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Shop the sale: A craving for Crawfish


One of my favorite ways to cook outdoors is not on the grill; it’s in a huge black kettle that hangs from a wooden frame my father built in the back yard.  

I know people now use fancy stainless steel electric pots for this kind of outdoor cooking, but I just don’t think you get the same flavors as you do from a cast-iron pot that’s been seasoned over the years with the weather and all kinds of magic from your spice collection. And I guess I should mention my father used a shovel to stir the huge pot all afternoon over a steady fire.  I imagine that long-handled shovel had to have added some unique flavors to his famous shrimp and crawfish boils.

My parents taught the young married class at church for as many years as I can remember, and a crawfish boil was one way they entertained those young couples every spring.  It was the perfect, laid-back party. Eating outside on newspapers with juice dripping down your face was a surefire way to put guests at ease and set a comfortable mood for people to relax and enjoy themselves.

We would always have leftovers, and sometimes my mother would make delicious crawfish pies and frittatas. This quick, easy pasta dish reminds me of a recipe she used to throw together, and it makes for a fast weeknight dinner idea. All you need is a green salad and some crusty sourdough bread and you’re good to go. And if you don’t have any crawfish, shrimp works just fine too.

Enjoy!

Spicy Crawfish Linguine

Ingredients:
1 lb linguine, cooked to al dente and set aside
2 Tbs olive oil
1 bunch green onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb crawfish tails, peeled and boiled
1 (10 oz) can of diced tomatoes with green chiles, drained
1 (16 oz) jar Classico Alfredo or Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo Sauce
1 Tbs chopped parsley, for garnish

Directions:
In a large skillet with sides, heat olive oil to medium heat and sauté green onions and garlic until softened but not browned. Add crawfish and tomatoes and continue cooking for two minutes to heat through. Add Alfredo sauce and stir until combined. Add pasta, and toss well. Continue cooking on low for 8 minutes, allowing sauce to thicken just a bit. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat, garnish with parsley, and serve immediately.



Shop the Sale: Bacon and Eggs


I’m not much of a breakfast eater, but I love bacon and eggs. So how do I get my fix? At lunch, brunch, and even supper.

This recipe for an Italian-style frittata may sound breakfast-y,  but the texture and heaviness of a frittata works well at other meals. At brunch, pair it with a fruit salad dressed with yogurt; at lunch or supper, a nice green salad with an oil-and-vinegar dressing works well.

With special prices this week on Food Club large eggs and Brookshire’s thick-sliced bacon, there’s no better time to try expanding your egg-dish repertoire. A frittata, by the way, is simply kind of a cross between an omelet and a quiche. The ingredients that would normally be the filling of an omelet is mixed in with the eggs, and the whole thing is finished in the oven like a quiche, except there’s no crust.  So, you may want to warm up some crusty French bread or yeast rolls to round out the meal.

If you prefer, you can substitute four ounces of pork sausage for the bacon. (And lucky for you, Owens country sausage, in both mild and hot, is also on sale at your neighborhood store this week.) Just cook the sausage as you would the bacon, and use the reserved fat to brown the potatoes.

Look for more egg dishes in the April issue of Celebrate Cooking, in stores soon!

Bacon, Cheddar and Potato Frittata

Serves 2

Ingredients:
6 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons half-and-half
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 ounces bacon (about four slices), cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 1/2 ounces cheddar cheese, cut into 1/4-inch cubes (about 1/3 cup)
2 green onions, sliced thin on the bias

Directions:
Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Whisk eggs, half-and-half, salt and pepper in medium bowl until well combined. Set mixture aside.

Fry bacon in 10-inch nonstick  skillet over medium heat until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate. Pour off bacon fat from pan, leaving 1 tablespoon of bacon fat behind. Add potatoes to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and tender.

Stir cheddar, green onions, and bacon into eggs and add egg mixture to skillet and cook, using spatula to stir and scrape bottom of skillet, until large curds form but eggs are still very wet, about 1 minute. Shake skillet to distribute eggs evenly; cook without stirring for 30 seconds to let bottom set.

Place skillet in oven until frittata has risen about 2-3 minutes; when cut into with paring knife, eggs should be slightly wet and runny. Remove skillet from oven and let stand 5 minutes to finish cooking.

