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Shop the Sale: Firecracker Chicken Tenders


Firecracker Chicken TendersI’ve been on a Chinese food kick lately, and this is one of my favorite recipes from my favorite Chinese restaurant to make at home.

The sauce is sweet, spicy and sticky, and it clings to the golden chicken tenders perfectly.

Speaking of golden chicken tenders, they’re baked not fried, so I can feel good about that as I’m feeding my family. I have to double this recipe with two teenage boys in the house.

I like to serve this with steamed white rice to soak up the extra sauce and green beans with slivered almonds.

Firecracker Chicken Tenders

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs chicken tenders
1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
3 eggs plus 3 Tbs water
1/3 cup flour

Sauce:
1/3 cup Frank’s Hot Sauce
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbs ketchup
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1 Tbs water

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425° F.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Pat tenders dry with paper towels. Add flour and chicken strips to a large zip-top bag and seal. Shake to coat the chicken. Place breadcrumbs in a large bowl.

In a second bowl, whisk together the eggs and water until foamy. Dip the chicken pieces in the egg wash; toss in the breadcrumbs, coating well. Place on the baking sheet, and repeat until all chicken is prepared. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until cooked through.

While the chicken is baking, combine all sauce ingredients in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir for about 5 minutes until well-combined. Reduce heat to low, and simmer until chicken is finished cooking.

Remove chicken from the oven. Toss with sauce. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 744, Calories from Fat: 164, Fat: 18 g (5 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 274 mg, Sodium: 1203 mg, Potassium: 647 mg, Carbohydrates: 90 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 51 g, Protein: 61 g.

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Shop the Sale: Turkey Talk


Turkey TalkIt’s time to talk turkey, since the big day is coming right up.

First of all, go ahead and buy your turkey this week since they’re on sale at Brookshire’s.

Secondly, don’t forget to take it out of the freezer in time. Been there, done that. Give it three to five days to thaw in the refrigerator, depending on the size of the bird.

Last year, we smoked our turkey. This year, we’re going to roast it, but we’re also going to brine the bird.

Brining is simply soaking the bird in a solution of salt and some acid (and a little sweetness) to lock the juices into the bird before cooking. It’s like marinating the turkey because your bird will absorb the fluids and flavors by osmosis. Brine your turkey for 18 to 24 hours before roasting it for best results.

Your brine can consist of almost anything, but you want to make sure to use 1 cup kosher salt and 1/2 cup sugar for every gallon of brine you make. You’ll probably need at least two gallons to cover your turkey.

You can flavor your brine with slices of citrus like lemons or limes; with sliced apples; with lots of fresh herbs like sprigs of rosemary and sage or chunks of ginger; or with cloves of garlic. You can use cider or broth in place of the water (although if you’re using cider or something sweeter, I’d only replace half of the water).

After you’ve mixed all the ingredients together until well-combined, submerge your turkey, and place in the refrigerator. Some people feel safe brining in a clean cooler, but I don’t trust Texas weather to keep it cool enough. You can use a roasting bag, a large stockpot/baking pan or whatever vessel is large enough to hold your turkey and the brine and still fit in the fridge.

For extra-crispy skin when you roast the bird, remove from brine the night before Thanksgiving and let dry. Rub with butter and herbs; replace in the refrigerator, UNCOVERED, overnight. Bring to room temperature for an hour before roasting.



Shop the Sale: Volcano Potatoes


Volcano PotatoesWe have potato wars in my house.

I like a nice, fluffy baked potato with butter and sour cream. My older son likes mashed potatoes. My younger son likes “potatoes you can chew.” (ie, a roasted potato). My boyfriend likes french fries.

So, it’s not always easy to find a recipe we can all agree on, until it came to this one. It has baked, mashed, chewable and kind of fried (basting these potatoes with butter and baking them in bacon grease puts it in the same category as frying it, in my opinion).

Then, of course, there is bacon. Lots and lots of bacon. John Morrell Bacon adds a crispy, salty flavor to the otherwise bland potato and really takes this recipe to the next level.

Volcano Potatoes

Ingredients:
12 slices John Morrell Bacon
4 large baking potatoes
4 Tbs butter, melted
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 Tbs hot sauce
1/4 cup onion, diced
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Wash and dry potatoes thoroughly. Piece potatoes with a knife in several places. Cut a slice off one of the potatoes so it can stand firmly on its end.

