce. Pour into skillet; stir into the meat and onion mixture. Cover and cook on low for 15 minutes, or until meatballs are heated through and the gravy is bubbly. If you don’t have a cover for your cast-iron skillet, place a baking sheet over the skillet.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 117, Calories from Fat: 41, Fat: 5 g (2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 22 mg, Sodium: 703 mg, Carbohydrates: 10 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 4 g, Protein: 8 g.

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



Shop the Sale: Brookshire’s Bacon Dip


Brookshire’s Bacon DipA few weekends ago, my parents were invited to go boating with my sister and her boyfriend. Her boyfriend owns a boat, which he keeps moored in a marina in a wide, deep river near their home. I wish my sister lived closer for lots of reasons, weekends on the boat notwithstanding.

I have to admit that I was a little envious of my parents’ visit and boat ride. There’s nothing more relaxing to me than being on the water, and while I know owning a boat requires lots of hard work and dedication, the payoff of spending the day with the sun sparkling on the water seems to be a great payoff.

I couldn’t wait to hear about the trip. When I talked to my mom, she told me all about the cool breezes, the little crab shack downstream where they stopped for lunch and how fast the boat could go. She also told me that there are places on the river where the boats will just stop to drop anchor, and all the boat people will visit and hang out. It sounded heavenly. What my mom really couldn’t stop talking about was an appetizer dip my sister had made for snacking on the boat ride. Super simple, super easy and super delicious, make this a few hours ahead of time to let the flavors meld. Of course, if you’re bringing it on a boat (or on a picnic, to the lake or to a party), keep it chilled.

Brookshire’s bacon is on sale this week, just in time for the holiday weekend and lots of cookouts and celebrations.

Brookshire’s Bacon Dip

Ingredients:
8 oz Brookshire’s Bacon, cooked crisply and crumbled
4 oz bleu cheese, crumbled
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:
Combine all ingredients and chill. Serve with celery, carrots, pita chips or crackers.

Serves 12

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 253, Calories from Fat: 191, Fat: 21 g (8 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 41 mg, Sodium: 718 mg, Carbohydrates: 6 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 10 g.

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



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.

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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