Using spatula, loosen frittata from skillet and slide onto platter or cutting board. Cut into wedges and serve.

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Shop the Sale: Grateful for Green Chiles


The other day, I went out to eat for lunch and ordered a green chile chicken sandwich. I’ve had green chile cheeseburgers before, but for some reason I had never thought to put it on my grilled chicken sandwiches. It was love at first bite, and I wanted more. 

I spent some time playing in my kitchen, trying to perfect the flavors of the sandwich I had enjoyed at the restaurant, which of course involved a return visit or two for “research.”  After a few more sandwiches, I think I’ve gotten fairly close to recreating the delicious marinade, which provides the perfect balance to the green chiles and cheese. 

I’ve also thrown in a great oven-baked potato wedge recipe for you. I love French fries but try hard not to fry food very often. These satisfy my craving for French fries without too much guilt. I like to dip mine in spicy ketchup or spicy Ranch dressing. The spicier, the better! 

And the best part of this meal just may be the price. This week at Brookshire’s, the three-pound bag of Pilgrim’s boneless, skinless chicken breasts are on sale, as well as the Wright Brand Sliced Bacon, a 10-pound bag of Harvest Club Russet potatoes, Kraft Mayonnaise and Food Club Charcoal Briquets. This is definitely the time to try something new! 

Enjoy! 

Green Chile Chicken Sandwiches with Spicy Roasted Potato Wedges 

Ingredients:
4 Pilgrim’s boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thawed
3/4 cup soy sauce
1 /4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles
4 slices Wright brand sliced bacon, cooked and cut in half
4 slices Monterey Jack cheese
4 whole-wheat hamburger buns, toasted
Toppings: Kraft Mayonnaise, avocado, leaf lettuce, ripe tomato, red onion 

Directions:
Place one chicken breast at a time in a large resealable plastic bag and close. Gently pound chicken to flatten to 1/4-inch thick. Repeat with each breast and then place all four breasts back in the bag. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, vinegar, honey and olive oil and mix well. Reserve ¼ cup of marinade and pour the rest over the chicken. Seal bag and make sure chicken is coated well. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to one hour. Meanwhile, prepare grill with Food Club Charcoal Briquets to medium heat. 

Remove chicken from refrigerator and discard marinade and plastic bag. Grill chicken, turning and basting with reserved marinade until juices run clear, about  7 minutes.  Remove from grill and place on platter. Top each breast with 1/4 of the green chiles, one slice of bacon cut in half, and one slice of cheese. Tent with foil to allow cheese to melt. When ready to serve, top each sandwich as desired with mayonnaise, avocado, lettuce, tomato and onion. Serve warm with Spicy Roasted Potato Wedges. 

Spicy Roasted Potato Wedges 

Ingredients:
4 large Harvest Club Russet potatoes, washed and dried
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional for less spicy version)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper 

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Cut each potato into about 8 long wedges.  Place oil, smoked paprika, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper in a large resealable plastic bag. Toss in potatoes and seal. Shake well to evenly coat potatoes. Transfer potatoes to baking sheet, making sure the peel is on the pan. Bake until crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, about 40 minutes. Serve hot. 



Shop the sale: Pears


A very simple pear-blue-cheese-and-pecan salad  was one of the most popular dishes on my menu when I owned a restaurant in Cozumel, Mexico.

No one ever seemed to figure out the secret ingredient in the dressing (maple syrup!) but everyone loved the texture and contrast of sweet, juicy, crisp pears to the salty, savory cheese and nuts.

Both green D’Anjou and Bosc pears are at special prices this week at your neighborhood store, so when you’re buying some for lunchboxes, get a few extra for this salad. You can use either one, as it’s a matter of taste and appearance preferences. Personally I find the brown-skinned Bosc tend to be a little sweeter, so you may find they present a little better contrast to the strong blue cheese flavor.

Pear, Blue Cheese and Pecan Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 small container spring mix lettuces  (or any lettuce mix of your choosing)
1 large or two small pears, halved, cored, and sliced thinly lengthwise
4 to 6 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
1 cup salted or candied pecans
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, optional

For dressing:
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup lime juice, fresh only (do not use bottled)
1/4 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:
For dressing: In a squirt bottle or sealable plastic container, combine maple syrup, lime juice and olive oil. Seal container and shake well to combine. Season with salt and fresh pepper to taste. Shake again and place in refrigerator until ready to use.

