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Shop the Sale: Chuck Tender Pot Roast


Chuck Tender Pot RoastOne of the best ways I’ve found to get great value for my money is to buy a chuck roast. A two-pound roast serves about eight people, if you calculate a half pound per person.

Well, there are three people in my household so a two-pound roast goes a long way.

I like to start out doing just what the name implies: roasting it.

It’s delicious for a Sunday dinner and doesn’t take forever to cook.

After that, I like to repurpose the roast for sandwiches (sliced with bleu cheese on kaiser rolls), soft tacos (shredded and mixed with salsa or salsa verde) or for stir-fry (cubed and quick-cooked with veggies and served over rice).

See how economical it can be?

It’s delicious, too. Chuck roast is on sale at Brookshire’s this week, so get creative with your meals!

Chuck Tender Pot Roast
Serves 8

Ingredients:
2 lb chuck tender roast
1 cup yellow onions, chopped
8-10 cloves garlic, chopped
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp basil
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp kosher salt

Directions:
Allow roast to sit and come to room temperature.

Add olive oil to skillet and heat to medium-high. Add onions and garlic; brown slightly. Salt and pepper both sides of the roast. Remove onions and garlic from the pan. Add roast and sear on each side.

Return onions and garlic to pan. Sprinkle on rosemary and basil.

Transfer all to an oven-safe pan. Roast at 325° F for about 20 minutes per pound. Cook until desired doneness is achieved.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 207, Calories from Fat: 102, Fat: 11 g, Cholesterol: 65 mg, Sodium: 658 mg, Potassium: 38 mg, Carbohydrates: 3 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 23 g

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Shop the Sale: Spicy Shrimp Noodle Soup


Spicy Shrimp Noodle SoupI have a good friend, Beth, who takes healthy cooking to a whole new level.

Nothing she puts in her body isn’t fresh, has chemicals or was created in a laboratory. She’s pretty awesome that way.

I admire her, but that’s not always practical for me. Let’s face it, I like cheesy poufs sometimes.

But I do believe, as she says, that we’re supposed to fuel our body with the best foods most of the time.

She made a recipe similar to this for me one night at dinner. Of course, she used homemade bone broth instead of beef stock, omitted the fish sauce and clam juice and only served me the rice noodles, but it was so good that I had to try to duplicate it and she provided this recipe as the “next closest” thing to her homemade variety.

It’s delicious (especially with the rice noodles and clam juice, haha!). I guess it has a Thai flair to it, and you can add a touch of coconut milk at the very end, if you wish, to give it a more creamy consistency.

With medium shrimp on sale this week at Brookshire’s, this is a delicious, economical soup your family is sure to love.

Spicy Shrimp Noodle Soup

Ingredients:
3 cups unsalted beef stock
1 cup water
1 Tbsp minced garlic
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 lb (31 to 40) 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 10 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 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 g, Cholesterol: 174 mg, Sodium: 537 mg, Carbohydrates: 40 g, Fiber: 4 g, Protein: 27 g

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Shop the Sale: Spicy Peppered Snow Crab Legs


Spicy Peppered Snow Crab LegsOne of the most special meals – in my humble opinion – would be crab legs. There’s just something so fun about cracking into the hard shell to extract the yummy crab meat inside.

In addition, I don’t buy them often so they’re a special treat. Special equals fun in my book!

Conveniently, snow crab clusters are on sale this week at Brookshire’s. A snow crab cluster is simply the legs still attached at the joint. There’s nothing intimidating about them. You crack them apart, or leave them attached and cook them easily and quickly.

This dish is sticky and slightly sweet, and it’s meant to be eaten with your hands. Toasting the pepper makes a huge difference in the depth of flavor, so don’t skip this step!

Serve with a crisp sauvignon blanc.

Spicy Peppered Snow Crab Legs

Ingredients:
3 lb snow crab legs
freshly ground pepper
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
6 cloves garlic, chopped
10 thin slices ginger, peeled
8 scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces
4 red jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely chopped
2 tsp sugar
2 Tbs oyster sauce
2 Tbs soy sauce
white rice, for serving

Directions:
Cut the crab legs into 3-inch pieces with kitchen shears. Cut along one side of the shell on each piece so the meat can be easily removed after cooking.

Place the remaining ingredients by the stove. Toast 2 tablespoons pepper in a small skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes; remove from heat.

Heat the vegetable oil and butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until sizzling (you can also set a roasting pan over two burners). Add the garlic, ginger, scallions and jalapeños. Sprinkle with the sugar and cook, stirring often, until the mixture is fragrant (about 1 minute).

