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Dine In: Champagne Risotto


Champagne RisottoIn 48 hours, we’ll be welcoming a new year, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait until then to celebrate.
With New Year’s Eve EVE falling on a Friday this year, you can get the party started early.

I think the first time I ever made risotto was actually on New Year’s Eve way back in the ‘90s or, as my kids say, “last century.” They love saying that. I don’t find it as amusing.

Back to the story. My good friend and upstairs neighbor, Susan, and I decided we were going to make a meal that would make all other meals from all year pale in comparison.

We were going to roast a prime rib, dress a microgreen salad with a champagne vinaigrette and make a champagne risotto. Clearly our theme was “champagne.”

The problem was that neither of us has ever made any of those dishes, aside from maybe a vinaigrette. That was no deterrent. Out came the cookbooks. We shopped at the butcher down the street for the meat. We purchased a meat thermometer. We bought bottles of good champagne to drink as well as to use in our cooking. We were ready.

I have to admit that the prime rib didn’t turn out so well. We should have paid a little more attention to the thermometer as the meat got way too overcooked while we were stirring the risotto.

The risotto, however, turned out perfectly, and I’ve made it frequently for holidays or meals when I needed a serious WOW factor ever since.

Champagne Risotto

Ingredients:
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs butter
1/2 yellow onion, minced
1 Tbs garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
3 cups champagne, divided
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese (shred the cheese yourself, from a block)
kosher salt, to taste
parmesan curls and fresh thyme leaves, for garnish

Directions:
In a large, heavy stockpot, swirl the olive oil and butter; melt together over medium-low heat. When the oil is fragrant and the butter begins to bubble, add the onions and sprinkle with salt. Cook over medium-low heat until the onion is soft. Add the garlic, and stir for 1 minute. Pour in the rice, stirring and cooking for about 4 minutes.

Add in 1 cup champagne to deglaze the pan. Turn heat to medium, and stir the rice constantly as it absorbs the liquid. Cook until almost all the liquid is absorbed. Add the second cup of champagne and follow the same procedure. Repeat with the third cup.

Add the chicken broth in the same way, a cup at a time, stirring and cooking until the vast majority of the liquid is absorbed.

If your rice is too firm, add two cups of water, one at a time; stir until the rice is cooked al dente and all the liquid is creamy.

Right before serving, turn heat to low; stir in the cheese and salt. Serve immediately with curls of parmesan cheese and fresh thyme leaves.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 713, Calories from Fat: 238, Fat: 26 g (13 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 56 mg, Sodium: 1148 mg, Potassium: 267 mg, Carbohydrates: 62 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 27 g.

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Shop the Sale: New Year’s Brisket


New Year’s BrisketI probably say this every year, but I didn’t really know about New Year’s Day traditions until I was grown and out of the house. All of that to say, my family didn’t have the same traditions as most southerners experience.

In the South, we eat black-eyed peas, greens, cornbread and brisket on New Year’s Day, so today is the perfect day to shop the sale items in preparation of the new year.

Peas represent coins, for prosperity in 2017. Greens also symbolize money; cook them up with pork (ham or bacon) to represent that pigs root forward (meaning that you’ll get ahead in the new year). In days gone by, our ancestors killed a fatted calf for a show of prosperity, thus the brisket.

New Year’s Day Brisket

Ingredients:
2 Tbs chili powder
2 Tbs salt
2 Tbs Worcestershire powder
1 Tbs garlic powder
1 Tbs onion powder
1 Tbs ground black pepper
1 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
2 tsp dry mustard
1 bay leaf, crushed
4 lbs beef brisket, trimmed
1 1/2 cups beef stock

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Combine chili powder, salt, garlic powder and onion powder, Worcestershire powder, Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, black pepper, sugar, dry mustard and bay leaf. Rub brisket with a small amount of extra virgin olive oil, and then massage spice rub into the meat. Place in a roasting pan; roast, uncovered, for 1 hour.

Add beef stock and enough water to yield about 1/2 inch of liquid in the roasting pan. Lower oven to 300° F. Cover pan tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil; continue cooking for 3 hours or until fork-tender.

Trim the fat, and slice meat thinly across the grain.

Serve with black-eyed peas, collard greens and cornbread.

Serves 8 to 10

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 399, Calories from Fat: 119, Fat: 13 g (5 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 180 mg, Sodium: 2607 mg, Potassium: 897 mg, Carbohydrates: 4 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 2 g, Protein: 62 g.