In a med.-large mixing bowl, combine spring lettuce mix, pear slices, blue cheese and pecans. Toss to combine. Remove dressing from refrigerator and shake well to recombine.  Add about ¼-1/2 cup of dressing and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Divide onto salad plates and serve immediately.



Shop the Sale: Orange Glazed Pork Chops


Dinner in a Dash:

I would like to pretend that I get dinner on the table for my family every night…and on time. But if your  life is anything like mine, then there are simply some evenings that supper arrives in a sack through my car window. It’s just the way it is.

But I don’t want to be a fast-food family all the time.  Yes, it takes some planning on my part, and yes, some nights don’t go as I hope and I end up alone in the kitchen with nothing but dirty words and dirty dishes. 

These are the nights I try to remember how cute my teenagers were before they decided that I know nothing about anything.

But for the most part, I have found that some my family’s best conversations and laughter happen around our dinner table. One of my family’s favorites is this quick, delicious recipe for Orange Glazed Pork Chops.  This week, the Hormel Pork Chops and Food Club Orange Juice are on sale in all Brookshire’s, making this an even better deal for your family.

The sauce is delicious on hot, cooked rice, and I usually just steam some fresh broccoli to serve with it…which happens to also be on sale this week.

Our motto at Brookshire’s is “Share meals. Share life.” There’s something about coming together at the end of our day in a place where we can let our guard down and enjoy a good meal together that gives us all a much-needed sense of security in this crazy world.

Orange Glazed Pork Chops

Serves 4

Ingredients:
4 Hormel boneless pork chops, about 3/4-inch thick
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup Food Club orange juice
2 tablespoons honey or light brown sugar
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspooon crushed red pepper, optional
Hot cooked rice

Directions:
In a bowl, combine orange juice, brown sugar, marmalade, vinegar and crushed red pepper. Set aside. Season pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper to taste. In a large, heavy skillet, heat oil to medium-high and brown pork chops on both sides. Remove to a plate and drain excess grease from skillet. Return pork chops and skillet to heat. Pour orange juice mixture over pork chops. Cover and simmer on low heat for 35 to 45 minutes, until pork chops are tender. Remove pork chops to a warm platter. Spoon additional sauce over pork chops. Serve pork chops over hot cooked rice. 



Shop the sale: Shrimp with pasta


Seafood is traditional during Lent, which starts today – I’m pretty sure that, growing up, we all ate a lot of fish sticks during this season. So this week, we have special prices on lots of your favorite fish and shellfish, including Atlantic salmon, tilapia, and my favorite, shell-on shrimp.

This shrimp dish is easy to throw together – even if you have to clean the shrimp, you can get it on the table in 30 minutes or less, so it’s perfect for a quick after-work supper.

You can substitute other favorite fresh herbs, depending on your tastes, but I don’t recommend dried herbs for this dish; they just won’t give it the depth of flavor.

Shrimp with Capellini and Herbs

Ingredients:
Makes 4 servings

1 pound capellini (angel hair) pasta
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh chives
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1-2 tsp. Kosher salt
Pepper to taste

Directions:
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside in a large bowl. Toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

In a large skillet, heat the remaining olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and the garlic and salt and pepper. Sauté the shrimp until they are pink on both sides, about 2 or 3 minutes. Add the pasta to the skillet along with the herbs, lemon juice, and salt. Toss to coat. (Note: To make it easier use a separate large mixing bowl to toss all ingredients)

Serve immediately.



Shop the sale: Cupcake of the month


Specialty cupcakes are the rage now. So why not indulge yourself, with our brand-new Cupcakes of the Month.

Our bakeries have come up with delicious new cupcake flavors that we’ll feature each month in a 6-cupcake container, perfect for family or office. And we’ve launched this new offering this month with a terrific flavor – Snickerdoodle, available in our fresh bakery departments. (And they’re at a special price this week, starting today!)

Remember when Mom baked those wonderful, cinnamon-sugar cookies we called Snickerdoodles? Well, we’ve recreated that flavor, in a cupcake. These delicious moist white cupcakes are topped with a cinnamon-flavored cream cheese icing and topped with cinnamon crumbs. Great for dessert, or a snack.

