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Dine In: Crawfish Cornbread


Crawfish CornbreadSome Friday nights are just made for comfort food.

Last night was one of them.

One of my best friends has had a run of bad luck recently. He doesn’t love his new job. He and his girlfriend broke up. And, he was in a car accident yesterday. (He wasn’t hurt, thank goodness). So it’s not a stretch to say that he hasn’t been in the best of moods lately.

The car accident was the straw that broke the camel’s proverbial back. This called for comfort food, and I was happy to oblige because I think cooking is my love language. He loves anything Cajun and he really loves crawfish, but I wasn’t dumping pounds of mudbugs all over my kitchen table in the middle of a booming thunderstorm and tornado watch, so crawfish cornbread it was! It meets all my requirements for comfort food: warm, cheesy and casserole-like. He loved it, especially with the brownies I made for dessert.

I found frozen crawfish tails in the freezer section of Brookshire’s. Saved me a ton of work!

Crawfish Cornbread

Ingredients:
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 (4 oz) jar diced pimentos, drained
1/3 cup vegetable oil 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 (15 oz) can cream-style corn
1/3 cup chopped jalapeño peppers
1 lb peeled crawfish tails
1 pinch seasoned salt, or to taste
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 pinch garlic powder, or to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375° F, and grease a 9 x 13 baking dish.

Stir together cornmeal, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, beat together the eggs, onion, green pepper, pimentos, vegetable oil, cheddar cheese, cream-style corn, jalapeño peppers, crawfish tails, seasoned salt, cayenne pepper and garlic powder until the mixture is well combined. Pour the crawfish mixture into the cornmeal mixture, and stir together. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.

Bake in the preheated oven until the cornbread is lightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Allow to rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 209, Fat: 10.8 g, Cholesterol: 86 mg, Sodium: 534 mg, Carbohydrates: 18.6 g, Fiber: 1.5 g, Protein: 10.4 g.

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Posted in: Dine In, Seafood


Shop the Sale: Spicy Shrimp Noodle Soup


ShrimpWhenever I’m in doubt about a recipe, I try to convince someone else to make it first.

Brilliant, huh?

It worked this time. Not necessarily because I was in doubt but because a Facebook friend got all excited about this recipe after I posted it.

He said he’d add more lime and more red pepper.

I’ll take his word for it.

I love anything with shrimp, and this week Gulf Brown Shrimp is on sale at Brookshire’s.

Spicy Shrimp Noodle Soup

Ingredients:
3 cups unsalted beef stock
1 cup water
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste) or 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp lower-sodium soy sauce
2 (3 inch) cinnamon sticks
1 (8 oz) bottle clam juice
1 oz dried shiitake mushroom caps, chopped
1 (1 inch) piece peeled fresh ginger
1 star anise
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 oz uncooked flat rice noodles
1/2 cup fresh bean sprouts
1/2 cup diagonally cut green onions
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
12 small fresh basil leaves
4 lime wedges

Directions: Combine first 11 ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until reduced to 3 1/2 cups (about 12 minutes). Add shrimp; cook 4 minutes or until done. Remove cinnamon, anise and ginger; discard. Cook rice noodles according to package directions; drain. Place 1/2 cup noodles in each of 4 bowls, and top each serving with 1 cup stock mixture and about 5 shrimp. Sprinkle evenly with bean sprouts, green onions, cilantro and basil. Serve with lime wedges.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 287, Fat: 2.1 g (0.4 g Saturated Fat, 0.3 g Monounsaturated Fat, 0.8 g Polyunsaturated Fat), Protein: 26.7 g, Carbohydrates: 40.3 g, Fiber: 4 g, Cholesterol: 174 mg, Iron: 11.1 mg, Sodium: 537 mg, Calcium: 96 mg.

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Dine In: Spicy Shrimp with Chiles


Spicy ShrimpSometimes keeping it simple on a Friday night is the best way to go, especially now that spring is springing and I’d rather spend time on the patio with my good friends and my kids than slaving away in the kitchen.  

I don’t mind slaving away in the kitchen, mind you, but some Friday nights I’m just worn out.

In my quest for all things spicy, I came across this recipe. It cooks up quickly and it’s figure-friendly.

I tested it out on a recent patio night and my friends loved it. I would have added more chilies, but then again, I like things hot!

With this recipe, it’s important to cook the shrimp in batches. If not, it almost steams and your result is a chewier shrimp. 