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Dine In: Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup


Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup ‘Twas two days before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except Mom and Dad who were racing around frantically to try to create the perfect Christmas for their family.

Slow down tonight and serve a simple supper that will pave the way for the feasting to come.

This soup is perfect for chillier temperatures. It’s super thick and creamy but without all the added fat (you can save those calories for cookies over the next few days).

Prep this soup for Christmas Eve EVE, and enjoy the evening together by the fireplace. Take a deep breath before the hustle and bustle kicks into high gear.

Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup

Ingredients:
5 cups broccoli florets, chopped
1 cup carrots, grated
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 oz reduced fat cream cheese (do not use fat-free)
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
2 1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken or vegetable stock
1 (12 oz) can 2% evaporated milk
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 (8 oz) block sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Directions:
Spray the liner of a slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Place broccoli, carrots, onions and garlic into the bottom of the liner. Top with cream cheese, oregano, nutmeg and chicken stock. Cover; cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 to 6 hours.

Stir in evaporated milk.

Using an immersion blender or food processor, puree about 3/4 of the soup until it’s creamy.

Stir together back in the slow cooker, and cook 10 more minutes or until warmed through. Stir in salt, pepper and grated cheese. Cook an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 306, Calories from Fat: 176, Fat: 20 g (12 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 64 mg, Sodium: 893 mg, Carbohydrates: 17 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 10 g, Protein: 17 g.

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Family Matters: Quick ‘n’ Easy Party Rollups


Quick ‘n’ Easy Party RollupsI had never made tortilla rollups before but needed some type of “finger food” that was quick and easy for a party recently. After looking over several recipes, I finally decided to make my own based on other recipes but with things my family would eat. Try this recipe, and make it your own by adding your favorites!

Quick ‘n’ Easy Party Rollups

Ingredients:
1 pkg  cream cheese
3/4 cup sour cream
1 can Rotel, drained
3/4 small can black olives, diced
1/2 small can green chilies, chopped
1 (8 oz) pkg Colby Jack cheese, finely shredded
1 large can white chunk chicken breast, drained and pulled apart
black pepper
Morton Nature’s Seasons Seasoning Blend
1 pkg large flour tortillas

Directions:
Mix items in the order listed. Spread on tortillas (leave about 1/2 inch around with no mixture); roll them up and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator for 1 hour; remove. Slice in 1 inch diameter pieces, and plate for the party. If you are not ready to eat immediately, you will need to refrigerate until ready. Do not refrigerate for more than 3 hours because that may cause tortillas to get a little moist. Other added suggestions include pimentos, chopped nuts, green olives, jalapeños, green onions, pickle relish (sweet or dill), hot pepper cheese, etc.

Serves 10

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As you plan for parties for New Year’s, big football games, church gatherings or special holidays coming up, figure out what you like and give this recipe a try. Make several varieties, and see which everyone likes the best. Count your blessings daily, and give thanks for time with your family and friends!



Shop the Sale: Christmas Roast Beast


Christmas Roast BeastMy favorite part of the legendary Christmas classic, “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas,” was always when the Whos in Whoville passed the Roast Beast at Christmas dinner. I don’t know why this particular scene caught my fancy, but it never failed to elicit a giggle. Truth be told, it still does.

Every time I eat a roast, I have to call it a Roast Beast, much to the chagrin of my eye-rolling teenagers. When they are providing the roast, they can call it whatever they want, I think to myself.

This Christmas is a great time to make a showcase meal with a roasted boneless ribeye roast as the centerpiece. We all know that your wallet can use a little relief the week before Christmas, so enjoy this indulgence from Brookshire’s without feeling like The Grinch!

Mustard-Rubbed Roast Beef (Beast!)

Ingredients:
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 Tbs thyme leaves
1/4 cup olive oil, plus 1 Tbs
4 lbs boneless beef ribeye roast
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1 stick salted butter, room temperature
kitchen string, for tying roast

Directions:
Remove roast from refrigerator, and let stand at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before searing.

Preheat oven to 250° F.

Place mustard seeds, salt, pepper and thyme in a mortar and pestle; grind until powdery. If you do not have a mortar and pestle, use the powdered versions of the mustard and thyme with regular salt and pepper.

Add 1/4 cup olive oil, and continue to crush until well-combined. Stir in Dijon mustard until it’s all well-incorporated.

