share. The Brookshire's Blog

Product Talk: Northwest Cherries


I used to have a very strict “no fruit and meat” policy.  In other words, I wouldn’t mix fruits and meats of any kind. And then I tried a raspberry chipotle barbecue sauce on pork tenderloin and I became a convert. The acidity in fruit actually complements most meats and proteins brilliantly, tenderizing them to mouth-watering morsels. 

The stunning array of flavors you can get with oranges, pineapples, limes, lemons and berries is amazing.  So when I saw a recipe for a cherry sauce that was savory and slightly spicy, I knew I had to try it.

Cherries are my favorite summer fruit but they aren’t in season for very long. Usually they’re on the Brookshire’s shelves from June to the end of August. This is a fun way to use cherries in something other than a dessert and I like this sauce because it combines the sweet and the spicy.

Spicy Cherry Sauce

Adapted from www.nwcherries.com

Ingredients:
3 cups pitted, fresh sweet cherries
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup onion, minced
2 Tbs local honey
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1/4 tsp crushed, dried red ancho chiles
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 Tbs oregano

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in heavy saucepan; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered, 30 minutes or until mixture thickens; stir frequently.

Serve as a sauce on baked or grilled chicken, fish or pork. If using it with a grilled meat, apply during the last minute or two of cooking so the sauce doesn’t scorch.

Nutritional Information: Calories 104; Total Fat, 1g; Carbohydrates 22g; Protein 1g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Fiber 2 g; Sodium 154 mg. 



Product Talk: Brookshire’s Famous Fried Chicken!


A few weeks ago I was asked to teach a “simple summer entertaining” cooking class to some ladies from Marvin Methodist Church in Tyler, Texas. We met one evening out at one of the church member’s lake houses. The setting was beautiful, and it was so much fun to cook, eat and talk with women of all ages. 

Some of the ladies and I got to talking about fried chicken, which is not that unusual when it comes to potluck conversation in the South! One thing I noticed was that many of the older ladies talked about how their mothers and grandmothers would fry the Sunday dinner chicken early that morning, cover it with a sheet or paper towel, leave it on the counter, and go to church. 

But most of the women no longer fry their own chicken, especially the younger ones and the ladies cooking for only one or two people. The women mostly said, “We just pick it up at Brookshire’s!” 

Brookshire’s fried chicken gets rave reviews from our customers all across our stores. We have worked hard to perfect our recipe and train our partners in the stores so that you can be certain you will get the same juicy, crispy chicken you’ve come to love – no matter which store you visit! And we keep it at a price point that definitely makes it worth not messing up your clean kitchen! 

Family food traditions are important parts of our memories, but a good tradition doesn’t have to mean you’ve spent early Sunday morning in the kitchen! Just pick it up on your way home from church or work, put it on your own platter, and we’ll keep your secret! 

Enjoy!

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Posted in: Product Talk


Product Talk: Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas


I adore buffalo chicken. I mean, LOVE the stuff. I even have a board on Pinterest called “Ode to Buffalo Chicken and Blue Cheese.” I like it that much.  So when I was browsing through my local Brookshire’s lately and saw a new product on the shelves, I stopped short.

Knorr has a new Rice Sides flavor called (you guessed it) Buffalo Chicken.  Oh. Happy. Day.

I grabbed it off the shelf and immediately began fantasizing about what I could do with it as soon as I got it home. It didn’t take me long to figure out I was going to make enchiladas with the rice, which cooks in just seven minutes.  I suppose rice isn’t a traditional ingredient in enchiladas, but I like the texture and it helps stretch the recipe to make it more budget-friendly. I like my buffalo chicken spicy, but you can adjust the amount of hot sauce you use according to your taste. Sometimes I actually prepare two batches of filling – one that is spicy enough for me, another that won’t cause complaints from my two boys. I just mark my enchiladas in the pan with tooth picks.

