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Dine In: Pesto Salmon Packets


Pesto Salmon PacketsI love a delicious, fresh, easy dish.

I love it more when cleanup and prep-work are minimal.

This pesto salmon in foil packets fits all the criteria.

You bake this dish in foil, which seals in the flavor and moisture, and it also makes cleanup minimal.

Salmon, which is naturally high in (good) fats, is enhanced exponentially by olive oil and pesto (which contains olive oil). Even though it already contains good fats, the olive oil makes the salmon moist and flavorful, with an added kick from the aromatic pesto.

You can make these in advance, store in the refrigerator, and pop in the oven or on the grill on Friday nights.

Pesto Salmon Packets

Ingredients:
4 (6 oz) salmon fillets
1 lb asparagus, woody ends trimmed
3 tsp olive oil, divided
1 Tbs dried dill
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 Tbs pesto, homemade or store-bought
4 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400° F. Spray 4 lengths of aluminum foil with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

Toss asparagus with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide into 4 portions onto foil, and layer in center of each piece. Season both sides of salmon with salt, pepper and dill. Layer salmon over asparagus, and then spread 1 tablespoon pesto on top. Drizzle 1 teaspoon lemon juice over each fillet. Toss tomatoes with remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil; season lightly with salt. Spread over each salmon fillet. Wrap sides of foil in and roll, crimping edge to seal. Then, wrap ends upward to seal. Place foil packets on a baking sheet. Bake until salmon has cooked through, about 20 to 28 minutes. Open foil to vent and serve immediately.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 365, Calories from Fat: 188, Fat: 21 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 79 mg, Sodium: 179 mg, Carbohydrates: 10 g, Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 6 g, Protein: 38 g.

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Shop the Sale: Oven-Baked Dill Salmon


Oven-Baked Dill SalmonMy favorite thing to do on Monday nights, when I’m home alone, is to stop by Brookshire’s on my way home from work to pick up a piece of fresh salmon from the seafood counter. Last time I was there, I didn’t even have to say anything, and the gentleman working behind the counter already knew my order.

“Salmon for one?” he asked.

You betcha.

I eat salmon alone because my family members aren’t fans, no matter how perfectly I cook it. That’s fine. I didn’t like salmon much growing up either. It really wasn’t until a few years ago that a family friend told me to never, EVER overcook fish, and that made all the difference in the world. Instead of a hunk of dry and tough fish, undercooking it just a bit gives you a light, flaky, velvety texture.

Yes, it’s safe to eat.

Dill and lemon, to me, are the perfect pairings with salmon.

If you don’t want to bake this, you can pan-fry it or grill it as well.

Salmon is on sale this week at Brookshire’s, so you’ll see me there more than just on Monday night.

Oven-Baked Dill Salmon

Ingredients:
4 (5 oz) salmon fillets
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs dill, dried
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pepper
1 lemon, thinly sliced

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350° F, and spray a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. When oven is preheated, rub the salmon with olive oil, and sprinkle with lemon juice. Rub with dill, salt and pepper. Place in the baking dish, skin-side down. Top with lemon slices. Bake for 25 minutes, or until salmon flakes easily with a fork and is opaque. Do not overcook. Serve with extra lemon.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 253, Calories from Fat: 143, Fat: 16 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 63 mg, Sodium: 647 mg, Potassium: 586 mg, Carbohydrates: 1 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 0 g, Protein: 28 g.

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Family Matters: Honey Boy Pink Salmon Croquettes


Honey Boy Pink Salmon CroquettesI am so excited to share this salmon recipe with you because my two boys (my husband and son) are not that crazy about fish. You can imagine their faces when they saw me in the kitchen the other night opening up a can of Honey Boy Pink Salmon to make salmon croquettes! Yeah, they were not happy. They were even talking about eating something else instead, but neither of them can cook.