Add the crab pieces, oyster sauce and soy sauce. Cook, tossing, until heated through (about 5 minutes). Scatter the toasted pepper on top and continue to cook, tossing, about 1 more minute. Transfer the crab and sauce to a bowl. Serve with rice.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 1276, Calories from Fat: 636, Fat: 71 g (33 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 483 mg, Sodium: 7007 mg, Potassium: 2064 mg, Carbohydrates: 19 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 5 g, Protein: 136 g

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Shop the Sale: Salsa Verde Beef Tacos


Salsa Verde Beef TacosThe tradition of Taco Tuesday has been re-instituted in our house. We had it going for a long time, but I kind of got burned out. Back by popular demand, this time I’ve gone on the offensive against the taco doldrums by creating a Pinterest board where lots of yummy and creative recipes reside.

On Taco Tuesday, I’m cooking for three hungry guys.

Two of them would prefer the ground beef variety with a crispy shell.

One of them likes anything beef.

Personally, I’d make shrimp or fish tacos with a crunchy slaw and avocados if left to my own devices. Needless to say, I get ruled out ALL the time.

Last week, we made grilled chicken soft tacos. This week, because chuck roast is on sale at Brookshire’s, I’ll be making these Salsa Verde Beef Tacos. The guys get their beef; I get my green stuff. It’s a win/win. Since this should freeze well, maybe I’ll break out the leftovers next week and serve half Salsa Verde Beef Tacos, half shrimp tacos. Another win.

Salsa Verde Beef Tacos

Ingredients:
1 Tbs vegetable oil
3 lb boneless beef chuck roast
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 (16 oz) jar salsa verde
1/2 white onion, thinly sliced
2 limes, freshly juiced (juice reserved)
2 Tbs hot sauce, or to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
12 flour tortillas, warmed
limes, for serving
optional toppings: shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, avocado, sour cream

Directions:
Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium–high heat. Rub the beef with the cumin, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add the beef to the skillet; brown each side for 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer the meat to a 6-quart slow cooker. Add the salsa verde, onions, lime juice, hot sauce and garlic on top. Cover and cook on low setting for 6 to 8 hours.

Remove the meat from the slow cooker; shred it with 2 forks. Return meat to slow cooker and stir in the cilantro. Using a slotted spoon, remove meat and use for tacos.

Serve the meat in warm tortillas and top with preferred toppings. Serve with lime wedges.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 575, Calories from Fat: 163, Fat: 18 g (6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 203 mg, Sodium: 734 mg, Potassium: 1048 mg, Carbohydrates: 27 g, Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 2 g, Protein: 73 g

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Shop the Sale: Baked Coconut Chicken Strips


Baked Coconut Chicken StripsI need sunshine. I need sunshine BADLY. I suspect most of us who live in this part of the country – or even anywhere in the United States during the winter months – share my sentiments. (Or, is it desperation?)

It’s the time of year when I’m ready to shed the vestiges of winter for the spoils of spring, but the one thing I’m not quite ready to give up is my cold-weather comfort foods.

This coconut chicken is a marriage of comfort (baked, crunchy chicken), sunshine and lightness. Because when I think of coconuts, I think of Hawaii, and Hawaii is a warm tropical place where there’s plenty of sunshine and light during some of the dreary days of winter.

This recipe is baked, not fried, so you can even imagine yourself on a beach in a bikini.

This week, Brookshire’s chicken breasts or tenders are on sale, so you can transport to the tropics with this family-friendly recipe.

Baked Coconut Chicken Strips

Ingredients:
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or 6-8 tenders, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness and cut into strips
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
2 eggs
1 Tbs water
2 cups coconut flakes
sweet & sour sauce or Asian sweet chili sauce, for dipping

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400° F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.

Whisk together flour and seasoned salt in a small bowl. Whisk together eggs and water in a second bowl. Place coconut flakes in a third bowl.

Toss strips of chicken in the flour mixture, and then dip in the eggs. Lastly, roll in the coconut flakes, being sure to coat well. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and chicken is cooked through. Serve warm with dipping sauce of choice.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 401, Calories from Fat: 172, Fat: 19 g, Cholesterol: 169 mg, Sodium: 301 mg, Potassium: 401 mg, Carbohydrates: 18 g, Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 39 g

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Shop the Sale: Catfish Stew


Catfish StewYou can’t live in the South without eating a lot of catfish. I’ve had it fried, baked and broiled, but I’d never had it in a stew until just a few months ago.

