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Shop the Sale: Texas grapefruit


Everything is bigger and better in Texas – even the grapefruit.

I’m talking of course, about Texas Rio Star grapefruit, which are just now coming into their peak season, and which you’ll find on sale starting today at Brookshire’s.

To me, Rio Star grapefruit are just better than other kinds out there. The deep-red flesh is sweeter and juicier than the typical pink or white grapefruit from other parts of the country. Much of that is because these grapefruit have been bred to have a high sugar-to-acid ratio, but it also is due to the way they are handled. They are allowed to ripen on the trees down in south Texas, and then picked at peak freshness and rushed to the store.

You probably eat grapefruit by themselves, or maybe squeezed into juice, but this Vietnamese-inspired salad is a really interesting fusion of sweet, spicy, savory and tart, all in one refreshing salad. 

Fish sauce and chili sambal are available in the Asian section in many larger stores. You can substitute the more common Sriracha sauce (commonly known as rooster sauce) for the chili sambal, but it will not be quite as hot. You can skip the fish sauce entirely, if you want, but the salad won’t be as complex or interesting without it.  If you skip the fish sauce, you may need to add a bit of salt to taste, as fish sauce is quite salty.

Vietnamese Style Grapefruit Salad

Serves 6

Ingredients:
2 large grapefruit
1 cucumber, cut into matchsticks
2 tsp Kosher salt
1 medium size carrot, cut into matchsticks
3 shallots, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup mint leaves, chopped
1/4 cup chopped, roasted peanuts 

Dressing
Ingredients:
2 Tbs Fish sauce
1 1/2 Tbs lime juice, fresh-squeezed
2 Tbs sugar
2 tsp chili sambal 

Directions:
Section and clean grapefruits.

In a large bowl, toss cucumber strips with salt. Set aside for 20 minutes to allow the salt to draw out excess water.

Mix together the ingredients for the dressing.

Place a small sauté pan on medium high heat and cook the shallots and garlic until shallots are caramelized, about 3 minutes, don’t burn.

Drain any excess water from cucumber and mix with carrots, caramelized shallots and garlic.

Add the mint, chopped peanuts, and dressing and toss well. Transfer to a plate or large bowl and serve.



Shop the sale: Chili fixins’


No food says “fall” quite like chili. So this week, we’re making it easy for you to whip up a warm, comforting chili supper. We’ve got all the fixins’ on sale this week at your neighborhood Brookshires – including chili meat, Food Club canned tomatoes, Jiffy corn bread mix, and two famous chili kits that make it easy to make a great pot of chili.

Both of these kits  – Wick Fowler’s Two-Alarm Chili Kit and Carroll Shelby’s Original Texas Chili Kit – contain all the pre-measured spices you need, and let you make it as hot or mild as you dare. They both make a darned good pot of chili. And both kits have a pretty good story attached.

Wick Fowler’s Two-Alarm Chili Kit: The late Wick Fowler was a distinguished Texas newspaperman – he was a foreign correspondent during World War II  – but he became most famous for his chili and the chili-cooking competition he helped found in West Texas.

Back in the 1960s, Texas newspaper columnist Frank Tolbert began writing frequently about Texas chili and founded something called the Chili Appreciation Society. Fowler, quite the chili cook, joined the cause, and in 1967 he competed in the first World Championship Chili Cookoff in Terlingua  in far west Texas.  His recipe is now reproduced in the seasoning kit sold under Fowler’s name.

The Terlingua chili cookoff was mostly a goof by Fowler, Tolbert and friends, but it had staying power. Now called the Original Terlingua International Frank X. Tolbert – Wick Fowler Championship Chili Cookoff, it celebrates its 45th year in November, and has even spawned a second “world championship” chili cookoff in the ghost town of Terlingua. More than 10,000 chiliheads usually attend.

Carroll Shelby’s Original Texas Chili Kit: To most people, Shelby is known for his career as a car designer and driver – he created the classic ‘60s muscle car that’s now known to collectors as the Shelby Mustang. But the native Texan had a lesser-known hobby  of cooking chili.

He helped Fowler, Tolbert and other friends launch the first Terlingua championship, and later turned his own recipe into the kit that bears his name today. The company has since been sold, however, and Shelby is no longer associated with it personally. Still, the easy-to-use kit makes a nice, spicy bowl of red.



