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Shop the Sale: Crab Legs with Garlic Butter


Are you tired of hearing about my beach trip yet?

Well, hang in there with me one more time. I promise, seafood recipes are worth it!

Crabs are one of my favorite seafood types.

When I go to the beach on the East Coast, there’s always a feast of crabs poured out onto a table covered with newspaper, and we crack and clean them ourselves.

Crabs aren’t usually eaten that way here in the South. On the Gulf (of Mexico, that is), your crabs generally come in the form of lump crabmeat someone else has done all the work to render!

Or, you eat crab legs. Glorious, red, vibrant crab legs with huge hunks of buttery meat that you can extract from their depths. Now, I’m getting hungry again at just the thought of them.

Snow crab legs often come in clusters, meaning the legs are still attached to one another by the top joint. That makes them easy to cook, and they crack apart easily when you go to eat them.

This recipe cooks up quickly, as you never, EVER want to overcook crab.

Try this simple, but impressive dish, while snow crab legs on are sale this week (a surf ‘n turf for Mother’s Day, perhaps?).

Garlic Snow Crab Legs
Serves 2

Ingredients:
1 lb snow crab legs
1/4 cup butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Cut a slit, length-wise, into the shell of each piece of crab.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the garlic in the butter until translucent; stir in the parsley, salt and pepper. Continue to heat mixture until bubbling. Add the crab legs; toss to coat. Allow to simmer in the butter mixture until completely heated, about 5 to 6 minutes.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 452, Fat: 34.3 g, Cholesterol: 228 mg, Sodium: 874 mg, Carbohydrates: 1 g, Fiber: 0.2 g, Protein: 34.2 g

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Shop the Sale: Shrimp Kisses


Shrimp KissesThis time last week, I was packing my bag to go to the beach for a long weekend with my love. It was an amazing trip, and I have a serious case of beach fever after returning from those sunny, relaxing days away.

I also have a lingering obsession with all things seafood.

On the last afternoon at the beach, we ate at a local hangout famous for their shrimp. They make it every way you can imagine (cue the Forrest Gump movie sequence!). They have it grilled and blackened, deep-fried, butterflied, in gumbo, on a po’boy and probably several other ways I’m forgetting.

For an appetizer, we ordered Shrimp Kisses, little bites of deep-fried shrimp stuffed with cheese and jalapeños and wrapped tightly with bacon.

I’m going to try to recreate them at home this weekend.

This recipe calls for feta cheese, which I think will hold up better in the deep-fryer than the Monterey Jack used in the recipe at the restaurant. I mean, I love gooey cheese as much as the next person, but I don’t want all my cheese to ooze out before I can get it into my mouth. I’m pretty protective of my cheese that way.

Plus, these are grilled instead of deep-fried. That’s got to be a little healthier, right?

Bacon is on sale this week at Brookshire’s, so I’m going to take advantage and make a huge batch.

Shrimp Kisses
Serves 4

Ingredients:
20 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
3 large jalapeño peppers, seeded and cut into slivers
10 slices bacon, cut in half
20 toothpicks, soaked in water

Directions:
Preheat an outdoor grill to medium-low heat, and lightly oil the grate.

Use a sharp paring knife to cut down the backs of the shrimp nearly all the way through, so you can spread apart the two halves. Open up the shrimp and lay them out onto your work surface. Spoon some crumbled feta cheese onto each shrimp, then top with slivers of jalapeño pepper. Close up the shrimp. Wrap each with a strip of bacon; secure with a toothpick.

Cook on the preheated grill until the bacon has begun to crisp and the shrimp is no longer translucent in the center, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 257, Fat: 18.2 g, Cholesterol: 129 mg, Sodium: 990 mg, Carbohydrates: 2.2 g, Fiber: 0.3 g, Protein: 21.4 g

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Shop the Sale: Smothered Pork Chops


Smothered Pork ChopsMy younger son, Luke, had a really early soccer game last weekend, so we decided that we’d go out to eat breakfast after the game instead of trying to scrape something together in the wee (still dark!) hours of Saturday morning.

After the game (they tied: 2-2), we went to a popular local eatery known for their hearty breakfasts.

I ordered country potatoes with scrambled eggs. Luke ordered pigs in a blanket, my sweetie ordered all kinds of breakfast meats and potatoes, and Curt ordered smothered pork chops.

Pork chops? For breakfast?

“I ordered off the dinner menu, Mom,” Curt explained. “I just felt like something different.”