Rub roast with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat, and sear beef for 1 minute on each side until browned. Remove roast from pan, and secure with kitchen string. Rub mustard mixture over beef. Place back in skillet or use a roasting pan; place beef in oven.

Cook for 1 1/2 hours for medium-rare (use a meat thermometer to cook to desired doneness).

Remove from oven, tent with foil, and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 948, Calories from Fat: 472, Fat: 52 g (22 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 373 mg, Sodium: 1028 mg, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 0 g, Protein: 112 g.

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Healthy Living: Hot Spiced Fruit Bake


Hot Spiced Fruit BakeI said fruit BAKE, not fruit CAKE!

Of course, if fruitcake is your thing, you might really love this hot, spiced fruit bake.

It’s hard to resist so many delicious treats during the holidays, but you can enjoy this delicious indulgence guilt-free by keeping calories low and loading up on the nutrients found in winter fruits.

Winter fruits like apples, pears and citrus are a great way to get antioxidants, which help fight colds this time of the year.

This is a great alternative to heavier treats laden with flour and sugar.

Enjoy this for breakfast or for dessert with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if you must.

Hot Spiced Fruit Bake

Ingredients:
2 cups apple slices
2 cups pear slices
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup pineapple chunks (juice reserved)
lemon juice
1/3 cup coconut sugar or raw sugar
1 Tbs agave or honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 stick butter, melted
2 Tbs coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 300° F. In a large bowl, toss fruit with lemon juice. Set aside.

In another bowl, combine melted butter, sugar, spices and coconut oil. Add in honey and about 1/3 cup pineapple juice. Stir into fruit, and mix thoroughly to coat.

Pour into a 9 x 13 baking dish, and bake for 1 hour. Top with nuts. Serve warm.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 492, Calories from Fat: 327, Fat: 37 g (21 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 61 mg, Sodium: 166 mg, Potassium: 395 mg, Carbohydrates: 43 g, Fiber: 8 g, Sugar: 30 g, Protein: 3 g.

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Dine In: Creamy Tortellini Ham Soup


Creamy Tortellini Ham SoupSo, you just cooked that fabulous Brookshire’s or Hormel sliced ham for your holiday meal (see December 14 entry). Now, it’s time to enjoy the leftovers!

I love leftover ham, better than leftover turkey or any other holiday main course actually. Ham retains its moisture and its flavor, and it’s so easy for leftovers.

You could make leftover ham sandwiches (on a King’s Hawaiian sandwich roll), or you could enjoy this fabulous, hearty soup!

Add some beans and tortellini, and you have a complete meal on a chilly winter’s night, without having to leave the comfort of your own fireplace.

Creamy Tortellini Ham Soup

Ingredients:
3 Tbs butter
2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup flour
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
2 Tbs cornstarch
2 cups ham, cooked and cubed
15 oz can Great Northern beans, rinsed and rained
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
2 bay leaves
1 Tbs chicken bouillon
1 tsp dried parsley (or 1 Tbs fresh)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1 lb refrigerated cheese tortellini, uncooked
2 to 3 cups half-and-half

Directions:
Melt butter and olive oil in large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onions; sauté for about 2 minutes. Add carrots and celery; cook for 3 more minutes , stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in flour. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes or until thick.

Heat chicken broth in microwave for about 2 minutes or until warm. Gradually stir 5 1/2 cups broth into vegetables. Whisk 2 tablespoons cornstarch into remaining 1/2 cup broth, and stir into soup. Stir in ham, beans, mustard, bay leaves, bouillon, and all the remaining herbs and spices.

Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until carrots and celery are tender.

Add tortellini. Boil for 1 to 2 minutes, or until cooked through and floating on the surface.

Stir in half-and-half; do not boil.

Garnish with parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 718, Calories from Fat: 236, Fat: 26 g (10 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 74 mg, Sodium: 1481 mg, Potassium: 1313 mg, Carbohydrates: 87 g, Fiber: 14 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 35 g.

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Shop the Sale: Bourbon Molasses Glazed Ham


Bourbon Molasses Glazed HamHolidays are for ham!

I’ve made them in off seasons, but they always seem to taste best around a holiday table laden with family and friends.

It’s not easy to find variations on recipes for whole ham, especially when they’re so delicious precooked without having to do anything to them.

This simple recipe roasts in your oven while you enjoy companionship by opening gifts, sharing stories, laughing and enjoying each other.