Shop the sale: Ribs, ribs, ribs


The secret to great ribs is time. You have to let the ribs marinate in the sauce, so they absorb deep flavor, and you have to be patient cooking them, a long time at a lower temperature, so they get fall-off-the-bone tender.

Especially this time of year, the easiest way to cook them is in the oven. Even if you’re a rib purist, and think you can’t make ribs without putting them in the smoker, I think you’ll like this recipe, and the ease of this technique. It requires very little work once you put them in the oven, produces a nice tender rib, and gets a wonderful spicy/smoky flavor from the chipotles.

Any of the three types of ribs on sale this week at Brookshire’s – St. Louis-style pork ribs, medium pork spareribs, or pork baby back ribs- would work in this recipe, but I’d probably pick the St. Louis-style ribs. “St. Louis-style” ribs just means that the tips, which can be gristly anyway, have been cut away, leaving a nice, flat, rectangular slab that will fit nicely in a roasting pan.

Oven BBQ’d Ribs

Serves 8

Ingredient:
2 tablespoons  vegetable oil
1/2  yellow onion, chopped fine
2 cloves  garlic, minced
1 3/4 cups  ketchup
3/4 cup chipotles, canned
1 cup   molasses
1/3 cup  sugar
8-10 pounds ribs (about two St. Louis style rib racks, each cut in half, or about four baby-back rib racks)
Kosher salt, to taste

Directions:

Heat the oil in medium saucepan on medium-high, and add the onion and garlic. Sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the ribs; turn heat to low, and simmer uncovered for 25 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Put the ribs and the sauce in a large plastic sealable bag, and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 300°F. Remove ribs from bag and reserve liquid and set aside. Season ribs with salt. Arrange the ribs on a foil-lined baking sheet and cover tightly with foil. Bake for 2 1/2 hours. Meanwhile, bring the barbecue sauce to a boil in a pot on the stove. Boil for 3 minutes, and set aside.

Uncover the ribs, turn them over, and bake an additional 30 minutes. Brush with barbecue sauce on both sides, and serve hot.



Shop the sale: Deli Deals


I think it must have been a working parent who came up with the idea of putting prepared-food deli sections in grocery stores.

Who else could so clearly see the beauty of having homemade-quality side dishes, salads, and even main courses available right where you’re doing your grocery shopping, to help with the workload of putting three meals on the table every day?

So when I’m coming up with our weekly Deli Deal of the Week, I try to think of things that will help solve that age-old dilemma of what’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner – and in a money-saving way.  That’s how we came up with this week’s deal:  Buy one pound or more of our bone-in or boneless wings, and you’ll get a one-pound Brookshire Brand salad free.

These meaty wings are just moderately spicy, so they can be enjoyed by even younger members of the family. The salads are all family favorites, including:

  • Southern mustard potato salad – chunky potato salad jazzed up with yellow mustard.
  • Coleslaw – a colorful mix of cabbage and carrots, in a mayonnaise-based dressing.
  • Gourmet macaroni salad – Just like mom used to make, with elbow macaroni  and diced veggies in a creamy dressing.
  • Original potato salad – the mayonnaise-dressed classic that goes with everything.

Add some French bread  (from our bakery, of course) and some fresh fruit, and you can call it a meal. Without messing up the kitchen or taking away from precious after-work family time.

Our deli deals change weekly – so check back every week to see what meal we can make easier for you.

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Shop the Sale: Buy One, Get One Vitamins


Your mother always told you to take your vitamins, and like most things Mom said, you probably should have listened to her. Especially if you are like most of us, and your busy life means it’s sometimes hard to eat the balanced diet, full of fruits, vegetables and lean protein, that you know you need.

Vitamin supplements can help fill in the gaps between the nutrients your body needs and what you give it in the form of nutritious foods. This week, we’re offering a great chance for you to pick up vitamin supplements for the whole family, with a Buy One, Get One event on Nature’s Bounty nutritional supplements.

Nature’s Bounty has been supplying consumers with vitamin supplements for decades, and the company offers a dizzying array of supplements to meet your nutritional needs. In fact, if you haven’t been taking your vitamins, despite Mom’s advice, it can be hard to narrow down which of their products you need most.

