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Shop the Sale: Bacon Beef Sushi


Bacon Beef SushiI have this magnificent practical joke working in my mind, and I hope Paul isn’t reading this right now.

I want to announce to him that we’re having homemade sushi for dinner.

I would love to see his face.

Paul wouldn’t want to be within 10 feet of sushi, at least not the traditional kind. He’d put on a brave face because he’s sweet and polite like that, but he’d probably offer to go pick up some barbecue or something.

Sushi purists will readily decry this recipe, but it certainly would be a fun play on sushi for the meat-lovin’ man. COOKED meat, at that.

I’m going to play this prank this week when Brookshire’s Thick Bacon is on sale. I might even make two because I know the boys would love it as well.

Bacon Beef “Sushi”

Ingredients:
1 lb Brookshire’s Thick Bacon
1 lb lean ground beef
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp seasoned salt
3 pieces mozzarella string cheese
1 cup barbecue sauce
French fried onions, optional

Directions:
Cut a large piece of parchment paper.

Lay strips of bacon side-to-side, touching, on top of the parchment paper to form a square.

Spread lean ground beef on top of bacon to cover it. Layer should be thin. Sprinkle with pepper and seasoned salt.

Place three sticks of string cheese, end-to-end, along one edge of the meat. Starting at that end, use parchment paper to roll meat into a sushi log.

Press together. Use toothpicks to hold the “sushi roll” together, if necessary.

Heat grill to medium. Place sushi roll on grill. Grill about 1 minute on each side, turning twice. Baste with barbecue sauce. Grill another minute on each side. Repeat with sauce and grill time.

Grill until cooked through, about 3 minutes more.

Remove from grill. Roll into crushed French fried onions, if desired. Slice into sushi slices; serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 654, Calories from Fat: 351, Fat: 39 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (14 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 158 mg, Sodium: 2855 mg, Potassium: 827 mg, Carbohydrates: 17 g, Sugar: 11 g, Protein: 55 g

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Shop the Sale: Beef Empanadas with Avocado Cream Sauce


Beef Empanadas with Avocado Cream SauceI used to work with a woman named JoAnne who made magical empanadas. Her doughs were light and flaky, and her fillings were extraordinary. It would make my day when JoAnne showed up at work with a huge, foil-covered plate.

I’ve never perfected her dough (she wouldn’t give me the recipe, family secret), so I gave up trying. However, I’ve gotten pretty close to one of her fillings using a slow-cooked rump roast, on sale this week at Brookshire’s.

You can make the beef ahead of time if you want, and keep it in the refrigerator for a few days. You can also use a pie crust cut into rounds with a drinking glass or your own dough for this recipe. My favorite part of this is the avocado cream sauce, which I’ve been known to use for dunking my empanada instead of drizzling the sauce on top. Adding jalapeño peppers to the beef mixture makes it spicier, and you can also add a few drops of hot sauce to the avocado cream.

Beef Empanadas with Avocado Cream Sauce
Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 lb rump roast
1 white onion, diced
1 Tbs garlic, chopped
4 Tbs cilantro
1 cup salsa verde
1 pkg wonton wrappers
2 egg whites, beaten
1 avocado, mashed
1 cup sour cream
2 Tbs heavy cream or milk
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Place rump roast in a slow cooker. Add in onions, garlic and cilantro. Top with salsa verde. Cook on low heat for 8 hours or until fork-tender. Shred meat. Drain MOST of the liquid, leaving enough so that the filling is not dry. Set aside to cool.

When meat is cooler, place 2 heaping tablespoons into the middle of 1 wonton wrapper. Fold in half once diagonally. Then, fold the edges up toward the middle, and fold the triangular edge toward the middle as well to make an envelope for the filling. Place on a baking sheet and brush with egg whites. Bake at 375° F for 10 minutes or until golden-brown.

Whip sour cream with avocado until well-blended. Thin the mixture with milk or cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle on top of empanadas or use as a dipping sauce. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 449, Calories from Fat: 215, Fat: 24 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 17 mg, Sodium: 267 mg, Potassium: 276 mg, Carbohydrates: 9 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 2 g, Protein: 51 g

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Shop the Sale: Hillshire Farm Smoked Sausage Skillet


Hillshire Farm Smoked Sausage Skillet‘Twas the night before vacation, and I realized I still had a refrigerator full of food that would have gone bad by the time we returned from our trip. I HATE wasting food. Granted, I hadn’t planned very well the week before, but life happens sometimes, you know?

