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Shop the Sale: Chicken and Rice Bake


Chicken and Rice BakeWhen I graduated from college and moved away, I didn’t just go across town or a few hours away, I moved from Virginia all the way to Germany.

It was an amazing adventure, but I was pretty homesick, especially at first. One of the things my mom gave me before I left was a recipe box filled with index cards on which she’d painstakingly copied some of my favorite recipes, so I could recreate them on my own. I was a pretty spoiled kid; I’d never had to cook because my mom always did it. The cooking learning-curve was pretty steep, and there were no cooking shows on Armed Forces Network in the early ‘90s.

One of the first recipes I tried was a chicken dish featuring leg quarters, rice, cream of something soup and broccoli. The rice didn’t cook, and it was hard and crunchy. I bought chicken thighs instead of legs (the thigh is part of the leg, right?), and it was pretty much a total disaster.

Years later, I pretty much know what I did wrong, but there are also products like instant rice available to help out.

I also figured out chicken leg quarters, which are a delightful cut featuring tender, juicy parts of the bird. They’re also on sale this week at Brookshire’s, so I figured it would be a good time to reprise this old favorite.

Chicken and Rice Bake

Ingredients:
4 chicken leg quarters
1 (4.5 oz) pkg instant long-grain and wild rice
2 cups water
1 (10.75 oz) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 (8 oz) ctn sour cream
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbs garlic, minced
1 cup broccoli florets
salt and black pepper, to taste
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350° F.

Spray a large 9 x 13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Place chicken leg quarters in pan, covering with foil. Bake for 45 minutes.

Combine rice and seasoning packages, salt and pepper, water, soup, sour cream, garlic and broccoli; stir to thoroughly combine.

Remove chicken from oven, and remove chicken to platter. Drain oil and juices from baking pan. Spread the rice mixture in the bottom of the pan; top with cheese then chicken. Bake uncovered for an additional 30 to 45 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked through.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 801, Calories from Fat: 445, Fat: 50 g (21 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 230 mg, Sodium: 1766 mg, Carbohydrates: 37 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 54 g.

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Shop the Sale: Oven-Baked, Crunchy Honey-Garlic Chicken


Oven-Baked, Crunchy Honey-Garlic ChickenI’m forever in the market for delicious, interesting, not-your-average chicken recipes.

This one fits the bill to a T.

At first, honey and garlic sounded like a strange combination to me, but the pungent garlic offsets the sweetness of the honey and the added spices complement it all beautifully.

The true majesty of this recipe comes in the double-dredge and oven-baked crispiness. The secret to crispy, oven-baked chicken is keeping the temperature of the oven hot, hot, hot. First, you heat the pan. Then, you keep the oven door closed tightly against drafts and against soggy chicken. The double-dredging helps, too. When you flip the chicken, take it all the way out of the oven and close the door while you’re turning the chicken to help the heat stay in, too.

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are on sale this week at Brookshire’s. You might want to buy extra because your family is sure to love this recipe.

Oven-Baked, Crunchy Honey-Garlic Chicken
Serves 4

Ingredients:
4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups flour
4 tsp salt
4 tsp black pepper
3 Tbs ground ginger
1 Tbs freshly ground nutmeg
2 tsp ground thyme
2 tsp ground sage
2 Tbs paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
4 eggs
8 Tbs water
canola oil, for greasing pan
2 Tbs olive oil
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tsp ground black pepper

Directions:
Pound chicken breasts between 2 sheets of wax paper to an even 1/2-inch thickness.

Sift together flour, salt, black pepper, ground ginger, nutmeg, thyme, sage, paprika and cayenne pepper.

Whisk together eggs and water to create an egg wash.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and then dredge in flour mixture. Dip into egg wash and then again into the flour mixture, pressing crust to chicken to help it stick.

Heat a baking sheet in a 425° F oven. Preheating the pan helps make the crust crispy. Cover the bottom of the pan with a thin drizzle of canola oil using only enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Working quickly, place all the chicken pieces on the pan and return to the oven.

While the chicken is cooking, make the sauce by heating a heavy saucepan to medium heat. Add olive oil and minced garlic; cook until soft but not browned. Add the honey, soy sauce and black pepper. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes; remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Bake the chicken for 15 minutes without opening the door. At the 15-minute mark, flip the chicken over and continue cooking for 10 to 15 more minutes until golden-brown. Do not open the oven door while cooking or the crust won’t be crisp.

Remove chicken from oven; dip in sauce and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 882, Calories from Fat: 198, Fat: 22 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (5.4 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 265 mg, Sodium: 3394 mg, Potassium: 698 mg, Carbohydrates: 129 g, Fiber: 5 g, Sugar: 71 g, Protein: 47 g.