Hey, whatever works. If you can have breakfast for dinner (which we do, frequently), I guess he can have dinner for breakfast, too.

His pork chops looked amazing.

I think they were something like the recipe below. It would be a great time to try to duplicate the recipe, as pork chops are on sale this week at Brookshire’s.

Smothered Pork Chops

Ingredients:
4 thick-cut pork chops
3 Tbs butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup milk
1 cup mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 Tbs oregano
1 Tbs thyme
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350° F.In a large skillet over medium-high heat, combine butter, garlic, mushrooms, salt, pepper, oregano and thyme.

Once butter has melted, add your pork chops and seer on each side for 1 to 2 minutes until golden-brown.Once both sides of the pork chops are golden-brown, place in oven and bake for 35 minutes, or until centers are no longer pink. (Time may need to be adjusted depending on the thickness of your pork chops.)

Remove skillet from oven and remove your pork chops;  set them aside to rest.Whisk flour and milk into your pan with the remaining liquids after removing the pork chops. Whisk until all lumps are removed. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.Serve over the top of pork chops.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 384, Calories from Fat: 262, Fat: 29 g (13 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 93 mg, Sodium: 127 mg, Potassium: 392 mg, Carbohydrates: 10 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 20 g

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Shop the Sale: Chili-Lime Pork Loin


Chili-Lime Pork LoinPrices on meat seem to be rising as quickly as the thermostat, but a whole pork loin is always a good value, especially when it’s on sale at Brookshire’s.

I can’t tell you how many meals I can get out of a whole pork loin.

Well, yes I can. I slice it for the main meal. I dice it for leftover tacos, and I serve it a third time in sandwiches. Not bad, right?

This chili-lime flavor goes a long way with pork and is extremely versatile. Oh, scrambles. I forgot to mention this. Chili-lime pork with eggs and jalapeños. Yummy.

Chili-Lime Pork Loin

Ingredients:
2 lb pork loin
1 Tbs chili powder
1 medium lime
4 Tbs vegetable oil
1/2 Tbs garlic, minced
1 Tbs soy sauce

Directions:
In a small bowl, whisk together the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil with the soy sauce, chili powder, lime juice and garlic. To get the most juice out of your lime, microwave it for about 20 seconds before cutting it open.

Place the pork loin in a large zip-top bag and pour in the marinade. Make sure the loin is completely coated and then refrigerate for 1 hour or more.

When ready to cook, take the pork loin out of the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Heat a large skillet with the remaining 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. When the skillet is very hot and the oil looks wavy on the surface, add the pork loin (do not discard the marinade). Sear both sides of the pork loin until brown and crispy (about 3 to 5 minutes per side).

After searing both sides of the pork loin, place it on a baking sheet or roasting pan. Baste the loin with the remaining marinade and place it in the oven. Roast for approximately 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160° F. Allow it to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 273, Calories from Fat: 164, Fat: 18 g (6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 73 mg, Sodium: 154 mg, Potassium: 410 mg, Carbohydrates: 1 g, Protein: 25 g

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Shop the Sale: Lasagna Pasta


Lasagna PastaI have not made Italian food in a long time, at least not the variety with pastas and sauces. That’s a very different thing than the lighter fare that comes from the Mediterranean side of the country. That’s one of the things that makes Italy so entrancing: every region has a very distinct culinary style. The layered pastas tend to come more from the southern portion of the country.

While this isn’t a true lasagna, it definitely reminds you of a lasagna when you eat it. A few websites I cross-referenced claim this is a recipe from a weight-loss program, but I couldn’t confirm that.

Either way, you get the taste of lasagna without all the calories. In addition, you get a great deal because ground chuck is on sale this week at Brookshire’s.

Lasagna Pasta

Ingredients:
1 lb bowtie pasta, uncooked
1 Tbs olive oil
1 lb ground chuck
1 jar spaghetti sauce (or 3 cups homemade sauce)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 (heaping) tsp Italian seasoning
1 cup mozzarella, shredded
1 cup sour cream

Directions:
Boil pasta in large pot of salted water until al dente; drain. In large skillet, brown and crumble ground chuck until fully cooked; drain fat and return to pan. Pour cooked pasta on top of meat, then drizzle olive oil on top. Pour jar of sauce, salt, garlic powder and Italian seasonings on top of pasta. Stir pasta. Add cheese and sour cream. Stir over low heat until cheese is melted and all ingredients are combined. Taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve with parmesan or additional mozzarella, if desired.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 472, Calories from Fat: 162, Fat: 18 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (8 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 42 mg, Sodium: 679 mg, Potassium: 128 mg, Carbohydrates: 59 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 20 g

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Shop the Sale: Bacon-Wrapped Hormel Ham


Bacon-Wrapped Hormel HamI always host Easter Sunday at my house. Since I don’t have family in the area, it usually means my adopted family comes for the day. My adopted family includes the people from my Sunday school class and their children.