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

Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas
Serves 8

Ingredients:
1 package (8) Mission 96% Fat-Free Medium Flour Tortillas
1 1/2 lbs Brookshire’s Chicken Breast Tenderloins, trimmed
2 stalks celery, washed and diced
1/2 small white onion, diced
1 5.3 oz package Knorr Rice Sides, Buffalo Chicken flavor
8 oz Food Club cream cheese
1/2 cup Food Club Chicken Wing Sauce
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles 

Sauce:

1 1/2 Tbs Food Club unsalted butter
3 Tbs Food Club all-purpose flour
1‑1/2 cups fat-free (skim) milk
4 tsp Food Club dry ranch-style salad dressing mix
1/4 to 1/2 tsp white pepper
2 cups (8 oz) Food Club 2% mild cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions:
Cook rice according to package directions. Set aside to cook.

In a medium sauce-pan pan coated with non-stick cooking spray, cook the onion, celery and chicken tenderloins until the chicken is cooked through.  When the chicken is cooked, drain fat and add cream cheese to the pan. Return to low heat until cream cheese is soft and melted. Stir in the wing sauce, blue cheese crumbles and rice. Stir thoroughly to combine.

Fill all 8 flour tortillas with chicken mixture, roll and place seam-side down in a 9x 13 baking dish, also sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

In a small saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Stir in flour; cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Using wire whisk, stir in milk; bring to a boil. Cook, whisking constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in dressing mix and pepper.

Pour over enchiladas in pan. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly. 

Nutritional Information: Calories 436;  Calories from Fat 205;  Total Fat 22.8g;  Cholesterol 116mg; Sodium 961mg; Total Carbohydrates 24.3g; Dietary Fiber 1.9g; Sugars 4.5g; Protein 31.9g.



Product Talk: Naturally Nutritious Pistachios


Pistachios are addictive, but the good news is that among nuts, pistachios are one of the most nutritious. A one-ounce serving of pistachios, gives you a variety of different vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial nutrients. Pistachios are an excellent source of vitamin B6, potassium and fiber. But if you are like me, I have a hard time stopping once I get started popping those little nuts into my mouth. 

At 170-calories a serving, if I am not careful I might have several servings before realizing what I’ve eaten! This past weekend, I tried to think of some new ways to enjoy my cravings for pistachios while making sure I don’t eat the whole bag! This delicious recipe for Chicken with Pistachio Pesto Pasta uses one cup of pistachios, spreading out the calories and fat without sacrificing any flavor. It’s different and perfect served warm…and tasted equally as good when I ate it cold straight from the fridge late one night when I needed a bedtime snack.  It would also be great for your summer picnic table. 

Enjoy! 

Chicken with Pistachio Pesto Pasta
Serves 4-6 

For the pesto: 

Ingredients:
1 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 cup crushed pistachios
1/2 cup olive oil
10 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup packed basil leaves
1/4 cup packed parsley leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper 

For the chicken and pasta: 

Ingredients:
16 oz uncooked bowtie pasta
1 Tbs olive oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp garlic salt
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped 

Directions:
For the pesto, combine Parmesan cheese, pistachios, olive oil, garlic, basil, parsley, salt and pepper in a food processor and process to a thick paste. Set aside ½ cup of the pesto for this recipe and freeze the rest for future use.

For the chicken and pasta, cook bowtie according to package directions, and drain. Combine olive oil, vinegar and garlic salt in a skillet. Add chicken and cook until cooked through and no longer pink. 

Combine pasta and chicken in a large serving bowl. Add pesto and toss to coat well. Serve immediately. 

Nutritional Information:  Calories per Serving: 790, Fat: 41.6 g (8.4 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 517 mg, Carbohydrates: 64.8 g, Fiber: 5.2 g, Protein: 42.6 g.



Product Talk: Cream Cheese


I love cream cheese.

I REALLY love cream cheese. In fact, I consider it a food group unto itself. I even have a board on Pinterest titled, “Ode to Cream Cheese.”