A good multi-vitamin is a good starting point for most healthy adults and children. That way, you’ll be sure to get the “letter” vitamins that are so important for your overall health.  Here’s a review of the primary benefits of the letter vitamins, which may help you determine which additional vitamin supplements to consider:

  • Vitamin A: Vitamin A is mostly associated with maintaining vision, and yes, that’s why you were also always told to eat those carrots; they are a good source. Vitamin A also helps maintain healthy skin, teeth and your immune system.
  • Vitamin B: The B complex has a wide array of benefits, mostly to do with your nervous system, circulation, heart health and metabolism. The newest thing in B vitamins has been the introduction of sublingual tablets, which dissolve under your tongue and quickly reach your circulatory and nervous system. 
  • Vitamin C: A natural antixodant, Vitamin C provides a big boost to the immune system, protecting your body from disease and helping it heal when it is ill or wounded.
  • Vitamin D: Your body produces Vitamin D from exposure to sunlight, so in the winter, more people experience a deficiency. Vitamin D is important because it promotes healthy bones and teeth, and also helps your body absorb calcium.
  • Vitamin E: Another effective antioxidant, Vitamin E is necessary for a good immune system, and helps your heart and circulatory system work more efficiently.
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Shop the Sale: Honeycrisp apples


It’s officially fall, and that means apple season. Fresh, crunchy, juicy apples from this fall’s crop are starting to arrive in our stores daily – including one of my favorites, the Honeycrisp.

The Honeycrisp is a newer variety, developed about 20 years ago by University of Minnesota researchers. They’ve only been widely available for a few years, and have started to become as popular as other newer, well-liked varieties including Gala, Fuji and Pink Lady.

If you haven’t tried a Honeycrisp yet, here’s your chance: these gorgeous apples are on sale this week at Brookshire’s.

Once you try one, I’m pretty sure you ‘ll like it. Honeycrisp apples are aptly named. They are almost as sweet as honey, with  just enough of a tart edge to keep them from being too sugary or bland. Their texture is crisp and crunchy, yet juicy and smooth, so they’re not too hard, dry or grainy.

And unlike many other apples, which are good for either eating fresh or cooking, but not both, Honeycrisp apples are great either way. They’re simply delicious tucked into a lunchbox or sliced for an after-school snack, but they’re just as good cooked up into apple sauce, cobbler, or pie. (Not a big baker yourself? Try our bakery’s Brookshire’s Best Honeycrisp Apple Pie, with real, juicy Honeycrisp apples baked up in a buttery, flaky crust.)

Like most apples, Honeycrisp will stay fresh and crisp for a relatively long time, as long as you store them in a cool, dark place. So you can enjoy the taste of fall for a long time to come.

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Shop the Sale: Canola oil, a healthier alternative


I’m probably like a lot of you; the older I get, the more I try to eat healthier. But that doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally indulge in some of my favorite fried foods.

However, I do try to use the healthiest oil I can. So when it comes to frying, especially deep-frying, I stick with canola oil.

 

Canola oil is considered one of the healthiest oils you can use for cooking, especially frying:

  • Canola oil has the lowest level of saturated fat of all commonly used cooking and frying oils, including corn oil and vegetable oil.
  • It also has zero cholesterol, zero trans fat, and high levels of monounsaturated fat (the healthy kind of fat, which can help reduce cholesterol levels).
  • It even contains  omega-3 fatty acids. (Those are the beneficial fats, which help heart health, that are typically found in fatty fish like salmon.)
  • It’s a good source of Vitamin E.
  • The FDA has even reported canola oil can potentially reduce the risk of heart disease, if used in place of saturated fats.
  • It rarely causes any sort of allergic reaction.

So where has canola oil been all your life?

It’s common on supermarket shelves now, but really only reached most consumers beginning in the early ‘80s.

Developed in Canada during the 1950s and 1960s, canola oil comes from a relative of the rapeseed plant, bred specifically to produce a healthier, milder-tasting cooking oil. It was christened “canola” in 1978, taking the name from the terms “Canadian oil, low acid” as producers began to mass-market the oil.

Canola oil has become popular not just for its health benefits but because it’s a good-tasting, all-around cooking oil. It’s especially good for frying because it can be used at temperatures up to about 450 degrees. (Extra virgin olive oil, another healthier oil, begins to burn at temperatures around 375 degrees, so it is not a good choice for many fried dishes.)

And good news: Kept in a cool, dark place, canola oil stays fresh for up to a year. So stock up this week while it’s on sale at your neighborhood store. Here’s to healthier frying!