The number of guests usually multiplies faster than bunnies, so I need a simple supper that can feed a crowd with little fuss.

Hormel hams are the way to go.

They are pre-cooked, so you REALLY don’t have to do anything to them if you don’t want to. However, dressing them up a little bit doesn’t take much time or effort, and the results are quite dazzling and crowd-pleasing, if I do say so myself.

That leaves you time to dye eggs, hunt for eggs, and visit with friends and family.

Hormel hams are on sale, just in time for the holiday.

Bacon-Wrapped Hormel Ham

Ingredients:
1 Hormel Cure 81 ham, any size (about 1/2 lb per person)
1 pkg Hormel Black Label bacon

Directions:
Place the cut surface of the Cure 81 ham face-down in a baking pan or cast iron skillet, and add one cup of water.

Take a package of Hormel Black Label bacon, weave it together on a separate plate and flip the plate upside down over the ham so the weave covers the ham.

Cover the pan with aluminum foil, and bake the ham at 325° F for 15 minutes per pound.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 574, Calories from Fat: 318, Fat: 35 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (12 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 171 mg, Sodium: 3831 mg, Potassium: 864 mg, Carbohydrates: 9.2 g, Fiber: 3 g, Protein: 52 g

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Shop the Sale: Smoked Spare Ribs


Smoked Spare RibsMy boyfriend got a smoker for his birthday a few weeks ago!

As of right this second we (notice I interjected myself right into his birthday gift there?) haven’t used it yet, but we’ve been fantasizing about the epic meals we will create in it once it finally stops raining. (Please, please, let it stop raining soon!).

One of the first things we’d like to do is smoke pork spare ribs. You see, we spent the weekend in Fort Worth not too long ago and we ate our body weight in meat. One of the memorable meals we had was at Riscky’s, in the Stockyards. We both had ribs and they had a crisp bark, a spicy sauce and a deep, smoky flavor.

We can’t wait to duplicate them. We might not have to wait much longer, as pork spare ribs are on sale this week at Brookshire’s.

Smoked Spare Ribs
Serves 6

Ingredients:
2 racks (about 4 pounds) pork spare ribs
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs ground cumin
2 tsp salt
2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Your favorite barbecue sauce

Directions:
Let the ribs rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

In a small bowl, make the rub by combining the sugar, chili powder, cumin, salt, mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, white pepper, and cayenne pepper with a fork.

Pat the ribs dry with paper towels. Then coat the ribs with the rub, using your hands to completely cover the surface of the meat with the spices.

Following the instructions below, smoke the ribs at 225°F (107°C) for 5 hours (about 1 hour more than the number of pounds of meat). Keep the coals smoldering at low heat so that the ribs don’t burn, catch fire, or overcook. Check the ribs periodically to make sure they aren’t drying out. Flip and move the ribs 90° every hour in order to get crosshatch sear marks across the flesh. The meat is done when it is tender and releases easily from the bone.

If using a smoker: Put your soaked chips in the smoking basket and your meat on the top racks.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 607, Calories from Fat: 347, Fat: 39 g (16 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 148 mg, Sodium: 1467 mg, Potassium: 72 mg, Carbohydrates: 8 g, Protein: 55 g

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Shop the Sale: New York Strip


New York Strip SteakMy boyfriend had a birthday recently. To celebrate the day, we grilled steaks, baked potatoes, tossed a crisp, fresh salad and steamed some green beans (before we got to the chocolate-on-chocolate cookie cake, that is.)

I went to Brookshire’s and got ribeyes for me and my boyfriend. (I couldn’t even eat half of mine because they were so huge and delicious.) However, my boys are really picky about steak (this makes me question their parentage) and don’t like ribeye because of the marbling. A sirloin is “too chewy” for them, so I ended up getting a New York strip. Not only is it tender but it’s also flavorful, and my boyfriend works magic on the grill. I promised them the steak would be as tender as a maiden’s heart, as Celebrity Chef David Wade used to say.