Spicy Shrimp with Chilies

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lb peeled and deveined medium shrimp
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 to 4 dried chilies, roughly chopped
5 garlic cloves, crushed
juice of 1 lemon
3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Directions:
Season the shrimp with salt and pepper to taste.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add a 1/2 tablespoon of the oil to the pan and half of the chilies; cook 1 to 2 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high; When hot, add half of the shrimp. Cook undisturbed for about 1 1/2 minutes. Turn the shrimp over and cook until opaque throughout, about 1 minute. Transfer to a plate.

Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil and remaining chilies; cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add the remaining shrimp to the pan and cook, undisturbed, for about 1 1/2 minutes. Turn the shrimp over, add the garlic and cook until the shrimp is opaque throughout, about 1 minute. Return the first batch of shrimp to the skillet, mix well so that the garlic is evenly incorporated and remove the pan from the heat.

Squeeze the lemon juice over the shrimp. Add the parsley and toss well.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 147, Fat: 4 g, Carbohydrates: 3 g, Fiber: 0 g, Protein: 23 g, Sugar: 0 g, Sodium: 171 mg, Cholesterol: 172 mg.

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Posted in: Dine In, Seafood


Shop the Sale: Gulf Brown Shrimp


ShrimpI’m still not sure how I wasted so much of my life not loving seafood. 

Beyond the fish sticks we ate every Friday night during Lent, I never loved seafood of any kind. Actually, now that I think about it, it was probably because of those fish sticks that I didn’t like seafood. Sorry, Mom, I’m just speaking the truth.

Rest assured, I’ve spent the past few years trying to make up for lost time. I’ve eaten shrimp by the pound. I’ve decimated a dozen Maryland blue crabs in one sitting. I’ve embraced raw oysters. My boyfriend makes a sea bass that’s out of this world, and I cook salmon as often as it goes on sale at Brookshire’s.

I find myself cooking with shrimp most frequently, so I love that Gulf brown shrimp is on sale this week.  An old friend of mine, Pete, for whom fishing is more an obsession than just a hobby, always told me never to overcook fish. The same goes for shrimp. It can still be slightly pink when you stop cooking it, and it will pretty much finish itself even after you take it off the burner. If you overcook shrimp, it becomes tough and chewy.

Enjoy this pasta dish; the garlic brings out the flavor of the shrimp beautifully.

Shrimp and Garlic Pasta

Ingredients:
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, more for finishing
3 large garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
8 oz medium Gulf brown shrimp, peeled and deveined or large shrimp, halved
1/2 tsp grated orange zest
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 (14.5 oz) can whole tomatoes, drained and roughly chopped
8 oz dried fettuccine or spaghetti
3 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for cooking the pasta. In a large skillet over low heat, combine the olive oil and garlic. Cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is just fragrant and beginning to turn golden, about 2 to 4 minutes; don’t let it brown or crisp. Add the shrimp and zest; season with salt and pepper. Raise the heat to medium-high, and sear the shrimp quickly just until they turn bright pink, about 1 minute on each side. They don’t need to be cooked through at this point. Add the wine and let it simmer for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes and cook until heated through. Set aside over very low heat if the pasta is not ready yet. Meanwhile, cook the pasta until just tender. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta, leaving drops of water clinging to it. Add the pasta and half of the reserved cooking liquid to the skillet. Gently simmer for a few minutes so the flavors meld and the pasta can drink up the sauce. Stir in the parsley, taste for salt and pepper, and serve warm with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Nutritional information: Calories Per Serving: 900, Calories from Fat: 290, Fat: 32 g (4 g Saturated Fat, 21 g, Monounsaturated Fat, 4 g Polyunsaturated Fat), Protein: 42 g, Carbohydrates: 108 g, Sodium: 1050 mg, Cholesterol: 170 mg, Fiber: 10 g.

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Shop the Sale: Garlicky Baked Shrimp


ShrimpI was beyond excited to see 36/40 Gulf Shrimp on sale this week at Brookshire’s.

I plan to stock my freezer.

Think Bubba in the movie, “Forrest Gump.”

Baked shrimp.

Boiled shrimp.

Grilled shrimp.

Shrimp scampi.

Shrimp kebabs.

And so on!

I love that movie and I love shrimp even more.

Most people might call pork the “other white meat,” but to me, it’s shrimp. It’s so versatile, quick and easy to cook, and so delicious.

Bubba was right.

Here’s one of my (many) current favorites. 