I was prepared to take all of the leftovers to my parents. I knew they would appreciate tasty salmon croquettes. However, as we sat down to dinner, I watched my husband and son gulp down two croquettes each, and they asked for more! You can bet this will be on my dinner menu again in the near future. As for my parents, there were no leftover croquettes to be had!

The recipe is really easy and can be found right on the Honey Boy Pink Salmon can.

Honey Boy Pink Salmon Croquettes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 to 20 minutes
Serves: 6

1 can Honey Boy Pink Salmon, drained
2 cups soft breadcrumbs
1/3 cup onions, finely minced
1/4 cup Brookshire’s Milk
2 eggs
2 Tbs parsley, minced
1 to 2 Tbs lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dill weed
dash of pepper
cooking oil for browning

Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl and mix well. Heat enough cooking oil to cover the bottom of a non stick pan. Form the salmon mixture into patties, and cook over medium heat until browned on the bottom. Turn them over and brown on the other side.

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Shop the Sale: Shrimp Tacos


Shrimp TacosDear Shrimp Tacos,

I love you.

I might not see you often, but my loyalty never fails.

You are my favorite type of soft taco, and I sing your praises to the ends of the earth.

I love the texture you give to a soft taco. I love how a well-cooked shrimp has a bite to it and complements the softness of a corn tortilla and the crunchiness of some cabbage.

You’re amazing in the way you take on flavors of the seasonings with whom you frolic. I’m a fan, personally, of lime and garlic, but lemon, Cajun spices, salt and pepper, cumin, paprika and red pepper work just as well.

You are beautiful. Low-calorie. High protein. Low cholesterol. So easy to work with. Quick to cook. Full of flavor.

Dear Shrimp, I love you so.

Sincerely,
Me

Shrimp Tacos

Ingredients:
12 corn tortillas
1 lb 31/40 Gulf shrimp
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 Tbs garlic, crushed
1 cup red cabbage, shredded
1 red onion, slivered
6 Tbs cilantro
4 oz queso fresca, crumbled

Directions:
Remove tails from shrimp. Combine lime juice and garlic in a large bowl. Soak shrimp in juices for about 5 minutes. Don’t marinate too long or shrimp will cook.

Remove shrimp from marinade. Heat a nonstick skillet to high heat. Sautée shrimp until opaque, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat.

Place shredded cabbage, onion and queso fresca in the corn tortilla. Top with shrimp and cilantro. Serve immediately.

Makes 12

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 132, Calories from Fat: 30, Fat: 3 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 85 mg, Sodium: 179 mg, Potassium: 141 mg, Carbohydrates: 13 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 12 g.

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Product Talk: Fish in Crazy Water


Fish in Crazy WaterI’m all about fish these days.

A few weeks ago, I floated the query to my family, “Would you guys be interested in eating more fish?” and expected the answer to be a resounding silence, which would be answer enough.

To my shock, they were all for incorporating more fish into our diets.

I love fish. I could eat it 17 times a week, but I knew my guys would need to be eased into it.

I made blackened tilapia, a hit. I offered fish tacos, another hit. I baked salmon (mostly a hit). Then, I was skimming through Pinterest and looking for instructions on how to make three-dimensional cardboard stars, when I saw a recipe for Fish in Crazy Water. That was close enough to “Fish in a Crazy Household” that I had to click the link.

This recipe sounded so good that I had to put it on the menu immediately.

The recipe calls for snapper, sea bass, Branzino or Orata, so I went to the fish counter at Brookshire’s to see what was available for a good price.

I love going to the seafood counter at Brookshire’s because they never make me feel stupid if I don’t know what Orata is. (It’s a member of the bream family found in the Mediterranean.) Plus, the seafood experts will fillet, peel, steam, debone or otherwise prep your seafood for you! It’s a win/win.

This particular day, there was red snapper on sale, so that’s what I got. This recipe ended up being our favorite so far.