Every month this year, our Cupcake of the Month program will bring you a new flavor, unique to our bakeries. So check out our menu and see what you have to look forward to this year:

March – German Chocolate Cupcake – A delicious moist chocolate cupcake topped with a generous portion of our delicious German chocolate icing. A perfect ending to a great meal.

April – Cream Cheese Coconut Cupcake – A moist white cupcake topped with our delicious cream cheese icing topped with white coconut. Perfect for a spring picnic dessert.

May – Triple Chocolate Fudge Cupcake – A chocolate cupcake topped with our fudge icing. We then add chocolate chips and a fudge icing drizzle to create this chocolate lovers treat.

June – Strawberry Shortcake Cupcake – A decadent yellow cupcake topped with our light fluffy strawberry whipped topping. We add some strawberry filling in the center and garnish with yellow crumbs.

July – Chocolate Mousse Cupcake – A chocolate cupcake topped with our light whipped chocolate topping. We add fudge icing drizzles on each cupcake for a decadent treat.

August – Lemon Crumble Cupcake – A moist white cupcake with a swirl of delicious white buttercreme icing and a center of lemon filling. Topped with white crumbs for garnish. Delicious!

September – Cookies-n-Cream Cupcake – A chocolate cupcake iced in our white whipped topping. We add a generous topping of chocolate cookie crumbles to make this an all-time favorite.

October – Chocolate Mounds Cupcake – A moist chocolate cupcake with a swirl of our fudge icing and a center filled with our coconut filling. We drizzle this with fudge icing – a candy bar in cupcake form.

November – Boston Crème Cupcake – A yellow cupcake swirled with fudge icing with a Bavarian crème filled center. Garnished with a fudge drizzle. A cool-weather treat.

December – Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcake – A delicious chocolate cupcake topped with our tasty cream cheese icing and garnished with chocolate cake crumbs. Perfect for parties.

January – Fudge Nut Supreme Cupcake – A moist delicious chocolate cupcake iced in a fudge icing. Garnished with pecans for a perfect marriage of flavors.

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Shop the Sale: Raspberry Fool


Celebrate the arrival of fresh spring berries – on special this week at your neighborhood Brookshire’s – with this deceptively simple berry dessert, called a fool.

A fool is a traditional British dessert of sweetened whipped cream, layered with pureed berries. Here, we’ve used both strawberries and raspberries, and added a bit of crunch with crushed graham crackers, to create a grown-up parfait. (And everybody likes parfaits!) 

It’s a little bit of work, but totally worth it for a dessert to wow company, or for your special Valentine next week.

Raspberry Fool
Serves 6

Ingredients:
2 quarts strawberries, washed, dried, and stemmed
1 pint raspberries, washed and dried
3/4 cup sugar, divided
2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 graham crackers, finely crushed
6 sprigs fresh mint leaves

Directions:
1. Process 1 quart strawberries, 1/2pint raspberries, and 1/2 cup sugar in food processor until mixture is completely smooth. Strain berry puree through fine-mesh strainer into 4-cup liquid measuring cup (you should have 2 1/2 cups puree; reserve any excess for another use). Transfer 1/2  cup puree to small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over top; stir until gelatin is incorporated and let stand at least 5 minutes.

2. Heat remaining 2 cups puree in small saucepan until it begins to bubble. Remove pan from heat and stir in gelatin mixture until dissolved. Transfer gelatin-puree mixture to medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.

3. Meanwhile, chop remaining 1 quart strawberries into rough 1/4” pieces. Toss strawberries, remaining 1/2 pint raspberries, and 2 tablespoons sugar together in medium bowl. Set aside.

4. Place cream, sour cream, vanilla, and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a mixing bowl and beat on low speed until bubbles form, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium and continue beating until beaters leave trail, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to high; continue beating until mixture has nearly doubled in volume and holds stiff peaks. Transfer 1/3 cup whipped-cream mixture to small bowl and set aside.

5. Remove thickened berry puree from refrigerator and whisk until smooth. With mixer running at medium speed, slowly add two-thirds of puree to whipped-cream mixture; mix until incorporated. Using spatula, gently fold in remaining thickened puree, leaving streaks of puree.

