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Shop the Sale: Mexican Stew


Mexican StewI know what you’re thinking: It’s too hot for soup or stew for dinner tonight.

However, the fresh flavors of this Mexican-inspired stew, brightened and finished off with lime, infuse a fresh summer taste. I also liked the added slices of radishes, which also taste like summertime to me.

Use whole pork butt roast, on sale this week at Brookshire’s, for the protein in this dish.

If you want, serve with a dollop of sour cream and buttermilk cornbread.

Mexican Stew

Ingredients:
2 lb whole pork butt roast, chopped
2 Tbs olive oil
2 cups white onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 Tbs ground cumin
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground red pepper
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
3 (15.5 oz) cans hominy, drained and rinsed
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
4 cups unsalted chicken cooking stock, divided
2 dried ancho chiles
lime wedges, for garnish
sliced radishes, for garnish
fresh cilantro, for garnish

Directions:
Sauté pork in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 6 minutes. Place pork in a 7-quart slow cooker. Stir onions, next 8 ingredients and 2 cups stock into slow cooker with pork.

Microwave remaining 2 cups stock in a microwave-safe bowl on high setting for 3 minutes or until boiling. Add dried chiles and let stand 10 minutes. Remove and discard tops of chiles. Process broth and chiles in a blender until smooth. Stir chile mixture into pork mixture. Cover and cook on low setting 7 to 8 hours or until pork is very tender. Serve with lime wedges, radishes and cilantro.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 517, Calories from Fat: 211, Fat: 24 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (8 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 73 mg, Sodium: 2460 mg, Potassium: 1416 mg, Carbohydrates: 55 g, Fiber: 12 g, Sugar: 5 g, Protein: 27 g

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Shop the Sale: Grilled Marinated Rump Roast


Grilled Marinated Rump RoastThis is the time of year I want to grill meat, not slow-roast it in the oven.

However, for rump roast, you want to not only marinate it but also cook low and slow to thoroughly tenderize the meat. With this recipe, you can have the best of both worlds.

The beer helps break down the connective tissue in the meat, making it more tender (don’t worry, any alcohol burns off in the cooking process).

This is the perfect recipe for a lazy summer afternoon on the back porch. Grab a tall glass of tea, relax in a hammock or lounge chair, and enjoy the smell of roasting meat wafting from the grill.

Grilled Marinated Rump Roast

Ingredients:
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup chili sauce, or your favorite barbecue sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 (12 oz) can or bottle beer
1 (3 1/2 to 4 lb) rolled beef rump roast
2 cups hickory wood chips

Directions:
In a 1-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook onions and garlic in oil until onion is tender, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in chili sauce, salt, pepper and beer.

Place beef in shallow glass or plastic dish, or resealable food-storage plastic bag. Pour beer mixture over beef; turn beef to coat with marinade. Cover dish or seal bag. Refrigerate at least 8 hours but no longer than 24 hours, turning beef occasionally.

Cover wood chips with water; soak 30 minutes. If using charcoal grill, place drip pan directly under grilling area and arrange coals around edge of firebox. Heat coals or gas grill for indirect heat.

Remove beef from marinade; reserve marinade. Insert spit rod lengthwise through center of beef; hold firmly in place with adjustable holding forks. Insert barbecue meat thermometer so tip is near center of beef but not touching spit rod. Drain wood chips. Add about 1/2 cup wood chips to medium-low coals or lava rock.

Cover and grill beef on rotisserie over drip pan 4 inches from medium-low heat about 2 hours for medium doneness (160° F), brushing occasionally with marinade and adding 1/2 cup wood chips to coals or rock every 30 minutes. Remove spit rod, holding forks and thermometer. Discard any remaining marinade. Cover beef with foil and let stand 15 minutes before slicing.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 275, Calories from Fat: 80, Fat: 9 g (2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 105 mg, Sodium: 310 mg, Carbohydrates: 8 g, Fiber: 0 g, Protein: 40 g

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Shop the Sale: Maple-Bacon Toffee Bars


Brookshire’s BaconI was at home alone last night, a rarity for me these days.