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Shop the Sale: Smoked Sausage Casserole


Smoked Sausage CasseroleIt has been dry as a bone in East Texas where Brookshire’s is headquartered, but today, it’s finally raining.

I think it’s only rained once since May, and the landscape is a dust bowl, needless to say. My backyard is a sand pit, and my big, old dog tracks it in every time he goes in and out. So then, by default, my living room is a sand pit, too, and it takes a lot of work to keep it clean.

Right now, the rain is falling blissfully, gently enough to let it soak into the parched earth but continuously enough that it’s helping the parched conditions.

I love to be outside on the patio in the evenings, but tonight is going to be all about candles, my couch and a movie! This casserole is the perfect comfort food. It’s warm, gooey and delicious. Of course, best of all, it uses Eckrich Smoked Sausage, which is on sale this week at Brookshire’s.

Smoked Sausage Casserole
Serves 4

Ingredients:
3 cups baking potatoes, peeled and diced
1 lb Eckrich Smoked Sausage
1/2 cup white onions, diced
4 Tbs butter
4 Tbs flour
2 cups milk
1/2 lb Velveeta cheese, diced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Directions:
Boil potatoes until fork tender; drain and cool.

Slice sausage into rounds, then in half again to make “moons.”

Sauté in a heavy skillet with onions until sausage is slightly browned and onions are opaque.

Gently combine potatoes, sausage and onions in a large casserole dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large saucepan, melt butter. Whisk in flour until a paste forms; slowly add milk and let thicken. Add Velveeta, salt and pepper; stir until smooth and creamy.

Pour on top of potato mixture. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top.

Bake at 350° F for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the top is golden-brown.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 871, Calories from Fat: 587, Fat: 65 g (32 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 177 mg, Sodium: 2327 mg, Carbohydrates: 37 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 7 g, Protein: 34 g.

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Shop the Sale: Carolina Pulled Pork


Carolina Pulled PorkI’ve been craving some North Carolina-style barbecue. Pulled pork with a vinegar-based sauce on a soft bun with coleslaw.

Today, my boyfriend Paul is indulging me in that craving.

He got up at the crack of dawn and headed to Brookshire’s for a pork butt (which, incidentally, are on sale now at your local store), which he rubbed with a secret (until you read the recipe below) spice rub and put in the smoker, slow-cooking it over mesquite until it developed a glorious crisp crust and a juicy, tender, fall-apart interior. Then he toted it over to my house, undoubtedly leaving behind a trail of aromatic smoke. I’m surprised half the city isn’t sitting in my driveway right about now.
Meanwhile, I made a vinegar-based coleslaw (neither of us are huge fans of mayonnaise) to serve on top. In North Carolina, they pull (or shred) their pork, put it on a bun, add a dollop of sauce and a scoop of coleslaw and there you go! Dinner is served.

Carolina Pulled Pork
Serves about 10

Ingredients:

4 lb pork butt
2 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs garlic powder
1/2 Tbs ground black pepper
1/2 Tbs ground cumin
1/4 Tbs oregano
1 Tbs Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
barbecue sauce, to taste

Directions:
Combine spices in a shallow bowl until blended. Rub spices into pork butt until well-coated. Drizzle meat with Worcestershire sauce.

Prepare smoker or grill pan with mesquite chips. Smoke pork butt for 6 hours (1 1/2 hours per pound). Shred, either adding your favorite sauce to the meat or pouring it on top.
Serve alone or on a bun.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 364, Calories from Fat: 113, Fat: 13 g, Trans Fat:0 g, (4 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 167 mg, Sodium: 151 mg, Potassium: 741 mg, Carbohydrates: 3 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 57 g.

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Shop the Sale: French Onion Burgers


French Onion BurgersI love a good burger.

I also love the fact that burgers are almost a blank canvas; you can create almost any meal with a good, basic burger.

A good burger starts with good meat. I like Angus ground chuck, which is on sale this week at Brookshire’s.

Then, you can add anything you want, from a light seasoning to a total burger overhaul.

Recently inspired by a picture of French onion soup in a magazine, I went for total overhaul. The classic elements of French onion soup are caramelized onions, a rich stock and a cheesy crouton on top to sop up the juices.

I tried to create a burger that would mimic the flavors and classic elements of the soup. I think it was a success!

French Onion Burgers

Ingredients:
4 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 large yellow onions
1 1/2 lbs Angus ground chuck
1/4 cup dry red wine
4 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbs garlic powder
2 Tbs Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
4 good-quality hamburger rolls, sliced
4 Tbs butter, softened
4 oz Swiss cheese, sliced

Directions:
Heat a skillet to medium heat and add olive oil. Swirl until olive oil is warmed through. Add onions; cook slowly, about 20 minutes, until they are a rich, caramel color. Set aside.