Fish in Crazy Water

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs fresh fish fillets (such as snapper, sea bass, Branzino or Orata), cut into 4 portions
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove, peeled and slightly smashed
1 1/2 cups yellow onion, diced
3 stalks celery, washed and cut into matchsticks
2 or 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 pint ripe cherry tomatoes, washed and quartered
1/4 cup parsley leaves, chopped
1 1/2 cups water or vegetable stock
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:
This recipe calls for a large skillet with a lid. If using a cast-iron skillet, placing a baking sheet over the skillet will act as a lid.

Heat the olive oil and garlic in the large skillet over medium heat until it shimmers and is fragrant, and the garlic starts to sizzle. Add the carrots, celery and onions. Cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes or until the vegetables start to soften but not brown.

Add the cherry tomatoes; cook, stirring often, for a minute to heat the tomatoes until they begin to release juices. Add the fish to the pan, tucking it down into the vegetables. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 1/2 cups water or vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer.

Cover and cook over medium-low heat at a very gentle simmer for 10 minutes, poaching the fish until it’s just cooked through and the vegetables are softened. Stir in half the parsley.

Divide fish, veggies and broth among 4 shallow bowls. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Serve immediately, garnished with the other half of the parsley.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 383, Calories from Fat: 142, Fat: 16 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 80 mg, Sodium: 148 mg, Potassium: 1363 mg, Carbohydrates: 13 g, Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 7 g, Protein: 47 g.

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Dine In: Blackened Shrimp with Cajun Garlic Butter


Blackened Shrimp with Cajun Garlic ButterFour years of my childhood were spent living in Louisiana while my dad was employed by the public health service, but I never really took to Cajun food until adulthood.

Now, it seems that I can’t get enough.

It bears to mention that Cajun and Creole are very different.

The Cajun people and Cajun foods come from the Acadians and their descendants, largely transplants from French areas of Canada. They have their own foods and distinct dialects.

While a lot of people are guilty of using the terms Cajun and Creole interchangeably, they’ll be the first to point out the differences.

Cajun cuisine focuses on local ingredients and wild game like duck or rabbit, vegetables and grains, as well as fish and shellfish. This shrimp recipe is the perfect blend of Cajun foods and spices!

Blackened Shrimp with Cajun Garlic Butter

Serves 6

Ingredients:
For the Shrimp:
1 lemon, juiced (reserve zest for butter)
2 lbs large shrimp
3 Tbs Tony Chachere’s Cajun Seasoning
lemon wedges, for serving (optional)
fresh thyme sprigs, for garnish (optional)

For the Cajun Garlic Butter:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp grated lemon zest, finely chopped
1 to 2 tsp Tony Chachere’s Cajun Seasoning
1 tsp fresh oregano, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
splash of Worcestershire sauce

Directions:
Pour lemon juice into a large bowl. Toss shrimp in lemon juice and let marinate for 10 minutes at most. (Don’t go longer than 10 minutes or the citrus juices will cook the shrimp.) Drain and pat dry.

Sprinkle with Cajun seasoning and toss to coat. Let stand another 10 minutes.

Prepare the butter sauce by melting the butter in a small saucepan with the rest of the ingredients and keep warm until ready to serve.

Preheat the grill to medium heat and skewer the shrimp on metal or wooden skewers that have been soaked for at least 30 minutes. Cook the shrimp about 2 minutes on each side until they are opaque.

Toss with fresh thyme leaves. Serve with Cajun garlic butter and lemon wedges.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 262, Calories from Fat: 139, Fat: 15 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (10 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 257 mg, Sodium: 389 mg, Potassium: 21 mg, Carbohydrates: 4 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 29 g.

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Healthy Living: Cuban Shrimp


Cuban ShrimpMy new obsession is to travel to Cuba.

Ever since the U.S. and Cuba established a more open door policy (aided, in part, by Pope Francis), I’ve wanted to go to the country that has for so long been verboten to American tourists.

You might say my interest started in the third grade, when a boy named Christopher came to sit next to me in Mrs. Armentour’s classroom. Christopher and his family had just moved to the United States from Cuba, a country that sounded exotic and fascinating. Christopher’s father was in Cuban prison (a story I never heard mentioned again) and his mother had taken Christopher and his brother to her native United States. It was all very alluring and mysterious.