I had changed out of my work clothes and into comfy clothes, and I was browsing Pinterest for something totally unrelated to bacon, until I stumbled upon this recipe.

No one else in my house would eat this, but hey, no one else was in my house!

I decided to try it. I had all the ingredients at home, so there was no need to find a baseball cap and try to sneak over to Brookshire’s incognito because we all know that doesn’t work. The very minute you try to slap on a hat to hide the fact that you already took off your makeup and scrunch your T-shirt up so that no one notices the hole in the bottom left corner, you’ll run into everyone you know. And their mother. And your preacher. And your boss.

It’s practically the law.

Not that I’ve ever tried, but I’ve heard about the phenomenon from a friend.

Cough.

Cough.

So, being as that I had all the ingredients at home, I whipped up a batch of these maple-bacon bars, using the Brookshire’s Bacon I’d just bought on sale.

There were none left the next day. I think that friend must have eaten them.

Maple-Bacon Toffee Bars

Ingredients:
1 lb Brookshire’s Bacon
1 pkg Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
1/2 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup brown sugar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325° F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and liberally grease the foil with cooking spray. Unroll the crescent rolls into one single plane of dough and pinch any perforations together to seal. Stretch the dough out a little with your hands so it’s even. Prick the dough with a fork all over. Set aside.

Meanwhile, cook your bacon. Cook it until it’s technically safe enough to eat and just about done, but still lighter in color and not quite crispy. You don’t want it fully cooked and crispy as it will continue to cook in the oven. Drain the bacon on a paper towel-lined plate.

Drizzle 1/4 cup of the maple syrup over the crescent roll dough. Sprinkle with about 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. Top with torn pieces of the cooked bacon. Drizzle the remaining maple syrup on top of the bacon pieces; top with remaining brown sugar.

Bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until bubbling and caramelized. Remove from the oven and allow the pan to come to room temperature (or warm to the touch) before cutting or breaking into pieces. You can serve this at room temperature or slightly warmed. It tastes best the day of but can be eaten the next day, if stored in an airtight container.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 562, Calories from Fat: 296, Fat: 33 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (12 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 62 mg, Sodium: 1649 mg, Potassium: 379 mg, Carbohydrates: 44 g, Sugar: 30 g, Protein: 23 g

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Shop the Sale: Grilled Garlic-Parmesan Drumsticks


Grilled Garlic-Parmesan DrumsticksGrowing up, my mom cooked chicken drumsticks pretty frequently. I have to admit that I didn’t eat chicken drumsticks for years after moving out of the house. Ours were never seasoned (it’s hard to cook for seven people, it really is!) and usually broiled in the oven, not my favorite way to eat chicken.

This recipe changed my mind.

Chicken drumsticks are an economical choice, even more so when they’re on sale like they are this week at Brookshire’s. They’re juicy because they’re still on the bone, and they’re full of flavor. As I came to realize in my later years, what’s not to love?

I love this recipe because it’s perfect for patios, porches and picnics. Chicken on the bone is so much easier to eat outside. The delicious sauce seals in the juices and elevates the drumstick to a veritable feast.

Grilled Garlic-Parmesan Drumsticks
Serves 10

Ingredients:

Drumsticks:
5 lb chicken drumsticks
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp seasoning salt
1 tsp paprika

Garlic-Parmesan Sauce:
3/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp seasoning salt
1/2 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp basil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded

Directions:
In a small bowl, mix together the garlic powder, seasoning salt and paprika. Then, rub this mixture into the chicken drumsticks, making sure to get under the skin to season the chicken.

Grill the chicken on 425° F for about 40 minutes or until the chicken is done.

Meanwhile, in a medium-sized bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the garlic-parmesan sauce.

When the chicken is done cooking, spoon the garlic-parmesan sauce on top of the chicken and serve.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 556, Calories from Fat: 275, Fat: 31 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 208 mg, Sodium: 753 mg, Potassium: 473 mg, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Protein: 66 g



Shop the Sale: Campfire Burgers


Campfire BurgersFood always tastes better on a camping trip.

That’s my belief, and I’m sticking to it.