Someday, I plan to write the definitive cream cheese cookbook. There’s no time like the present to get started.

Cream cheese is made from un-skimmed milk enriched with additional cream. In the refrigerated section of Brookshire’s stores, you can find full-fat, one-third less fat and fat-free varieties of the lovely white stuff. It comes flavored, whipped, herbed and fruited. You can buy it in a brick or in a tub. The options are endless but the taste is ever-so-delicious.

Of course I like to eat cream cheese on a bagel (sesame, toasted). I also like to use it as a party spread, simply placing a block of cream cheese on a chilled platter and topping it with hot pepper jelly and serving with crackers. I use a thin spread of cream cheese in place of shredded cheese on a grilled pizza, under fresh tomato and fresh basil. And I cook with it every chance I get. My kids’ favorite slow cooker meal uses cream cheese: Place four frozen chicken breasts, one can of drained black beans, one 12-ounce bag of frozen corn, one jar of salsa, one jar of salsa verde and one block of cream cheese in the slow cooker on low for 8 hours. Serve over rice.

But usually my favorite cream cheese recipes involve desserts. I made this dish for a cook-out last weekend. Keep it refrigerated until time to serve and it’s even better the second day.

Cream Cheese Dream

Makes one 9×13 pan
Serves one (if it’s me), or about 12

Crust:
Ingredients:
1 cup chopped pecans
1 stick Food Club butter, softened
1 cup Food Club all purpose flour

First Layer:
Ingredients:
1 cup Food Club powdered sugar
1 cup Food Club whipped topping (from a large container)
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

Second and Third layers:
Ingredients:
1 pkg. vanilla instant pudding
1 pkg. chocolate instant pudding
2 cups milk

Directions:
Mix together first three ingredients and press in ungreased 9 x 13 glass pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Let cool completely.

Mix together next three ingredients and spread on cool crust.

Beat together vanilla pudding and one cup milk  and chocolate pudding and one cup milk and spread on as two creamy layers.

Cover top with the rest of the whipped topping. Refrigerate.

Variations:
•Use pistachio and chocolate puddings.
•Top layer of whipped topping with Heath Bar bits, crushed Butterfinger candy bars, mini-chocolate chips, peanuts, sprinkles or whatever you like.
•Substitute chocolate-flavored whipped topping for regular on top of the dessert.
•Use chocolate milk for an extra chocolate kick.
•Add a third layer of pudding in your choice of flavor.



Product Talk: Summer Refresher


Bananas might not be the first ingredient you think of using when it comes to making a refreshing batch of frozen margaritas, but after my first one last month, I’m a big fan!

Our corporate chef, Glenn Terrell, is a magician when it comes to creating wonderful flavor combinations, such as his Cucumber-Jalapeno margarita and this delicious Banana Margarita.

The ingredients in this recipe are not classic margarita flavors, as Glenn has added the creaminess of coconut milk and a hint of vanilla to make it more of an island-inspired tequila concoction.

I served these wonderful drinks with fish tacos and homemade chips and guacamole. It was the perfect end to a summer day!

Enjoy!

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

Banana Margarita

Serves 6

Ingredients:
1 vanilla bean
3 oz tequila
2 oz triple sec
2 oz coconut milk
4 large bananas
1/2 (12 oz) can frozen limeade concentrate
6 cups ice
Coarse sugar for rimming glasses

Directions:
Scrape vanilla bean into blender along with remaining ingredients, except sugar and 1 banana for garnish. Blend until frozen consistency. Add sugar to rims of glasses. Pour margarita into glasses and garnish with a sliced banana.

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Posted in: Product Talk


Product Talk: Concentrated Shrimp and Crab Boil


I have a confession to make: I have lived in Texas for 15 years and I lived in parts of Louisiana for four years as a child and I have NEVER been to a shrimp boil.

Since it’s almost an official state pastime, I’ve been more-than-a-little embarrassed over my lack of shrimp-boiling prowess. I decided summertime was the perfect time to rectify that problem.

