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Shop the Sale: Volcano Potatoes


Volcano PotatoesWe have potato wars in my house.

I like a nice, fluffy baked potato with butter and sour cream. My older son likes mashed potatoes. My younger son likes “potatoes you can chew.” (ie, a roasted potato). My boyfriend likes french fries.

So, it’s not always easy to find a recipe we can all agree on, until it came to this one. It has baked, mashed, chewable and kind of fried (basting these potatoes with butter and baking them in bacon grease puts it in the same category as frying it, in my opinion).

Then, of course, there is bacon. Lots and lots of bacon. John Morrell Bacon adds a crispy, salty flavor to the otherwise bland potato and really takes this recipe to the next level.

Volcano Potatoes

Ingredients:
12 slices John Morrell Bacon
4 large baking potatoes
4 Tbs butter, melted
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 Tbs hot sauce
1/4 cup onion, diced
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Wash and dry potatoes thoroughly. Piece potatoes with a knife in several places. Cut a slice off one of the potatoes so it can stand firmly on its end.

Wrap three slices of uncooked bacon around each potato, overlapping slightly and covering as much of the potato as you can. Secure with a toothpick. Leave about 1 inch from the top of the potato.

Place potatoes on baking sheet, and brush with melted butter. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until potatoes are fork-tender and bacon is beginning to crisp. Baste potatoes with melted butter during baking process.

In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream and hot sauce; chill until ready to serve.

Remove potatoes from the oven; allow to cool, about 5 to 10 minutes. Slice the inch not covered by bacon off the top of potatoes, and scoop out the cooked potato inside, leaving about a 1/4-inch shell of bacon-wrapped potato.

Place the scooped potato into a bowl with 1/4 cup butter. Add diced onions, sour cream, crumbled bacon and cheeses to the potato mixture. Mash or blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Place potato mash into a pastry bag or plastic zip-top bag with a corner snipped off. Pipe potato mash back into baked potato shells. Press shredded cheese on top, and place potatoes back into the oven. Broil on high until cheese is melted. Remove from oven; drizzle with sour cream and hot sauce mixture. Top with green onions, and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 1412, Calories from Fat: 968, Fat: 107 g (53 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 291 mg, Sodium: 3631 mg, Carbohydrates: 41 g, Fiber: 5 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 71 g.

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Dine In: Haunted Halloween “Stuffed Intestines”


Haunted Halloween "Stuffed Intestines"There are so many fun ways to fix your food for Halloween that even Dr. Frankenstein would be suitably impressed with the experimentation going on in your spooky kitchen.

You can serve dollops of mashed potatoes piped onto a plate to look like ghosts. You can add black olives to deviled eggs to look like a spider nested on top. You can make individual meatloaves swimming in tomato sauce, striped with bacon to look like zombie heads. The options are endless.

This recipe totally made my kids laugh, after the initial shock wore off. It would be great to serve on Halloween night, before you go out trick-or-treating.

“Stuffed Intestines”

Ingredients:
1 box frozen Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets (includes 2 sheets)
3 to 3 1/2 cups Italian sausage, casings removed
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1 egg with splash of water, beaten

Directions:
Thaw the puff pastry according to the directions on the package. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 400° F.

Remove sausage from casings and cook through. Drain all fat. Add 1/2 cup of tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese to sausage; stir well.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the two sheets of puff pastry to be about the size of the baking sheet. Cut each sheet into 3 strips length-wise or 4 strips width-wise (either way works). Brush a small amount of water on the short end of a strip of dough to help it to stick the short end of the next strip. Continue to create two long strips with all of the dough.

Spoon the sausage mixture evenly down the center of each strip of dough. Bring the sides of the dough up and around the filling, and pinch together to close.

Start with one end of dough. Arrange it winding around the pan in a way that reminds you of an intestine, using all pieces of dough.

Place the pan in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes, or the freezer for 5 minutes, to chill the dough. Then, brush egg wash over the dough.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until dough is golden-brown. Drizzle with the remaining tomato sauce to resemble “blood.” Serve immediately.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 538, Calories from Fat: 354, Fat: 39 g (11 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 77 mg, Sodium: 818 mg, Carbohydrates: 28 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 2 g, Protein: 18 g.

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Shop the Sale: Pressure-Cooked Pork Chops in Gravy


Pressure-Cooked Pork Chops in GravyI got an electric pressure cooker for my birthday recently, and I’m equal parts fascinated and frightened of it.

When I was growing up, my mom had a pressure cooker that she’d use on the stovetop, with a metal bell affixed to the top that would chatter insanely as pressure built inside the pot. It was scary when she released the valve and steam whooshed from the vessel with incredible pressure and heat.

Mine is a bit more modern, of course, with one-button touch start and a release valve that doesn’t clatter.

I’ve only made a few things in it so far, but the fact that it can cook a stew or roast in a fraction of the time is amazing.

Pressure-Cooked Pork Chops in Gravy

Ingredients:
6 assorted pork chops
1 tsp cracked black pepper
3 Tbs canola oil
2 tsp chicken bouillon granules
1 (10.5) oz can cream of mushroom soup
1 1/2 cups sour cream

Directions:
In the pressure cooker, heat oil over medium heat on the “brown” setting until hot.

Pepper both sides of the pork chops and brown, a few at a time; set aside.

Add water and chicken bouillon to the pot, scraping to deglaze the pan.

Add pork chops back into the pressure cooker.

Secure the lid on the pressure cooker, and set timer for 8 minutes. Start the pot. When time runs out, release the pressure.

When there’s no more steam, open the pressure cooker. Add sour cream and cream of mushroom soup; stir. Leave on warm until heated through. Serve immediately with hot noodles or rice.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 560, Calories from Fat: 333, Fat: 35 g (13 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 151 mg, Sodium: 675 mg, Carbohydrates: 26 g, Fiber: 5 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 47 g.

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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

Ingredients:
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

Directions:
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

Ingredients:
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

Directions:
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

Ingredients:
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

Directions:
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

Ingredients:
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

Directions:
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

Ingredients:
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

Directions:
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

Ingredients:
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

Directions:
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

Ingredients:
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

Directions:
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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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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