Garlicky Baked Shrimp

Ingredients:
1 lb raw shrimp, deveined and peeled
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp white wine
salt and pepper
1/4 cup (4 Tbsp) melted butter
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
2 Tbsp fresh Italian-leaf parsley, chopped
half of a lemon (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425° F.

In a bowl, combine the shrimp, garlic and white wine. Stir to combine, then pour into a baking dish. Spread out evenly, and then season with salt and pepper.

In another bowl, use a fork to mix melted butter, panko and parsley until well-combined. With your fingers, sprinkle the mixture evenly in the baking dish over the shrimp.

Transfer dish to oven and bake until the shrimp are pink and opaque, about 15-18 minutes.

Yield: 2-4 servings

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 312, Calories from Fat: 128, Fat: 14 g (8 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 269 mg, Sodium: 459 mg, Carbohydrates: 15 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 28 g



Dine in: Salmon Quinoa Bowls


Salmon BowlsI don’t know about you, but I’ve’ve decked the halls and fa-la-la-la-la’d enough.

I’m ready to put all those healthy eating New Year’s resolutions into action.

As we all know by now, sacrificing fat and calories doesn’t mean sacrificing flavor. This salmon dish is rich and flavorful but a lot better for you than cookie dough truffles or lasagna.

So, if you’re staying in tonight with your sweetie, take care of his or her heart in more ways than one with this delicious dish.

Salmon Quinoa Bowls

Ingredients:

For the salmon:
1 lb salmon fillet
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp ground sage
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt

For the guacamole:
2 ripe avocados
1 lime, juiced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp red onion, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)

For the burrito bowls:
1 cup uncooked red quinoa
1 (14 oz) can garbanzo beans
hot sauce
6 flour tortillas

Directions:
Place your oven on the high broil setting. Put the salmon fillet in a casserole dish or on a baking sheet.

Sprinkle the seasonings onto the salmon fillet and gently pat into the flesh. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until fish is cooked through.

While the fish is cooking, prepare the quinoa and heat up the garbanzo beans.

In a small bowl, mash together all of the ingredients for the guacamole.

Assemble burrito bowls by placing a flour tortilla into a bowl and pressing lightly. Then, build salad on top of the tortilla, compiling desired amount of quinoa, garbanzo beans, salmon and guacamole.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 553, Calories from Fat: 143, Fat: 16 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 33 mg, Sodium: 260 mg, Carbohydrates: 72 g, Fiber: 17 g, Sugar: 10 g, Protein: 34 g

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Posted in: Dine In, Seafood


Shop the Sale: Unfried Catfish with Lemon Cream


A few years ago, my son was invited to a friend’s birthday party. They were in preschool at the time, and when the invitation arrived, it was in the shape of a large fish. I thought it was going to be a fishing party.

Nope.

The party was a catfish fry for a 5-year-old. It turns out that fried catfish was the birthday boy’s very favorite meal, so he patterned his party after his favorite fish.

 In all honesty, my son liked the bounce house and birthday cake better than he did the catfish, but the adults, on the other hand, were gathered around the deep fryer to grab a golden nugget of catfish as soon as it cooled down enough to eat.

This recipe doesn’t require a deep fryer, and catfish fillets are on sale at Brookshire’s this week.

Enjoy!

Spicy “Fried” Catfish with Lemon Cream

Ingredients
6 (6 oz) catfish fillets
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
4 egg whites
Vegetable cooking spray

Lemon Cream:
1 (8 oz) ctn light sour cream
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp grated lemon rind
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt

Preparation:
Stir together all Lemon Cream ingredients until blended. Cover mixture and chill until ready to serve.

Directions:
Sprinkle catfish evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Set aside.

Combine bread crumbs, parmesan, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper in a shallow bowl.

Whisk egg whites in a shallow bowl until frothy. Dip fillets in egg whites and dredge in bread crumb mixture.

Arrange fillets on a wire rack coated with cooking spray in an aluminum foil-lined 15 x 10 jellyroll pan. (Do not overlap fillets.) Lightly coat fillets evenly on both sides with cooking spray.

Bake at 375° F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until fish is golden brown. Serve with Lemon Cream. Garnish, if desired.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 337, Fat: 10 g (4 g Saturated Fat), Protein: 35 g, Carbohydrates: 25 g, Fiber: 1 g, Cholesterol: 118 mg, Iron: 1 mg, Sodium: 480 mg, Calcium: 93 mg



Dine In: Grilled Shrimp Kebabs


I met my friend Kelly when I lived in Beaumont, Texas. We both taught preschool at the same school, and our boys, approximately the same ages, became fast friends. Kelly and her family were the fun party family to hang out with for Cajun summer cookouts and other fun times!