First stop: Brookshire’s for Zatarain’s Concentrated Shrimp and Crab Boil, gorgeous 16/20 shrimp in the shells, earthy red potatoes and bright ears of corn on the cob. Let me just tell you, I love me some Zatarain’s. And while I’m at it, I have another confession: I always thought my mom’s red beans and rice was the best in the universe, but Zatarain’s Red Beans and Rice gives it a run for its money! (Please don’t tell my mom). So it was practically a no-brainer to use a Zatarain’s product for my first shrimp boil.

Second stop: My very own kitchen to dig out my beautiful blue and white enamel stock pot, the one I’d use if ever called upon to cook for a small army.

I was ready.

The Zatarain’s Concentrated Shrimp and Crab boil is exactly as its name promises: a concentrated, spicy blend of red pepper, bay, clove, black pepper, thyme, marjoram and other spices. It comes in an 8-ounce bottle and you really only need a capful per two quarts of water, unless you really want to spice up your party. It’s easy to use and you don’t need any other spices or flavorings.

A shrimp boil is an extremely quick, easy party meal and fun for the whole family. I’d recommend spreading newspaper out on your table so you can dig in and enjoy your shrimp and not worry about the mess!

Southern Shrimp Boil

Serves 8

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:
2 quarts water
2 Tbs salt (optional)
2 lbs large shrimp with shells on (21 to 30 count)
4 ears of corn on the cob, shucked and sliced in half
8 red potatoes, whole
1 lb cooked smoked sausage (optional)
2 tsp Zatarain’s Concentrated Shrimp and Crab Boil

Directions:
Bring water and salt to boil in large stock pot.
Add potatoes and corn, cook for about 5 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.
Stir in shrimp, sausage if using, and Zatarain’s Concentrated Shrimp and Crab Boil. Return to boil; cover. Cook 2 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Remove from heat. Let stand 2 minutes. Drain well. 



PRODUCT TALK: Blueberry Crumble


Blueberries are bursting with flavor and are in peak season across the South right now.

When my boys were younger, we’d go pick blueberries straight from the bushes, eating as many as we bagged to bring home (blueberry bushes are naturally insect repellent, so farmers rarely use pesticides on them and you can eat while you pick). These days, I live within walking distance of a Brookshire’s store, so at the beginning of the summer, I walk straight to the store and buy pints of the beautiful, juicy berries.

One of my favorite things to make with them is a blueberry crumble. I have to admit, I love the brown sugar crust almost as much as the sweet, gooey filling. My mom had the best crumble recipe. In fact, I remember emailing her, asking for it, the day before I ran my first staff meeting as the supervisor to three other employees, some 11 years ago. I planned to serve it warm, with a healthy dose of re-organization.

She emailed back the recipe, adding, “You’re a good boss, Amy.”

I didn’t know about all that. My strategy was to earn my way into their professional hearts through their stomachs. It must have worked; we remain friends to this day and when I left the company some time later, they all paid me kind compliments that had nothing to do with my culinary skills. Apparently the Blueberry Crumble – or the massive reorganization of the department – must not have been too bad. 

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

BLUEBERRY CRUMBLE 

Ingredients:
3 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
2 Tbs lemon juice
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
2/3 cup quick oats
1/3 cup butter
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

Directions:
Spread blueberries in square, 8 x8 baking dish. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Mix remaining ingredients, sprinkle over berries.

Heat oven to 375 F. Bake about 30 minutes or until topping is light brown and berries are hot. Delicious served warm with whipped cream or ice cream.



Product Talk: Cilantro, Pesto-Style


People seem to have a love-hate relationship with cilantro, with very few people I know having the opinion of “take it or leave it” when it comes to how they feel about its distinct taste. 

I definitely fall in the category of those who adore the flavor of the vibrant green herb also known as coriander or Chinese parsley. But until recently, I only thought of adding fresh cilantro to my Tex-Mex or Asian recipes, brightening my salsas, salads and stir-fry dishes. 