Wrap three slices of uncooked bacon around each potato, overlapping slightly and covering as much of the potato as you can. Secure with a toothpick. Leave about 1 inch from the top of the potato.

Place potatoes on baking sheet, and brush with melted butter. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until potatoes are fork-tender and bacon is beginning to crisp. Baste potatoes with melted butter during baking process.

In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream and hot sauce; chill until ready to serve.

Remove potatoes from the oven; allow to cool, about 5 to 10 minutes. Slice the inch not covered by bacon off the top of potatoes, and scoop out the cooked potato inside, leaving about a 1/4-inch shell of bacon-wrapped potato.

Place the scooped potato into a bowl with 1/4 cup butter. Add diced onions, sour cream, crumbled bacon and cheeses to the potato mixture. Mash or blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Place potato mash into a pastry bag or plastic zip-top bag with a corner snipped off. Pipe potato mash back into baked potato shells. Press shredded cheese on top, and place potatoes back into the oven. Broil on high until cheese is melted. Remove from oven; drizzle with sour cream and hot sauce mixture. Top with green onions, and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 1412, Calories from Fat: 968, Fat: 107 g (53 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 291 mg, Sodium: 3631 mg, Carbohydrates: 41 g, Fiber: 5 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 71 g.

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Shop the Sale: Pressure-Cooked Pork Chops in Gravy


Pressure-Cooked Pork Chops in GravyI got an electric pressure cooker for my birthday recently, and I’m equal parts fascinated and frightened of it.

When I was growing up, my mom had a pressure cooker that she’d use on the stovetop, with a metal bell affixed to the top that would chatter insanely as pressure built inside the pot. It was scary when she released the valve and steam whooshed from the vessel with incredible pressure and heat.

Mine is a bit more modern, of course, with one-button touch start and a release valve that doesn’t clatter.

I’ve only made a few things in it so far, but the fact that it can cook a stew or roast in a fraction of the time is amazing.

Pressure-Cooked Pork Chops in Gravy

Ingredients:
6 assorted pork chops
1 tsp cracked black pepper
3 Tbs canola oil
2 tsp chicken bouillon granules
1 (10.5) oz can cream of mushroom soup
1 1/2 cups sour cream

Directions:
In the pressure cooker, heat oil over medium heat on the “brown” setting until hot.

Pepper both sides of the pork chops and brown, a few at a time; set aside.

Add water and chicken bouillon to the pot, scraping to deglaze the pan.

Add pork chops back into the pressure cooker.

Secure the lid on the pressure cooker, and set timer for 8 minutes. Start the pot. When time runs out, release the pressure.

When there’s no more steam, open the pressure cooker. Add sour cream and cream of mushroom soup; stir. Leave on warm until heated through. Serve immediately with hot noodles or rice.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 560, Calories from Fat: 333, Fat: 35 g (13 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 151 mg, Sodium: 675 mg, Carbohydrates: 26 g, Fiber: 5 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 47 g.

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Shop the Sale: Pork and Pasta Stew


Pork and Pasta Stew“Hey Mom, what are you writing about?” my younger son just asked me.

“Pork butt,” I replied.

He collapsed into fits of raucous laughter only a teenage boy could produce at the mention of the word “butt.” Boys never really grow up.

Teenage boys do, however, eat me out of house and home. That’s why it’s important to be able to make them a meal that is filling, nutritious and economical.

Enter Brookshire’s Boston butt roast.

This is one of my favorite things to cook because one roast will feed a small army (aka, teenage boys), and the pork gets so much flavor from the fat.

This meal is super easy because you make it in the slow cooker, so it’s ready when you walk in the door at night.

Pork and Pasta Stew

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs pork butt roast (Boston butt), cut into 1-inch pieces
4 cups chicken broth
1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes, chopped (liquid reserved)
6 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 Tbs crushed red pepper
1 Tbs oregano
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
6 oz small shaped pasta, uncooked
4 oz baby spinach
2 oz parmesan cheese, grated

Directions:
Combine the pork roast, broth, tomatoes and the liquid, garlic, red pepper, oregano and salt in a large slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 6 hours.

Just before serving, add the pasta. Cover and cook for 10 more minutes. Stir in the spinach. Cover and cook until the pasta is al dente, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately topped with parmesan cheese.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 400, Calories from Fat: 104, Fat: 12 g (4 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 132 mg, Sodium: 1175 mg, Carbohydrates: 26 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 4 g, Protein: 47 g.