When it came almost time to eat, my boys asked if they could have their steak on a sandwich.

Are you kidding me? Steak is delicious plain.

Apparently, steak is also delicious on a sandwich.

I had soft, chewy pretzel rolls in the pantry and some sharp cheddar in the refrigerator, so when the New York strip came off the grill all crusty and juicy, I let it rest. Then, I sliced it into thin slivers across the grain and laid it on the bread.

The boys loved it. They even picked the steak off the bread and ate it just as it was meant to be eaten.

So, whether you eat it on a sandwich or as a steak, the New York strip, on sale at Brookshire’s this week, is a great choice.



Shop the Sale: Summer Sausage


Summer SausageI remember going to the mall with my mom while I was growing up and looking forward to the free samples at the Hickory Farms store. The sesame sticks and summer sausage were my favorites, hands down.

I don’t think Hickory Farms has stores in the mall anymore. Although, I do see kiosks pop up around Christmastime, and they still sell their famous summer sausage.

Once, at the holidays, someone sent a Hickory Farms gift basket to my college dorm room. I think I devoured the sausage and cheese, and gave the rest to my roommate.

I love the sausage because it wasn’t too “sausage-y.” It was lean and flavorful, yet delicious at room temperature, and nothing was required for preparation.

I saw this recipe on Pinterest. It came from a blogger who makes everything she eats homemade. I figured I might as well try it. After all, it looks so simple to do, no casings required. I was a bit dubious about the results, but it turned out DELICIOUS. I think I might add something like finely chopped jalapeños to make a spicy version next time.

Summer Sausage

Ingredients:
3 lb extra ground chuck
3 tsp Morton’s Tender Quick
3 tsp smoked salt
2 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
3/4 tsp garlic salt
4 tsp liquid smoke

Directions:
Mix together all ingredients then refrigerate for 24 hours, re-mixing 4 to 5 times during that time.

Roll into 3 logs.

Place logs on a broiler pan (or you can use a cooling rack that has been put over an aluminum foil-lined cookie sheet.)

Bake 8 hours at 170° F.

Cool completely. Slice and enjoy.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 148, Calories from Fat: 105, Fat: 12 g (5 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 40 mg, Sodium: 476 mg, Potassium: 161 mg, Carbohydrates: 0.3 g, Protein: 10 g

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Shop the Sale: Baked Buffalo Chicken Bites


Baked Buffalo Chicken BitesI went to Irving for job training recently, and when we took a break for lunch, a small group of us decided to try a new restaurant recommended by one of the locals.

It sounded like it had an eclectic mix of lunch fare, ranging from salads to sandwiches to burgers to seafood and pasta dishes.

The ambiance was incredible. We sat at a wrought-iron bistro table next to a beautifully landscaped canal. The water was crystal clear, so clear that you could see giant goldfish swimming around. There were palm trees swaying in the breeze that day and tropical flowers somehow in bloom, showing off their pinks, reds and yellows.

It was a lovely setting.

I was intrigued by an item on the appetizer menu and ended up having it for my main meal. Their Buffalo Chicken Bites were deep-fried, but when I came home, I found this healthier version. It’s almost identical in taste. The food at this restaurant was delicious, too. Try it for an appetizer, meal or snack this week when Brookshire’s boneless chicken breasts are on sale.

Baked Buffalo Chicken Bites

Ingredients:

For the yogurt dip:
1 cup 2% Greek yogurt
2 Tbs cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 cup bleu cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup red onions, finely diced
salt and pepper

For the chicken bites:
3 cups cooked chicken, shredded or finely chopped
1/4 to 3/4 cup buffalo wing sauce
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 bunch green onions, white and pale green parts chopped
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
salt and pepper
cooking spray

Directions:
Mix all of the dip ingredients together well. Stash in the fridge while you prepare the chicken.

Preheat oven to 350° F.

In a large bowl, combine chicken, wing sauce, cheese, green onions and cream cheese until well-combined.

Mix panko and a pinch of salt and pepper in a shallow dish.

Form chicken mixture into 2 1/2-inch balls (for dinner-sized) or 1 1/2-inch balls (for appetizer-sized).

Roll the chicken balls in the panko and place on a greased cookie sheet.

Before cooking, spray the tops of the balls with cooking spray.

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until tops of bites are brown and crunchy.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 393, Calories from Fat: 195, Fat: 22 g (12 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 119 mg, Sodium: 1136 mg, Potassium: 311 mg, Carbohydrates: 13 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 36 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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