Last week’s camping trip was filled with mountain bike rides, a really long hike around the lake and one seriously long trek to the actual restroom facilities. Oh, then there was swimming and a paddle boat excursion, too.

I know two boys who were hungry. Ravenous, really.

The weather was perfect. Not a cloud in the sky, warm sun and cool breezes. That plus a lot of physical activity made for a great day.

Then, there was dinner.

These “Campfire Burgers” are named as such for their smoky flavor and aroma.

I don’t know whether it was the starry night, the crackling fire or the ghost stories, but these tasted just about perfect.

If you want to get really fancy, add soaked hickory chips to your charcoal fire for an extra infusion of smokiness.

Angus ground chuck, which is on sale this week at Brookshire’s, is perfect to pack in your camping cooler.

*Note: You can caramelize the onions in advance and pack them in your cooler. Just reheat them when you’re ready to serve. The sauce can also be mixed up in advance. You can cook the bacon up at home, or fry a bunch at the campsite and save it for the next morning’s breakfast, too.

Campfire Burgers
Serves 4

Ingredients:

Caramelized Onions:
2 Tbs olive oil
1 large Vidalia onion, sliced
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar

Campfire Sauce:
1/4 cup regular mayonnaise
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1/8 tsp liquid smoke

Burgers:
1 lb Angus ground chuck
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of freshly cracked black pepper
4 hamburger buns

Directions:
Caramelized Onions:
Warm olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions; season with salt and stir to coat with oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are brown and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Stir in balsamic vinegar and cook for another 1­2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Campfire Sauce:
In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise, barbecue sauce and liquid smoke until creamy. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Burgers:
In a large bowl, mix ground beef, cheese, bacon, Worcestershire, liquid smoke, salt and pepper until combined. Form into 4 equal-sized patties.

Preheat grill or skillet with olive oil over medium­-high heat. Add patties and cook for about 6­-7 minutes. Flip; cook for another 6-­7 minutes until cooked thoroughly.

Assemble burgers on toasted buns topped with caramelized onions and campfire sauce.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 591, Calories from Fat: 263, Fat: 29 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (8 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 128 mg, Sodium: 1324 mg, Potassium: 660 mg, Carbohydrates: 34 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 10 g, Protein: 46 g

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Shop the Sale: Shredded Beef Tacos


Shredded Beef TacosI think I’ve mentioned before that we have Taco Tuesday at my house.

Well, to be honest, it’s more like Taco Wednesday (which does not have the same alliterative value) because we have soccer until 8pm on Tuesdays and only get home in time to gulp something out of the slow cooker.

Point being, we eat good on Taco WhateverDayItIs.

We have tried a lot of different taco fillings. I have a limit on the ground beef filling, even though I’ve perfected my own spice mixture.

Once, I did shredded beef with a green salsa verde mix, but last week, I tried slow-cooking a rump roast without adding anything to the beef. It was amazing.

I think the beauty of this roast came in searing it first. It sealed all the juices in during cooking and created a tender, flavorful taco filling.

One rump roast easily fed four people with at least four taco servings left over.

Shredded Beef Tacos

Ingredients:
4 lb rump roast
4 Tbs cumin
4 Tbs chili powder
4 Tbs garlic powder
1 Tbs red pepper
4 Tbs David Wade’s Worcestershire Powder (or sauce)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup salsa
tortillas, salsa, cheese, avocado slices, sour cream

Directions:
Mix all seasonings together and rub all over meat.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a cast-iron skillet until oil starts to smoke. Sear meat, about 1 minute per side, until crusty and browned.

Remove rump roast from cast-iron skillet and set slow cooker to low heat.

Place rump roast and all the juices from the pan into slow cooker. Add 1/2 cup salsa. Cook on low for 8 hours. Remove beef from slow cooker. Shred beef. Return to slow cooker. Turn to high heat. Cook for another hour.

Serve in tacos with flour tortillas, salsa, cheese, avocado slices and sour cream.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 451, Calories from Fat: 134, Fat: 15 g, Cholesterol: 10 mg, Sodium: 432 mg, Potassium: 176 mg, Carbohydrates: 8 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 3 g

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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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