I went to my friend Trish’s house for dinner, and she had a pot of heaven simmering on her stove. Of course, I dipped the spoon right in to see what delight she had cooking.

I was surprised when she said it was catfish, but when you think about it, it makes sense. Catfish is a hardy fish, which can stand up to deep frying or braising like in this stew. Don’t simmer this meal for a long time; the fish will break down. Instead, prepare it just before serving, making it a quick and easy dinner. You can omit the bacon if you want (but why???) to make it a little healthier, and you can also throw in two cups of shrimp at the same time as the catfish, if you are so inclined. I also think it would be good with a diced jalapeño for some heat.

Catfish fillets are on sale this week at Brookshire’s, and it’s perfect weather for stew.

Catfish Stew

Ingredients:
5 strips thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium onion, finely diced
1/2 cup celery, finely diced
1 (14 oz) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
1 1/2 cups fish stock or water
3 Tbs ketchup
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 lb catfish fillets, cut into 1-inch pieces

Directions:
Brown bacon in a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat until almost crisp. Add onions and celery; sauté until onions are tender (about 3 to 5 minutes).

Add tomatoes, fish stock, ketchup, Worcestershire, seasonings and potatoes; stir well. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Cook for 40 minutes or until potatoes are very tender.

Add catfish then reduce heat to low. Cover and continue cooking for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir. Cover and allow stew to rest for 20 minutes before serving.

*To make homemade stock, simmer catfish bones, uncovered, in 3 of cups water until liquid is reduced by half.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 298, Calories from Fat: 130, Fat: 14 g (4 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 57 mg, Sodium: 1082 mg, Carbohydrates: 19 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 6 g, Protein: 22 g

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Shop the Sale: Bacon-Wrapped Smoky Chicken Thighs


Bacon-Wrapped Smoky Chicken ThighsEveryone loves bacon, but my friend Nick REALLY, REALLY loves bacon. He could be bacon’s biggest fan.

He even conducted an experiment recently where he cooked bacon several different ways to see which way produced the crispest, flattest bacon with the fewest fat bubbles. It was something about adding ice water to the skillet. I suggested he bake the bacon in the oven, but he wielded his cast-iron skillet in my general direction and told me that was blasphemy (it’s not…really…baked bacon comes out perfectly, in my opinion).

So, I’m not going to convert him to baking bacon, but I can aid him in his quest to eat all things bacon-related.

Right now, Nick is in Kansas, finishing his training to become an engineer with BNSF Railway. He’s been working hard, very hard, on this for a year now, first earning his conductor stripes and then applying to – and getting into – engineering school, which is apparently much more difficult than people might think. I’m super proud of him; he’s sacrificed a lot this year to make this plan a reality.

When he comes back next week, his friends are going to throw a party for him with plenty of his favorite Cajun foods, all bacon-wrapped, of course.

Chicken thighs and legs are on sale this week at Brookshire’s, so I’m planning to make enough of these for a big party!

Bacon-Wrapped Smoky Chicken Thighs

Ingredients:
4 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs
8 slices bacon
2 tsp Smoky Spice Blend

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375° F. Sprinkle the chicken thighs with 1 teaspoon of Smoky Spice Blend, and then wrap each one in 2 strips of bacon. Sprinkle with the remaining Smoky Spice Blend and bake on a lined baking sheet for approximately 40 minutes. You could broil them for a few more minutes at the end to crisp up the bacon.

Smoky Spice Blend

Ingredients:
1 Tbs chipotle powder
1 Tbs smoked paprika
1 Tbs onion powder 
1/2 Tbs cinnamon
1 Tbs sea salt
1/2 Tbs black pepper

Directions:
Combine all spices in a bowl, and then store in a small container. You can use it for other recipes.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 283, Calories from Fat: 170, Fat: 19 g, Cholesterol: 31 mg, Sodium: 655 mg, Carbohydrates: 0.4 g, Protein: 30 g

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Shop the Sale: Kickin’ Chicken


Kickin’ ChickenSimplify.

Simplify.

Simplify.

That’s my motto for 2015. Life just gets too darn complicated sometimes, like on Wednesday evenings when I’ve picked up one kid from chess club, another from a STEM after-school program, worked a 9-hour day and then decide to try a new recipe while doing laundry, feeding the dog and sorting the mail.

This easy chicken recipe follows that directive. However, for such ease, it’s full of flavor. The lime juice tenderizes the chicken beautifully while the olive oil ensures the flavor seeps into the meat. Of course, I love anything with hot sauce.

The recipe calls for marinating for four hours, but I like to do mine overnight.