I pulled out Hillshire Farms Smoked Sausage, a ton of vegetables, milk, cheese, grapes and eggs.

Now, clearly I wasn’t going to use all of those ingredients together (although that might have made a good episode of “Chopped”), but I did some Googling and found a recipe that made good use of most of what I had.

I had beautiful locally-grown zucchini and grape tomatoes (which are pretty much a staple in my house) and some savory smoked sausage, which is on sale this week at Brookshire’s.

It didn’t take much effort to combine all that into a one-dish meal that cooked up quickly in my cast iron skillet.

Hillshire Farm Smoked Sausage Skillet
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 Tbs butter or olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1 tsp minced garlic
1 lb Hillshire Farms Smoked Sausage, cut in half lengthwise and then into 1/4-inch pieces
1 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and then into 1/4-inch pieces
1 yellow squash, cut in half lengthwise and then into 1/4-inch pieces
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Heat butter or olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.

When the oil or butter becomes fragrant, add the diced onion; stir and cook until onions are soft and opaque. Toss in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds before adding the slices of smoked sausage.

Cook until sausage is browned, about 7 minutes. Stir in the zucchini, tomatoes, squash and seasonings; cook another 7 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Serve over steamed rice.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 428, Calories from Fat: 337, Fat: 37 g (18 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 75 mg, Sodium: 1102 mg, Potassium: 226 mg, Carbohydrates: 10 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 15 g

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Shop the Sale: Jalapeño Popper Sliders


Jalapeño Popper SlidersI wrote recently about going to the beach with my family. As I sit and write this, there are 23 of us crowded around two big breakfast tables, from my six-month-old niece and nephew to my parents, the patriarch and matriarch of this big, crazy, loud family.

I also mentioned that we all take turns making dinner. When it was our turn, my son Luke suggested that we make sliders, so we made a version that combined Italian sausage with ground beef. They were so delicious that my nephew Ben said it was the best meal we’d had all week, and that’s a pretty tall compliment.

No one was assigned dinner tonight, so we’re going with sliders again, by popular demand. My nieces and nephews are adventurous eaters, as are their parents, so we’re going to spice things up a bit with jalapeño popper sliders.

When you have to feed a crowd, a 3-pound chuck chub from Brookshire’s, on sale this week, is the perfect way to get the job done.

Jalapeño Popper Sliders

Ingredients:
3 lb chuck chub
2 Tbs seasoned salt
1 jar pickled jalapeño slices
8 oz cream cheese, cut into 24 cubes
12 slices cheddar cheese
24 slider or dinner rolls

Directions:
Mix meat with seasoned salt and 2 tablespoons juice from the jar of pickled jalapeños. Combine well. Form into 24 slider burgers. Insert 1 cube of cream cheese into the center of each slider, covering it with meat. Grill until desired doneness. Immediately top with a half slice of cheddar cheese and more jalapeños. Serve on slider rolls.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 502, Calories from Fat: 226, Fat: 25.1 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (6.2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 29 mg, Sodium: 1002 mg, Potassium: 145 mg, Carbohydrates: 45.2 g, Fiber: 1.7 g, Sugar: 4.9 g

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Shop the Sale: Stir-Fried Pork Spare Ribs


Stir-Fried Pork Spare RibsRibs are a staple of summer, but I rarely run across recipes that call for anything but grilling or baking.

Then, I found this one, which calls for stir-frying the ribs. Sounds different, doesn’t it? It also sounded delicious.

The quick fry gives these ribs a beautifully caramelized exterior, sort of crispy, with a juicy interior. My boys could eat ribs 10 times a week and twice on Sundays, so I had to try this version. I was a little leery of how they’d like the fish sauce and oyster sauce, but they didn’t realize it was anything other than “barbecue” sauce and ate it right up!

Pork spare ribs are on sale this week, so it’s a good time to give this recipe a try!

Stir-Fried Pork Spare Ribs

Ingredients:
2 lb pork spare ribs

For the marinade:
1 Tbs oyster sauce
1 Tbs fish sauce
2 Tbs water
1 Tbs palm sugar (or white granulated sugar)
1/4 tsp onion powder
2 cloves garlic, chopped
peanut oil or vegetable oil, for frying

Directions:
Wash the spare ribs, and then pat them dry with a paper towel. Cut them into 1-inch pieces and place them into a bowl.

Make the marinade, and then pour it over the ribs. Allow them to marinade at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Into a hot skillet (on medium-high heat), add in the ribs and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, cover and let simmer for 5 more minutes.