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Shop the Sale: Sunday Roast


Sunday RoastMy mom always made the BEST roast beef.

However, it seems like in my adult years that when I try a roast beef recipe, I get shredded beef or more of a pot roast instead of a piece of meat I can slice and serve with a sprinkling of pan gravy.

Tonight, I’m going to try another new roast beef recipe, and I think this one is going to be a winner. Of course, I’m already starting out winning with rump roast from Brookshire’s.

Use rump roast. Not chuck roast. Chuck roast tends to “shred” and we want to slice, remember?

Be sure to bring your meat to room temperature before you sear it. You’ll get the most beautiful sear that way, I promise.

When you take the meat out of the oven and let it rest, whisk about a tablespoon of flour into the pan juices on the stove over medium-high heat (if you cook in cast-iron, you can just set the skillet on the stove and not dirty another pan). Cook, stirring often, until thickened and bubbly for a brown pan gravy.

Perfect Roast Beef

Ingredients:
2 Tbs canola oil
2 1/2 lbs rump roast, room temperature
2 white onions, chopped
1 cup baby carrots
1 cup water
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 300° F.

In a heavy cast-iron skillet, heat oil over heat. Season the room temperature rump roast with salt, pepper and garlic, massaging spices into meat.

Sear in the hot oil, turning so each side gets browned.

Remove from heat and add onions, carrots and water.

Roast for 20 minutes per pound for rare or 30 minutes per pound for medium-rare.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 407, Calories from Fat: 145, Fat: 16 g (0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 16 mg, Carbohydrates: 6 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 59 g.

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Shop the Sale: Smoked Whole Fryer Chicken


Smoked Whole Fryer ChickenRight now, right this very minute, I have a whole fryer on the smoker.

It’s kind of a misnomer, isn’t it, when you say you are going to smoke a “fryer,” but a whole fryer chicken was originally intended to be processed and fried!

However, as I’m sure you know, they’re delicious smoked or roasted, as well.

Not only are they delicious and deliciously easy to cook, but they smell good, too. Really good. In fact, I’m moving my laptop out onto the back porch so I can work downwind of the smoker.

Be right back.

There. Oh my. This is amazing.

The scent of the smoker always reminds me of fall, even when it’s still hitting 95 degrees down here in the South.

I’m going to love how this smells all day long!

Grab a fryer (or two, or three) at Brookshire’s. Fry it if you want. Smoke it if you want. Roast it if you want. Any way you cook it, it will be delicious!

Smoked Whole Fryer Chicken

Ingredients:
1 whole fryer, rinsed and patted dry
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup Twisted Q Crazy Chic Seasoning, or your favorite spice rub

Directions:
Preheat smoker to 250° F. Sprinkle hickory wood chips near the heat source.

After chicken is rinsed and patted dry, rub with butter, and then sprinkle with seasonings, patting firmly to adhere seasonings to butter.

Place chicken in smoker and close lid. Do not open the lid during the cooking process to maintain proper temperature.

Smoke chicken until meat thermometer reads 165° F and juices run clear, about 1 hour per pound.

Remove from smoker and serve immediately.

Serves 8

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 615, Fat: 22 g (10 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 292 mg, Sodium: 296 mg, Carbohydrates: 0 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 0 g, Protein: 98 g.

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Shop the Sale: Super Easy Slow Cooker Chicken


Super Easy Slow Cooker ChickenWhenever I’m asked to list my hobbies, I always wonder if “reading cookbooks” is included as a hobby. Since it is a favorite pastime of mine, I always write it down.

I would keep a stack of cookbooks on my bedside table and pour over the recipes nightly, marking pages with scraps of sticky notes to save the ones I wanted to make.

I still read cookbooks. I have shelves full of them in the built-in bookcase in my living room and another several lined up on the baker’s rack in my kitchen. If I’m being honest, I don’t spend as much time with the paper version of cookbooks as I used to.

It’s sad, really, because there’s nothing I love more than opening my Southern Living cookbook and having to unstick the pages where you’d find their banana bread recipe because I’ve splattered on it so many times, or knowing exactly where the strawberry jam recipe is in Better Homes and Gardens because the edges of the pages are stained pink.

These days, I find a lot of recipes online, which is also fun, and I discovered last week that it’s literally impossible to scroll by a recipe that calls itself “Stupid Easy.”

I did change the name because in my house growing up, “stupid” was akin to a curse word, and I’ve kept that going in my own household.