For fun on a Friday night, stay home and make Kelly’s shrimp kebabs. Nothing could be easier!

 

Shrimp Kebabs 

1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 bell peppers in all colors, cut into large chunks
1 fresh pineapple, cut into 2-inch segments
4 poblano peppers, cut into eighths
Juice from one lemon

Divide shrimp and vegetables between 8 kebab skewers. Drizzle with fresh lemon juice. Grill over medium-high heat until shrimp is cooked through. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 191, Calories from Fat: 20, Fat: 2 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 239 mg, Sodium: 283 mg, Carbohydrates: 15 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 9 g, Protein: 28 g

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Posted in: Dine In, Seafood


Shop the Sale: Haas Avacados


I’m a little obsessed with avocados. Some “experts” will tell you the sweet potato is a “perfect” food, but I’d put avocados right up there with them. 

Buttery, velvety, mild and nutritious, the Hass avocado, with its green-to-black bumpy skin and luscious flesh, was cultivated and patented by Rudolph Hass in 1935. Hass avocados are known as the “year-round avocado” because of their seasonal availability and are grown in many places in the United States, making them readily available in your local Brookshire’s.

Avocados have more potassium than a banana, are low in calories and are chock full of “good” fats, not to mention they’re good for more than guacamole. Try this recipe today, while avocados are on sale at Brookshire’s.

Shrimp Stuffed Avocados 

Ingredients: 

Citrus Dressing
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tsp grated lime zest
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp sugar 

Salad
1 cup frozen precooked baby shrimp (about 6 oz)
3 Tbsp chopped mint (more for garnish)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (more for garnish)
2 oz queso fresco or mild feta, crumbled (more for garnish)
1/2 cup diced English cucumber, peeled and seeded
1/2 cup seeded and diced tomato
2 avocados, ripe yet firm
4 cups shredded romaine lettuce

Directions:
To make the dressing, whisk together orange juice, lime juice, zest, pepper, salt and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside. 

To make the salad, thaw shrimp and drain off any excess liquid. In a medium bowl, combine shrimp with mint, cilantro, cheese, cucumber and tomatoes. Split avocados and discard pits.

With a table knife, gently score flesh of avocado without splitting the shell. Scoop out avocado and add to shrimp salad, reserving avocado shells. Pour half of the dressing over the salad and gently toss to coat. In another bowl, toss romaine with remaining dressing. To serve, divide lettuce among plates. Set avocado shells on greens and fill with shrimp salad. Garnish with additional cheese, mint and cilantro leaves, and serve.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 220, Fat: 13 g (2.5 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 14 mg, Sodium: 430 mg, Carbohydrates: 16 g, Fiber 8 g, Sugar: 4 g, Protein: 14 g.



Shop The Sale: Hothouse Bell Peppers


When I say the word “pepper,” my kids cringe.

“I don’t want that stuff. That tastes spicy on my mouth,” my younger son wails.

Clearly, he has not developed his footing for peppers yet.

But hothouse bell peppers don’t have a spice to them. Instead, the sweet red, yellow and orange varieties complement the more savory, earthy, green versions.

Either way, they’re delicious as a topping for fish – the delicate flavors complement each other perfectly.

Hothouse Sweet Bell Peppers with Red Snapper

Ingredients:

1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp Hungarian paprika
Black pepper, to taste
2 Tbs vegetable oil
2 lbs red snapper, cut into 1/4-inch fillets
1 hothouse sweet red pepper, cut peppers into 1/4-inch strips
1 hothouse sweet yellow pepper, cut peppers into 1/4-inch strips
1 hothouse sweet orange pepper, cut peppers into 1/4-inch strips
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
5 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup water

Directions:

Blend all spices together, add oil and mix well.

Roll snapper fillets in mixture and place in a nonstick skillet.

Roll bell peppers in the remaining mixture and arrange over snapper and sprinkle parsley on top.

Add garlic cloves and water.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Simmer, covered for approximately 10 minutes until liquid is evaporated and snapper is opaque and firm to touch. Don’t overcook.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories per Serving: 252, Calories from Fat: 65, Cholesterol: 71 mg, Sodium: 101 mg, Carbohydrates: 4 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugars: 2 g, Protein: 41 g



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