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Shop the Sale: Morrell smoked meats


Fall’s officially still more than a week away, but I can already feel the (OK, just barely) cooler temperatures in the air.

And that’s enough to make me start thinking of suppers built around some of my fall and winter favorites:  smoked sausage and bacon. So I’m going to stock up this week on a couple of these favorites, on sale at your neighborhood store – John Morrell smoked sausage and thick-cut bacon.

Smoked meats are homey and hearty, and they make great comfort food in cooler weather. Think about red beans and rice with big chunks of sausage, or bacon-wrapped pork chops with applesauce, or even a BLT with thick, crisp bacon.

 But that hearty flavor and satisfying heaviness is not the only reason we seem to like these meats best in fall and winter.  Back before there was reliable refrigeration, people learned to smoke meat as a method of preservation. Our ancestors would smoke whole hogs in the early fall, and the meat was enough to last them through winter. We’re practically hard-wired to crave bacon and sausage in the fall!

Speaking of tradition–that sums up John Morrell & Co. This company is based in Cincinnati, which was once known as Porkopolis because of its tradition of making great smoked pork, and it is one of the nation’s oldest food companies. Founded in England in 1827, John Morrell has now been making meat products for 184 years. It has facilities across the country where it makes all its own meats, including its hardwood-smoked bacon and many other pork specialties.

So pick up a few packages this week, and be ready when that cool weather finally arrives!

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Shop the Sale: School spirit on sale!


Fall means football games, school carnivals, band competitions - all kinds of occasions where you want to show your school spirit.

Whether you’re a student, the parent or grandparent of a student, or just a proud alumnus, the simplest way to do this? Wearing your school colors, of course.

So we’re helping you support your hometown school  – in more ways than one. Now at most Brookshire’s and Super 1 stores, you can buy apparel and accessories touting your hometown school colors and mascot. And for each qualifying purchase, we’ll make a donation directly to your school!

These are quality products in the latest styles. The selection will vary, depending on individual school  preferences and product availability, but you’ll find popular, sought-after items such as mesh shorts, performance T-shirts, cheerleading shorts, caps, hoodies, jersies, polo shirts, and “pomchies” (ponytail holders that look like pom-poms, and which can also be worn as bracelets.) And, of course, you’ll find all kinds of T-shirts, from classic school colors to tie-dyed and crazy.

For each product sold, the associated school will receive a $1 donation. Last year, your purchases made possible a donation of more than $40,000 to our area schools.

That’s a lot of school spirit!

But hurry in, These products are available for a limited time only, and Homecoming will be here before you know it.

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Shop the Sale: Best barbecue cuts


Labor Day comes along at just the right time for a party: The kids have been back in school for a week or two and need a break; the temperature might finally stay under 100 degrees; and it’s a great time for a breather before the run-up to the holidays.  Since Labor Day is traditionally the last hurrah of summer, a cookout is just the thing. So we’ve got you covered, with great sale prices on just about anything you might want to put on your grill or in the smoker.

Check your neighborhood store starting today for special offers on whole trimmed certified Angus beef brisket; Brookshire’s Best boneless Angus ribeye steak; ground chuck patties; Hormel pork baby back ribs; Johnsonville brats or hot links; and T-bone or bone-in rib-eye steaks.  For the kiddos, we’ve even got a special buy-one, get-one offer on Ball Park franks.

To make your barbecue stand out, why not brighten up your favorite prepared BBQ sauce with a few extra flavors? It takes just a little work but it really pays off with intense flavor.

  • First, to help concentrate the flavors, heat up a bottle or two of sauce over low heat, and keep at a low simmer.
  • Next, to help bring out both acidity and sweetness, you should add both an acidic ingredient and a sweet one. I like adding the fresh-squeezed juice of a couple of lemons, and a couple tablespoons of brown sugar OR molasses. (The heat will melt the sugar, keeping the sauce smooth.)
  • Next, add a dash of Worcestershire  sauce, to provide a little bit of depth and complexity.
  • Finally, add a couple of tablespoons of butter, stirring in as it melts. This will thicken the sauce slightly and give it a nice buttery richness.
  • Taste! Too sweet? Add a bit more lemon juice, some mustard or a dash of vinegar. Too acidic? Hit it with a little more sugar or honey. 
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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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