Don’t worry, the alcohol cooks off. You’ll also have leftovers. The Hormel and Brookshire’s hams are on sale this week, so you can buy a few extra stocking stuffers!

Bourbon Molasses Glazed Ham

Ingredients:
2/3 cup bourbon
1 cup local honey
1/3 cup molasses
1/2 cup orange marmalade
nonstick cooking spray
1 (11 lb) sliced Brookshire’s or Hormel Ham
1/8 cup whole cloves

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350° F. Combine bourbon, honey, molasses and marmalade in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Stir frequently to avoid burning. Cook for 15 minutes until well-combined and sugars have dissolved. Set aside.

Score a diamond pattern on skin of ham with a sharp knife. Press cloves all over surface of ham. Pour half of bourbon glaze over ham. Roast for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, uncovered, until ham reaches 130° F internally.

While the ham cooks, baste occasionally with additional glaze. Remove ham from oven. Tent with foil. Let stand for 20 minutes before serving.

Serves 10

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 1012, Calories from Fat: 386, Fat: 43 g (15 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 284 mg, Sodium: 6515 mg, Potassium: 1583 mg, Carbohydrates: 61 g, Fiber: 7 g, Sugar: 38 g, Protein: 83 g.

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Product Talk: Marie’s Salad Dressings


Marie’s Salad Dressings

My favorite salad dressing in the entire world, aside from my mom’s homemade version, is Marie’s Chunky Blue Cheese. It tastes just like my mom’s, with big chunks of blue cheese in a mild, creamy dressing.

If I’m going to use salad dressing, it’s going to be Marie’s.

Marie’s makes a whole line of salad dressings, which are all delicious and very handy considering I’m the only one in my family who eats blue cheese. My older son loves Creamy Chipotle Ranch. My boyfriend likes Balsamic Vinaigrette, and my younger son likes the regular Ranch. I also enjoy the Asiago Peppercorn!

In addition to salad dressings, try the Coleslaw and BBQ Coleslaw dressings. They make putting together your slaw fast and simple.

As Marie’s likes to say, “Mother Nature brings the crunch; we bring the punch.”

Found near the bagged salads in the refrigerated section, Marie’s brings the punch to any undressed salad or slaw.

 



Dine In: Spinach-Stuffed Chicken Breasts


Spinach-Stuffed Chicken BreastsBack in my single days, my friends and I would go out to eat on Friday nights, and we’d almost always get an appetizer of bubbling, warm, cheesy spinach dip with pita chips.

We’d talk and laugh and eat so much spinach dip that we often weren’t hungry for dinner after we finished.

I still love to go out on Friday nights, but I also love to stay home, especially this time of year when the stores, restaurants and roads are packed to overflowing, and you sometimes wait as long for your meal, or to get a table, as it would just to make the same thing at home.

I tried to come up with something recently that would channel the flavors of the spinach dip that I loved in a date night dish that would be perfect for a Friday night at home.

Spinach-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts, about 3/4 lb
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup fresh baby spinach
2 Tbs parsley, chopped
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup Italian cheese blend
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbs olive oil
16 oz jar marinara sauce, or homemade
parmesan cheese

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375° F. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat until shimmery and fragrant.

Add spinach and parsley; sauté for 2 minutes. Add garlic; cook until spinach is wilted. Set aside.

Cut the chicken breasts lengthwise halfway through until they open like a book. Pound until each is about 1/4 inch thick. In a small bowl, mix together ricotta, Italian cheese blend and spinach mixture; add salt and pepper.

Spoon mixture onto the middle of the flat chicken breasts and roll, securing with a toothpick.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in the skillet until shimmery and fragrant. Brown chicken on all sides. Place in oven, and cook for 35 minutes. Pour marinara sauce over the chicken, and cook for another 10 minutes. Top with parmesan cheese, and broil for 3 minutes. Serve immediately.

Serves 2

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 843, Calories from Fat: 406, Fat: 45 g (14 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 190 mg, Sodium: 1339 mg, Carbohydrates: 39 g, Fiber: 7 g, Sugar: 20 g, Protein: 69 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.

Product Talk

Each Monday we feature a new or interesting product.

Healthy Living

Tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, every Tuesday.

Shop the Sale

On Wednesdays, get a tip or idea on using an item in the circular.

Family Matters

Ideas for the whole family come to you every Thursday.

Dine In

Stop fighting the crowds, save money and dine in, every Friday.

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