Boneless, skinless chicken tenders or breasts are on sale this week, so heat up your winter with this chicken recipe.

Kickin’ Chicken
Serves 6

Ingredients:
2-3 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders
1 cup Frank’s® RedHot® Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
limes, cut into slices for serving

Directions:
In a medium-sized bowl, mix hot sauce, olive oil, lime juice and garlic. Place chicken in a pan, bowl or zippered bag; pour marinade over top, making sure the chicken is submerged in the marinade. Marinade for four hours in the fridge. Remove chicken from marinade and grill. Serve with lime slices.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 340, Calories from Fat: 124, Fat: 14 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 130 mg, Sodium: 1309 mg, Potassium: 426 mg, Carbohydrates: 4 g, Protein: 49 g.

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SHOP THE SALE: Slow Cooker Carne Asada


Slow Cooker Carne AsadaThere’s frequently nothing better than having a big pan of tender, delicious meat sitting around.

At least, that’s what my friend, Rosa, and her mother, Mama Rosa, believe.

Whenever you go to their house, there is something good cooking, something that smells delicious and makes you gravitate immediately to the kitchen, like a tractor beam is pulling you in and you can’t resist. Really, you can’t resist. As they say in Star Trek, “Resistance is futile.”

The two Rosas (mother has lived with daughter for the better part of 20 years), are a culinary juggernaut. They had a restaurant for a short time until Juan, Mama’s husband and Rosa’s father, died at an early age.

Ever since then, they’ve been cooking in their home.

They usually do this dish in the oven, but even Mama will tell you that it’s too hot to turn on the oven that long during the summer months.

The slow cooker works just as well, and you actually get a juicier product. In fact, I had to drain some of the juice (but best believe I saved it) last time I made enchiladas out of this delicious carne asada!

Chuck roast is on sale this week at Brookshire’s, so don’t fear if you’re making a huge amount. It freezes well, too.

Slow Cooker Carne Asada
Serves 10

Ingredients:
1 (10.5 oz) can beef broth
3 diced tomatoes
2 jalapeño peppers, chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 lb chuck roast
2 Tbs ground cumin
2 Tbs chili powder
2 tsp salt
2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

Directions:
In a small bowl, combine the cumin, chili powder, salt and black pepper.

Rub it onto chuck roast. Place in a slow cooker.

Place onions, garlic, tomatoes and jalapeños in slow cooker with the meat.

Pour broth over meat and vegetables.

Cook on low setting for 8 hours or overnight.

Shred meat with a fork. Serve in enchiladas, tacos and other dishes.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 229, Calories from Fat: 75, Fat: 8 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 92 mg, Sodium: 661 mg, Potassium: 482 mg, Carbohydrates: 6 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 2 g, Protein: 32 g

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Shop the Sale: Steak Bites


Steak BitesSirloin steak is one of the most classic and delicious meats to enjoy. A top sirloin, taken from the upper portion of the cut, is tender, lean and lends itself well to being grilled.

There’s nothing better than a good grilled steak, but I also love to try meat in various ways, especially when it’s on sale, like this week at Brookshire’s.

Steak bites are a good alternative. You don’t mess with the integrity of the meat, but you get a different kind of meal out of a good cut of steak!

This would be delicious served with rice or over a baked potato with a huge green salad. This is based on a Pioneer Woman recipe; I just added the garlic because everything tastes better with garlic.

Steak Bites
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 lb top sirloin steak
1 tsp each sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
4 Tbs butter
2 cloves garlic, minced

Directions:
Trim off the excess fat from the meat, and then cut cubes about 1 inch in size.

Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Heat a skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high to high heat. As the pan heats, add about 2 tablespoons butter to the skillet. Allow the butter to melt and then get very brown before you add the meat. Add the garlic.

Place some of the meat in the pan in a single layer. It should sizzle loudly when it hits the pan. If it doesn’t, the pan isn’t hot enough. Don’t stir or disrupt the meat for 30 to 45 seconds. You want it to sizzle and brown on one side. Scoop as many steak bites as you can with your spatula and flip them over. Repeat until all the meat is turned. Cook for an additional 30 to 45 seconds, just long enough to sear the outside of the meat but NOT cook the inside.

Remove the meat to a clean plate. Add a little more butter to the pan and repeat the cooking process with the next batch just as before. Lastly, when all the meat is nicely browned and removed to the plate, pour all that browned/blackened butter all over the meat.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 315, Calories from Fat: 167, Fat: 19 g (10 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 132 mg, Sodium: 625 mg, Potassium: 466 mg, Carbohydrates: 1 g, Protein: 35 g

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

 

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