Perhaps part of Cuba’s allure is that is has been cut off from the United States for so long, during the years of Castro’s rule and subsequent domination by the Communist Party.

Cuba was discovered and claimed for Spain by our pal Christopher Columbus, although Ameri-Indian tribes inhabited the island just 93 miles off the coast of the U.S. before he arrived.

Cuba’s culture is a blend of Spanish and African, with emphasis on rich music and healthy, flavorful cuisine.

The cuisine features a lot of black beans, citrus fruits, more black beans, saffron rice, mangos and more black beans. (I happen to LOVE black beans.)

But this shrimp dish highlights the citrus flavors I conjure up when I imagine an island visit.
The hot pepper tempers the sweetness of the juices, and the spices say “island” to me! This dish gets its flavor from whole, healthy foods!

Cuban Shrimp

Ingredients:
10 cloves garlic
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp hot red pepper flakes
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground cumin, optional
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 to 2 lbs large to jumbo raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
kosher or sea salt, to taste

Directions:
Start by making a paste of the spices, using a mortar and pestle (or a bowl and a heavy spoon). Mash the garlic, pepper, oregano and red pepper flakes until they form a chunky paste. You can also use a food processor. Whisk this into the orange juice, lemon juice, lime juice and olive oil and add cumin.

Separate the sauce in half and set half aside. Add shrimp to the other half and marinate in the refrigerator for 15 minutes (no longer or the citrus will cook the shrimp, ceviche-style).

Drain the shrimp, but reserve the marinade.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and sprinkle with salt. Sauté for 30 seconds.

Cook an additional 2 minutes or until the shrimp are cooked through. Remove to a warm platter.
Increase the heat to high and add all the sauce. Bring to a boil and cook until sauce reduces by half and thickens. Pour over shrimp and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 508, Calories from Fat: 269, Fat: 30 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (4 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 320 mg, Sodium: 331 mg, Potassium: 271 mg, Carbohydrates: 15 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 6 g, Protein: 46 g.

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Dine In: Salami Roll-Ups


Salami Roll-UpsWhile we’re at the beach, we pack lunches every day to bring from the beach house onto the sand. No one, and I mean no one, wants to leave the beach to go back and be bothered to eat lunch, so we pack it and have lunch al fresco listening to the waves pounding on the shore.

I have to admit I’m not always creative when it comes to lunches, but my sister-in-law makes it look so easy. She concocts all these spreads, wraps and rolls for her kids, using all kinds of fun and fresh ingredients.

Yesterday, they ate spinach wraps spread with hummus and topped with roasted red peppers, cucumber slices and baby spinach.

We tried this version, which would also be great for a Friday night dinner, with a glass of chilled sauvignon blanc.

Salami Roll-Ups

Ingredients:
1 lb cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 to 3/4 lb salami, very thinly sliced
1/2 green pepper, thinly sliced

Directions:
Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap on the work surface. Spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.

Place the cream cheese on top of the plastic wrap and cover with another piece of wrap the same size. With a rolling pin or an offset spatula, roll the cream cheese out into an even layer, approximately 1/4-inch thick. This process can get messy, so be aware of the cream cheese seeping out of the edges of the plastic wrap.

Remove the top layer of plastic wrap and add the salami, laying the slices in an overlapping pattern and lightly pressing into the cream cheese. Cover the cream cheese entirely with salami.

Replace the plastic wrap; flip the salami and cheese mixture over so that the cream cheese is on top. Remove the wrap and place the sliced green peppers over the cheese.