Remove lid, stir and then turn heat up to medium-high. Continue to cook until all the liquid has evaporated and sugar has caramelized. Stir frequently to prevent burning.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 434, Calories from Fat: 255, Fat: 28 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (12 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 111 mg, Sodium: 882 mg, Potassium: 32 mg, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Protein: 41 g

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Shop the Sale: Lemon-Basil Pork Chops


Lemon-Basil Pork ChopsI think I mentioned recently that I’m pretty much obsessed with anything citrus. In a previous post, I was talking about desserts. This time, I’m talking about a main course!

Citrus is a great accompaniment to proteins because it helps break down connective tissue in the meat, rendering it tender and flavorful.

Citrus, combined with little fat (in this case, olive oil) makes for a delicious marinade. I usually leave my meat marinating twice the amount of time a recipe calls for to impart extra flavor.

Lemon is delicious with pork as it brightens and lightens the meat. I have a beautiful crop of fresh basil in my yard this year, and this is the perfect recipe to highlight two of my favorite ingredients. Pork chops or loins are on sale right now at Brookshire’s, and you can use this marinade for either cut of pork.

Lemon-Basil Pork Chops

Ingredients:
4 thick-cut, boneless pork loin chops
2 Tbs olive oil
1 cup fresh basil leaves, minced
3 Tbs garlic, minced
3 Tbs lemon juice
1 tsp sea salt
3/4 tsp pepper

Directions:
Add olive oil, basil, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper to a bowl and mix well.

Spread both sides of the pork chops with the mixture, and let the chops set for about 20 minutes.

Grill chops over direct heat for about 5 to 6 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches at least 145° F.

Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 619, Calories from Fat: 445, Fat: 49 g (17 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 146 mg, Sodium: 591 mg, Potassium: 647 mg, Carbohydrates: 3 g, Protein: 39 g

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Shop the Sale: Ribeyes in Red Wine Sauce


Ribeye Steaks in Red Wine SauceThere is no such thing as too much steak unless you ask my doctor, of course. So, yes, we’ve cut WAY BACK on the red meat, but that doesn’t mean we don’t like to indulge in moderation.

A good steak, like the family pack of ribeyes on sale this week at Brookshire’s, doesn’t need much done to it. A little salt and pepper, a perfect sear and you’re good to go. However, every once in awhile while you’re indulging, it’s nice to kick it up a notch with a savory sauce that perfectly complements your meat.

This recipe is best prepared in a cast-iron skillet, in my opinion.

Ribeye Steaks in Red Wine Sauce

Ingredients:
4 (1/2-inch thick) boneless ribeye steaks (2 lb total)
2 Tbs vegetable oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
3 Tbs unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces
1 Tbs flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Directions:
Pat steaks dry, then sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper (total).

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over high heat until it shimmers. Then, sauté steaks in 2 batches, turning once (about 4 minutes per batch for medium-rare). Transfer to a large plate and cover with foil.

Pour off fat from skillet; sauté garlic in remaining tablespoon oil over medium-high heat until pale golden, about 30 seconds. Add wine and boil, stirring and scraping up brown bits, until reduced by half (about 2 to 3 minutes). Add water, soy sauce and any meat juices from plate; boil until reduced by half, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium-low and whisk in butter 1 piece at a time until slightly thickened. Stir in parsley and pour sauce over steaks.

Nutritional Information: Fat: 61 g, Carbohydrates: 1 g, Protein: 42 g, Sodium: 226 mg, Fiber: 0 g, Cholesterol: 177 mg

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Shop the Sale: Cocoa and Chile-Rubbed Pork Loins


Cocoa and Chile-Rubbed Pork LoinI truly believe that whole, boneless pork loins are one of the best values for your money in the meat department, especially on weeks like this one when they are on sale at Brookshire’s.

They are so versatile and delicious, and I manage to get about four meals out of a whole, boneless loin.

This weekend, we’re grilling a cocoa and chile-rubbed pork loin, then I’ll use the leftovers as tacos later in the week.

The addition of cocoa powder to a rub might sound odd, but don’t forget that it’s not sweet until you add sugar to it for dessert purposes.

I love the savory blend of cocoa and chile. You do use a little sugar because that will caramelize beautifully on the grill, but it won’t make it taste like dessert, I promise.