So, this “Super Easy Slow Cooker Chicken” recipe isn’t just super easy, it’s super economical as well, as boneless chicken breasts are on sale at Brookshire’s this week. No matter where you find your recipes, you can always count on Brookshire’s ingredients to make them an instant family favorite.

Super Easy Slow Cooker Chicken

Ingredients:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
2 (14 oz) cans Italian diced tomatoes
1 packet Lipton Savory Herb & Garlic Soup Mix
1 tsp crushed red pepper
16 oz farfalle pasta
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded

Directions:
Mix tomatoes, Lipton soup mix and red pepper in the crockery of the slow cooker. Mix in chicken cubes. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. Mix into chicken in the slow cooker. Serve immediately topped with parmesan cheese.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 670, Calories from Fat: 158, Fat: 18 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 204 mg, Sodium: 400 mg, Carbohydrates: 71 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 5 g, Protein: 57 g.

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Shop the Sale: Chile-Rubbed Roast with Chipotle Gravy


Chile-Rubbed Roast with Chipotle GravyYou know I use my slow cooker all year, but there’s something particularly comforting about a slow-cooked meal in the fall.

This dish screams Sunday dinner, and the aroma of this cooking is quintessentially fall.

For an added depth of flavor in the meat, combine the rump roast with the spices and seal into a zip-top bag in the refrigerator overnight before you make this dish. The flavors will be a little bolder and will seep nicely into the meat. This is a great meal to serve over mashed potatoes; I add cheese to mine. It would also be good over rice, or anything that could hold and absorb this delicious gravy.

Chile-Rubbed Roast with Chipotle Gravy

Ingredients:
3 lbs rump roast
1 Tbs paprika
1 Tbs ancho chile powder
1 Tbs cayenne pepper
1 Tbs garlic powder
1 Tbs onion powder
1 tsp salt
3 Tbs olive oil
12 oz beer
1 (7 oz) can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2 Tbs flour
mashed potatoes, for serving

Directions:
Trim the roast of visible fat, and cut roast into large cubes. Place the meat in a large mixing bowl.

In a small bowl, combine paprika, ancho chile powder, cayenne, garlic, onion powder and salt. Mix well. Rub into meat.

Heat olive oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Place meat in the pan in two batches, searing on all sides.

Add beer to the skillet to deglaze the pan, scraping up browned pieces from the bottom.

Pour mixture into slow cooker. Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until meat is fork-tender and falling apart.

Drain juices from the slow cooker into the cast-iron skillet, and heat over medium heat. Pulse chipotles in the food processer until smooth and add to the skillet. Whisk in flour and stir vigorously to remove lumps. Cook until gravy thickens. Serve meat and gravy over mashed potatoes.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 528, Fat: 21 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 394 mg, Carbohydrates: 10 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 72 g.

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Shop the Sale: Grilled Beefy Cheese


Grilled Beefy CheeseThere is nothing better than a grilled cheese sandwich, unless it’s a grilled cheese sandwich stuffed full of cheesy beef.

To say this is a hearty sandwich is putting it mildly. It’s a full meal, for sure. Just add a side salad or a cup of soup, and you’re ready to go. Plus, it cooks up quickly, something I love, especially for a weeknight meal.

To make this even more perfect, Angus ground chuck is on sale this week at Brookshire’s, so feeding your family is delicious, quick, easy and economical!

I’ve also added chopped green bell peppers into the mixture and cooked them at the same time I added the mushrooms, onions and garlic.

Grilled Beefy Cheese

Ingredients:
1 lb Angus ground chuck
1 clove garlic
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup white onions, diced
8 slices good-quality sandwich bread
4 tsp butter, softened
8 slices Swiss cheese
8 slices American cheese

Directions:
Brown ground Angus in a large pan. Drain fat. Add garlic, mushrooms and onions to the pan; cook until vegetables are soft. Drain any excess liquid. Remove from heat and set aside.

Butter 1 side of each slice of bread. Heat a griddle pan to medium-high heat, and place 4 slices of bread, butter-side down, on the griddle. Top with 1 slice each of American and Swiss cheese, and then add 1/4 cup of the beef mixture. Top with remaining slices of bread, butter-side up. When the first side of bread is golden and browning, carefully flip and cook until the second side of bread is golden and browning, and cheese is melting. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 654, Calories from Fat: 339, Fat: 38 g (21 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 197 mg, Sodium: 865 mg, Carbohydrates: 18 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 5.6 g, Protein: 60 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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