Roll the salami over the cream cheese firmly. Roll the meat log and press the outer layers tight to hold it all together. Wrap the log in plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours or overnight. It’s easiest to cut when well chilled. Cut thin slices of the roll; serve as is or with your favorite cracker or crostini.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 310, Calories from Fat: 263, Fat: 29.2 g (16.6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 93 mg, Sodium: 653 mg, Potassium: 157 mg, Carbohydrates: 2.6 g, Sugar: 0. 9 g, Protein: 9.7 g

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Dine In: Chili-Lime Cod


Chili-Lime CodMy doctor told me to eat a low-fat diet.

Of course, when I hear “low-fat,” I translate that to “low-flavor.”

However, that isn’t remotely true.

You can eat low-fat with loads of flavor, and this fish is the perfect example. I was tired of eating lean pork and chicken. I love fish, so I decided to give this a whirl.

The lime and spices brighten up this fish so much that you totally forget you’re eating low-fat, plus it’s really high in protein.

My family has not always been receptive to eating fish, but they loved this recipe. White fish isn’t too “fishy” for them, and the spices remind them of their favorite Mexican meals. Plus, I got to eat low-fat with big flavor, so this recipe was winning all around!

I left out the butter in this recipe, but you certainly don’t have to!

Chili-Lime Cod

Ingredients:
2 lbs fresh cod fillets
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp dried parsley or 1/2 tsp dried cilantro
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbs butter
1/4 tsp cumin
1 lime, juiced

Directions:
Heat oven to 450° F. Coat oven-safe pan with oil or cooking spray. Place cod in pan. Sprinkle chili powder, herb and salt. Roast 5 to 7 minutes or until opaque. Melt butter in small saucepan. Add cumin and lime juice; cook for 1 more minute. Before serving, drizzle butter mixture over cod.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 485.6, Calories from Fat: 133, Fat: 15 g (8 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 226 mg, Sugar: 0.4 g, Sodium: 951.4 mg, Carbohydrates: 3 g, Fiber: 0.6 g, Sugar: 0.4 g, Protein: 81 g

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Dine In: Crusty Fish and Jalapeño Pasta


My best friend and I have Girls Night Out every Thursday.

Well, not EVERY Thursday. Life has gotten in the way, but we try to meet as often as possible, if only for an hour or two.

Our favorite restaurant is the same (that’s part of the reason we’re BFFs), and we go there as much as we can. The restaurant is in an old mansion on a hill, and we love sitting out on the expansive deck decorated with lights, comfortable with a fan and under the webbing of trees, shade and sanctuary.

I also love their jalapeño fish pasta.

It’s spicy, yet mild. It’s creamy, yet bold.

Delicious! You can probably make this with any kind of hardy white fish you want.

Crusty Fish and Jalapeño Pasta

Ingredients:
2 (4 oz) tilapia fillets
1/2 cup white flour
2 oz melted margarine
1 tsp garlic, chopped
1/4 cup jalapeño, diced
1 cup de-stemmed fresh baby spinach, chopped
1 pinch salt
1 pinch pepper
1 pinch garlic salt
4 oz heavy cream
1/4 cup lemon butter (1/4 cup butter mixed with 4 Tbs lemon juice)
5 oz angel hair pasta
1 tsp fresh parsley
1/8 cup Roma tomatoes, diced

Directions:
Dredge the tilapia fillets in the flour; add them with the melted margarine and garlic to a medium temperature sauté pan.

Once the tilapia has finished cooking on one side, flip the fillets over and add the jalapeños, spinach, salt, pepper and garlic salt.

Prepare the angel hair pasta in boiling water. Allow it to cook 3 to 4 minutes, depending on the temperature of the water.

As the fillets begin to flake, add the heavy cream, then bring it to a slight boil.

Once the cream begins to boil, remove the pan from the fire, and reduce the lemon butter into the sauce.

Place the pasta in a bowl, and pour the fish with the sauce over the pasta.

Garnish with fresh Roma tomatoes and parsley.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 2226, Calories from Fat: 1284, Fat: 142.6 g (67.9 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 398.7 mg, Sugar: 5.8 g, Sodium: 1295.3 mg, Carbohydrates: 163.3 g, Fiber: 8 g, Protein: 75.7 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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