Cilantro is much more versatile than I realized until recently when a good friend introduced me to the delicious taste of cilantro pesto. She had replaced the traditional basil in pesto with an abundance of cilantro from her garden and served  it drizzled over grilled salmon. The flavor combination was amazing, and it opened my eyes and palate to many possibilities of cooking with cilantro that I had been overlooking.

Fresh cilantro doesn’t last long at all, but this recipe for Cilantro Pesto stores well in your refrigerator. If the olive oil in the pesto hardens, just return to room temperature or heat and stir before using. Pecans also taste great instead of walnuts…and I’ve now experimented with adding a handful of shelled pumpkin seeds or “pepitas” when I happen to have some in the pantry. Enjoy! 

Cilantro Pesto 

Ingredients:
1 bunch fresh cilantro, washed and dried well
5 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
Sea salt to taste
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 

Directions: 

In an electric food processor or blender, blend cilantro, garlic, vinegar, Parmesan cheese, cayenne pepper, walnuts and salt. Add 1/4 cup of the olive oil and blend into the pesto. Add more olive oil until the pesto reaches desired consistency. Store in refrigerator up to two weeks.

Serving Ideas:
Serve over cream cheese with crackers for an instant appetizer. 

Toss with hot, cooked bowtie pasta. 

Drizzle over grilled salmon or shrimp. 

Serve as a dipping sauce with grilled chicken tenders. 

Spread over pizza crust instead of traditional tomato sauce. 

Spread thin layer inside corn tortillas when making cheese enchiladas. 

Spoon a little into tomato or tortilla soup.



Product Talk: The Year of the Baguette


If you are like me and enjoy reading food and cooking magazines, then you have to have noticed that this month’s covers are covered in baguettes. I’ve seen these crusty French bread loaves on at least three major magazines, and being that the baguette is probably my favorite way to enjoy bread, I’m thrilled.

Of course, you can always make your own baguettes at home, but to be honest, I don’t see the point unless you are a well-trained baker and you have all the right ingredients and pans. It used to be that only the best boutique bakeries in our towns offered authentic baguettes, but these days it’s easy to find a notable selection at your local Brookshire’s.

I love to bake my French bread to a hard crusty crunch, breaking off bites and dipping them in cold butter sprinkled with sea salt. If I’m not careful, I can eat the entire loaf before realizing what I’ve done. There are many nights I am content to enjoy French bread and some good cheese and want nothing more for dinner.

Baguettes are also my go-to ingredient for appetizers. It’s so easy to slice the loaf in thin slices, toast for about 10 minutes at 350°F and then top with all kinds of delicious spreads and salsas.

Here are a few of my favorites: Honey Goat Cheese with Strawberries:

Baguette Topping: Honey Goat Cheese with Strawberries

Ingredients:
6 oz soft goat cheese
2 Tbs honey
3 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced thinly but leaving tops intact
16 to 20 toasted baguette slices

Directions:
Stir goat cheese and honey together in a small bowl; spread about 1 tablespoon onto each bread slice.

Place strawberries on bread fanning strawberry over cheese. Repeat with remaining bread slices. 

Baguette Topping: “Smashed” Tomato and Olive Bruschetta 

Ingredients:
1 cup cherry tomatoes (I love using multi-colored tomatoes)
1/2 cup black olives
4 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
1 Tbs dried oregano
8 fresh basil leaves, torn
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:
1/2 loaf French baguette, cut into slices and toasted with 1 clove garlic rubbed into one side of each slice Fresh Parmesan cheese, for shaving.

Using your hand, carefully smash the tomatoes in a medium-sized bowl.  On a cutting board, gently smash the olives as well, removing any stones. Add olives to tomatoes and toss.  Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add oregano and basil leaves and mix gently.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  To serve, top each baguette slice with tomato topping and finish with freshly shaved Parmesan cheese.



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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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