Meanwhile, mix red wine, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder and Lawry’s into Angus ground chuck. Form into 8 thin patties. Place a heaping tablespoon of onions on top of 1 thin patty, and then cover with another patty, making 4 burgers. (If you want to stuff with the cheese as well, instead of placing on top, do so at this time.)

Grill burgers over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes each side, or until cooked to desired doneness.

While burgers are cooking, slather butter onto insides of hamburger buns, and grill until slightly toasty. Remove burgers from grill, and top with Swiss cheese. Place patties on buttered, grilled buns and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 950, Calories from Fat: 617, Fat: 67 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (28 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 177 mg, Sodium: 624 mg, Potassium: 210 mg, Carbohydrates: 35 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 10 g, Protein: 43 g.

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Shop the Sale: Slow Cooker Beef and Rice


Slow Cooker Beef and RiceI’ve made no secret of the fact that my younger son is obsessed with rice. Anything he can eat with the rice is A-OK in his book.

I’ve also overshared about my love of the slow cooker. Seriously? How did we get through life without this invention? Oh yeah, we didn’t work full-time, have second jobs, have to be at soccer practice by 7pm, but before that, homework, chores, more homework and, oh yeah, dinner.

I wouldn’t survive Tuesday nights without my slow cooker; it’s as simple as that. Dinner is ready when we walk in the door. Anything extra that has to be cooked, like rice, can be done during homework. We eat at a reasonable hour so no one is getting a stomachache at soccer practice, and we can get out the door (reasonably) sane.

I also love it when meat is on sale at Brookshire’s because then I can stock up for my meat-and-potatoes (or rice) guys!

Slow Cooker Beef and Rice

Ingredients:
4 cups beef broth
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 onion, chopped
2 lbs rump roast, cut into small chunks
2 to 3 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 Tbs garlic, minced
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 cup cold water
3 Tbs cornstarch
4 to 6 cups white or brown rice, cooked

Directions:
Mix broth, Worcestershire sauce and chopped onions in slow cooker. Add beef. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic and Italian seasoning.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. (I’ve found this works better on low.)

Just before serving, drain juices into a large pot; bring to a boil. Whisk together cold water and cornstarch. Add to pot and stir until thickened. Put gravy back in the slow cooker; stir. Serve over rice.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 494, Calories from Fat: 139, Fat: 15 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 1 mg, Sodium: 1970 mg, Potassium: 264 mg, Carbohydrates: 12 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 76 g.

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Shop the Sale: Mexican Steak Salad


Mexican Steak SaladThe days are getting shorter, dusk is coming earlier and my new solar-powered porch lights are making me want to spend more evenings on the back patio. Well, that and it’s not 100 degrees every night any more.

As much as I can complain about the summer heat in Texas, I do love the more mild autumns and winters. I REALLY love the fact you can comfortably grill outside all year long in the South, minus maybe a handful of days.

I like this steak salad because it combines my favorite food group, steak, with a more healthy salad, making it a hearty meal. The acid from the lime juice offsets the rich fattiness of the steak and the queso fresco provides a pop of flavor without a lot of added fat.

I also like this steak salad because boneless sirloin strip steak is on sale this week at Brookshire’s. The boneless sirloin really benefits from the marinade, so don’t skip that step!

Mexican Steak Salad

Ingredients:
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 Tbs cumin
2 Tbs garlic, minced
1 lb boneless sirloin steak strips
1/4 small red onion, sliced
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil, plus 2 tsp
1 small head romaine lettuce, torn
1 small head butter lettuce, torn
1/2 cup cilantro
1 cup queso fresco or feta cheese, crumbled
1 avocado, sliced
3 Tbs lime juice
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Directions:
Mix the soy sauce with cumin and garlic. Marinate the steak in the soy sauce mixture for 30 minutes. At the same time, soak the red onions in ice water for 30 minutes. (It takes away the “bite” of the onion.)

Preheat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the steak 3 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Let rest 5 minutes, and then slice against the grain. Follow the same directions for a gas grill.

Toss the steak with the romaine, butter lettuce, cilantro, queso fresco, onions and avocado. Whisk 3 tablespoons olive oil with the lime juice, and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Pour over salad and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 384, Fat: 26 g (6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 52 mg, Sodium: 663 mg, Protein: 29 g, Carbohydrates: 10 g, Sugar: 2 g, Fiber: 5 g, Iron: 3 mg, Calcium: 140 mg.

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Shop the Sale: Beef and Broccoli


Beef and BroccoliConsidering my son’s current affinity for white rice, I try to work it into as many dishes as humanly possible. While Luke is a sweet boy, he’s a picky eater. He likes rice, approximately two vegetables (broccoli and cauliflower) and meat.

That doesn’t always make cooking easy.