6. Transfer uncooked berries to fine-mesh strainer; shake gently to remove any excess juice. Divide two-thirds of berries evenly among 6 tall parfait or sundae glasses. Divide creamy berry mixture evenly among glasses, followed by remaining uncooked berries. Top each glass with reserved plain whipped-cream mixture. Sprinkle with crushed crackers and garnish with mint sprigs. Serve immediately.

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Shop the Sale: Nature’s Own Whitewheat bread


When it comes to bread, do you have one of those picky eaters in your family?

You know, the ones who only want soft, fresh, white bread for toast and sandwiches – not the whole-wheat, higher-fiber varieties that you know are better for you?

Then maybe it’s time you got a little sneaky. Nature’s Own Whitewheat sandwich bread – on special this week at your neighborhood Brookshire’s – is tailor-made for white-bread traditionalists.

This bread is baked with a special enriched wheat flour and extra fiber, so it provides super nutritional benefits. It has about two grams of fiber in each slice, double what you get in a typical slice of white bread. It also delivers more calcium and iron than a typical whole wheat bread. And it’s made without artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or high-fructose corn syrup.

But just to look at it and taste it, you probably wouldn’t know you aren’t eating regular white bread.

The slices are just slightly more tan in color than a traditional white sandwich loaf. But the soft texture and the mild, wholesome taste will satisfy those who are looking for that fresh white bread flavor.  Try it in this simple update of the grilled cheese sandwich. Serve it with a cup of tomato or vegetable soup, and you’ll be getting the family to eat a lighter, healthier dinner without them even knowing it.

Grilled ham-and-cheese sandwiches

Makes four sandwiches

Ingredients:
8 slices white-wheat bread
8 slices deli ham, thinly sliced
8 thin slices sharp cheddar (about 4-6 ounces)
8 thin slices fresh tomato (about 1 large or two medium tomatoes)
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons butter

Directions:
Lightly toast bread, on lowest setting of toaster, just to slightly dry it. Heat oven to 200 degrees.

Place four slices of bread on a cutting board and top with one slice cheese, one slice ham, tomato, then another piece of ham and another piece of cheese. Sprinkle each sandwich with a bit of salt and pepper, then top each with a piece of bread. Press together slightly.

Over medium heat, heat a large nonstick skillet or griddle. Melt one tablespoon butter, then add two sandwiches and cook until the bread is toasty and golden and the cheese is softened. Flip sandwich and cook until bread is golden and cheese is melted. Transfer to a warm oven and keep warm while you repeat the process with the remaining two sandwiches, using the second tablespoon of butter.

Transfer cooked sandwiches to cutting board and slice each in half. Serve.

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Shop the Sale: Brookshire’s Bacon


Like a lot of chefs, bacon is one of the few foods I could probably never give up. Nothing really can substitute for it, and I use it in everything including sweets. (Candied bacon? Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.)

So I will be stocking up on Brookshire’s own bacon this week, thanks to the special (2 packages for $7) deal we have going.

Because we use so much bacon in my house, I often cook two or three packages at a time, drain it, crumble it and freeze it. Then, we’ve got instant, homemade bacon bits, ready to thaw out quickly for salads, baked potatoes, omelets or to use in recipes like this dip. It’s good with crackers, chips or, if you want to be a little bit healthier, raw veggie sticks.

By the way, this may be one of the few recipes I’ve ever made in which you could possibly over-caramelize the onions. If the onions are too caramelized, the dip will be a little too sweet in my opinion. So, do not over-cook them.

Bacon Onion Dip

Makes 3 cups

Ingredients:
6 medium onions, julienned (cut into long thin strips)
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 – 8 slices bacon, cooked crisp and drained, crumbled
2 cups sour cream
2 1/4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
3 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
1/2  tsp. Kosher salt
Ground black pepper

Directions:
Peel onions by cutting of top and bottom (root and stem ends).Remove skin and julienne as finely as possible.

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over med. high heat. Add onions and season with salt. Reduce heat and gently cook the onions down until translucent and golden brown. You will need to stir onions frequently, as the longer they cook the easier they will burn. This step should take at least 30+ minutes up to about an hour. If it takes longer all the better. Once cooked set aside to cool.

When onions are cool, chop finely.

Mix all ingredients (including onions) in medium bowl. Serve immediately or chill.

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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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