Cocoa and Chile-Rubbed Pork Loin

Ingredients:
1 whole boneless pork loin (about 2 1/2 lb)
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp ancho chile powder (or regular chili powder)
2 tsp light brown sugar
1 Tbs olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 limes, halved

Directions:
Mix together cocoa powder, ancho chile powder, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Rub pork loin with olive oil; rub with spice mixture. Grill on high heat on all sides until seared. Reduce heat and cook until pork reaches an internal temperature of 160° F. Remove from grill. Squeeze lime juice over pork loin. Let rest. Serve.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 365, Calories from Fat: 195, Fat: 22 g (8 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 113 mg, Sodium: 386 mg, Potassium: 623 mg, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 40 g

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Shop the Sale: Mexican Stew


Mexican StewI know what you’re thinking: It’s too hot for soup or stew for dinner tonight.

However, the fresh flavors of this Mexican-inspired stew, brightened and finished off with lime, infuse a fresh summer taste. I also liked the added slices of radishes, which also taste like summertime to me.

Use whole pork butt roast, on sale this week at Brookshire’s, for the protein in this dish.

If you want, serve with a dollop of sour cream and buttermilk cornbread.

Mexican Stew

Ingredients:
2 lb whole pork butt roast, chopped
2 Tbs olive oil
2 cups white onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 Tbs ground cumin
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground red pepper
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
3 (15.5 oz) cans hominy, drained and rinsed
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
4 cups unsalted chicken cooking stock, divided
2 dried ancho chiles
lime wedges, for garnish
sliced radishes, for garnish
fresh cilantro, for garnish

Directions:
Sauté pork in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 6 minutes. Place pork in a 7-quart slow cooker. Stir onions, next 8 ingredients and 2 cups stock into slow cooker with pork.

Microwave remaining 2 cups stock in a microwave-safe bowl on high setting for 3 minutes or until boiling. Add dried chiles and let stand 10 minutes. Remove and discard tops of chiles. Process broth and chiles in a blender until smooth. Stir chile mixture into pork mixture. Cover and cook on low setting 7 to 8 hours or until pork is very tender. Serve with lime wedges, radishes and cilantro.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 517, Calories from Fat: 211, Fat: 24 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (8 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 73 mg, Sodium: 2460 mg, Potassium: 1416 mg, Carbohydrates: 55 g, Fiber: 12 g, Sugar: 5 g, Protein: 27 g

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Shop the Sale: Grilled Marinated Rump Roast


Grilled Marinated Rump RoastThis is the time of year I want to grill meat, not slow-roast it in the oven.

However, for rump roast, you want to not only marinate it but also cook low and slow to thoroughly tenderize the meat. With this recipe, you can have the best of both worlds.

The beer helps break down the connective tissue in the meat, making it more tender (don’t worry, any alcohol burns off in the cooking process).

This is the perfect recipe for a lazy summer afternoon on the back porch. Grab a tall glass of tea, relax in a hammock or lounge chair, and enjoy the smell of roasting meat wafting from the grill.

Grilled Marinated Rump Roast

Ingredients:
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup chili sauce, or your favorite barbecue sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 (12 oz) can or bottle beer
1 (3 1/2 to 4 lb) rolled beef rump roast
2 cups hickory wood chips

Directions:
In a 1-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook onions and garlic in oil until onion is tender, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in chili sauce, salt, pepper and beer.

Place beef in shallow glass or plastic dish, or resealable food-storage plastic bag. Pour beer mixture over beef; turn beef to coat with marinade. Cover dish or seal bag. Refrigerate at least 8 hours but no longer than 24 hours, turning beef occasionally.

Cover wood chips with water; soak 30 minutes. If using charcoal grill, place drip pan directly under grilling area and arrange coals around edge of firebox. Heat coals or gas grill for indirect heat.

Remove beef from marinade; reserve marinade. Insert spit rod lengthwise through center of beef; hold firmly in place with adjustable holding forks. Insert barbecue meat thermometer so tip is near center of beef but not touching spit rod. Drain wood chips. Add about 1/2 cup wood chips to medium-low coals or lava rock.

Cover and grill beef on rotisserie over drip pan 4 inches from medium-low heat about 2 hours for medium doneness (160° F), brushing occasionally with marinade and adding 1/2 cup wood chips to coals or rock every 30 minutes. Remove spit rod, holding forks and thermometer. Discard any remaining marinade. Cover beef with foil and let stand 15 minutes before slicing.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 275, Calories from Fat: 80, Fat: 9 g (2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 105 mg, Sodium: 310 mg, Carbohydrates: 8 g, Fiber: 0 g, Protein: 40 g

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