This dish satisfies all his requirements AND is made in the slow cooker (which makes me happy). In addition, chuck roast is on sale at Brookshire’s this week, so really, it doesn’t get any better than this.

Beef and Broccoli

Ingredients:
1 lb boneless beef chuck roast, sliced into thin strips
1 cup beef stock or beef broth
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 Tbs sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbs cornstarch
1 (12 oz) bag frozen broccoli florets
white or brown rice, cooked

Directions:
Whisk together the beef stock, soy sauce, dark brown sugar, sesame oil and garlic in the crockery of a slow cooker. Place beef strips in the sauce, tossing to coat. Cook on low setting for approximately 6 hours.

When your beef is almost finished, remove about 4 tablespoons of the sauce from the slow cooker, and whisk it with cornstarch. Stir it back into the slow cooker and add broccoli. Turn heat to high; let cook for about 30 more minutes, or until sauce is thickened and broccoli is cooked through. Serve over rice.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 563, Calories from Fat: 316, Fat: 35 g (13 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 117 mg, Sodium: 2090 mg, Potassium: 402 mg, Carbohydrates: 24 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 14 g, Protein: 34 g.

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Shop the Sale: Bacon and Egg Cheese Ball


Bacon and Egg Cheese BallEverywhere I go, there are eggs on the food.

Eggs on pizza, eggs on burgers, eggs on noodles, eggs on sandwiches of any kind.

They’re easily the “it” ingredient of 2015.

What goes well with eggs? Well, bacon, of course.

Eggs and bacon clearly aren’t just for breakfast anymore, but when I was asked to bring a dish to a potluck brunch recently, I didn’t have to look much further than the classic breakfast staples. This cheese ball, a classic party food, makes breakfast so much fun. The trick is the soft-boiled egg. I’d probably soft-boil a few, just in case the first one doesn’t work out. Just remember to handle with care!

Use Brookshire’s Bacon for this recipe. On sale this week in your local Brookshire’s store, Brookshire’s Bacon stays crisp, even when cooked a few hours before you need it. This cheese ball lets you enjoy the creamy richness of the egg yolk with its best complimentary flavors: bacon and cheese!

Bacon and Egg Cheese Ball

Ingredients:
8 oz aged cheddar cheese, grated
8 oz cream cheese, softened
6 slices Brookshire’s Bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 soft-boiled egg
crackers of your choice

Directions:
Partially spread cream cheese on a sheet of plastic wrap or waxed paper. Place your soft-boiled egg gently in the center of the softened cream cheese, and use your hands or a small spatula to mold cream cheese around the egg, forming a ball.

Roll your ball of cream cheese in the shredded cheddar cheese until it’s covered, and then press bacon into the cheeseball, covering the bacon.

The cheese ball is now ready to serve, but you can also refrigerate it for a few minutes to encourage it to hold its shape.

Serve with crackers.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 336, Calories from Fat: 258, Fat: 29 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (15 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 105 mg, Sodium: 759 mg, Potassium: 189 mg, Carbohydrates: 1 g, Protein: 18 g.

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Shop the Sale: Buffalo-Style Pork Chops


Buffalo-Style Pork ChopsNeed I mention my well-documented love of all things buffalo? Probably not. You know this by now.

However, I’ve never tried it on pork chops.

The hot sauce is a bold complement to juicy pork chops, as pork can stand up well to the tang of the sauce. When you mix it with butter, you almost think you’re eating a hot wing with less mess, of course.

When I actually made this recipe, I used bleu cheese crumbles in addition to the provolone cheese to make it feel more like buffalo chicken. I just sprinkled them on top of the provolone and completed the directions as written. It didn’t disappoint. Now, one of my kids likes bleu cheese; it’s too stinky for the other’s taste. Either way, it’s an optional way to jazz up this dish.

One of the things I love about cooking these chops in a cast iron skillet is that the butter/hot sauce combo caramelizes on the chop, creating more of a crust than a sauce.

Boneless pork chops are on sale this week at Brookshire’s, so take a chance and spice up your pork with this recipe.

Buffalo-Style Pork Chops

Ingredients:
2 Tbs butter
3 Tbs Frank’s Hot Sauce
4 (1/2 to 3/4-inch thick) boneless pork chops (about 10 oz each)
4 thin slices provolone cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Season each pork chop with salt and pepper. Set aside to rest.

Melt the butter in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk the Frank’s Hot Sauce in the melted butter and cook until it bubbles. Toss pork chops into the bubbling butter mixture, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove from heat; place a slice of provolone cheese on top of each chop. Place a lid or a baking sheet over the cast iron skillet until cheese is melty. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 531, Calories from Fat: 192, Fat: 21 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (11 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 237 mg, Sodium: 539 mg, Potassium: 1225 mg, Carbohydrates: 1 g, Protein: 78 g.

View this recipe to print or add items to My Shopping List.



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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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