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Product Talk – White Asparagus


Green and White AsparagusWhen I lived in Germany, white asparagus was the hallmark of the spring season. In fact, there were entire festivals dedicated to the albino vegetable. I’d walk through the streets with stalls selling paper cones of roasted asparagus drizzled with olive oil and doused with crunchy sea salt, or boats of asparagus in a light, tarragon-infused vinaigrette sauce. The smells were magnificent. In Germany, it’s called “spargel.” I’ve been thrilled each year when Brookshire’s carries this gem.

The basic difference between green and white asparagus is that the white variety is grown underground covered in dirt, so it lacks the chlorophyll that helps turn the other variety green. In that sense, it’s more like a root vegetable, but you won’t taste much of a difference between the green and white varieties. Some people also call this kind of asparagus “vampire asparagus” because it never sees the light of day. To cook the asparagus, snap off the woody stems, then go about preparation.

White Asparagus with Tarragon Cream

Ingredients:
2 cups bread cubes from day-old loaf, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp salt
4 Tbs fresh lemon juice
2 lbs white asparagus
1 cup dry white wine
2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 Tbs unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
3 Tbs fresh tarragon, chopped
2 Tbs chives, minced
1/2 tsp white pepper
salt and black pepper, to taste

For the breadcrumbs, place bread cubes in bowl of food processor; pulse into fine crumbs. Heat olive oil in large sauté pan or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until oil is shimmering and fragrant. Add breadcrumbs to pan, stirring constantly, until breadcrumbs are golden-brown (about 4 minutes). Remove to a bowl until asparagus is prepared.

Bring water to a boil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add salt and lemon juice. After stems are removed from asparagus, use a vegetable peeler to remove the thin outer membrane of asparagus, as if you were lightly peeling a carrot. Add peeled asparagus to boiling water; reduce heat to medium. Simmer asparagus until tender when pierced with tip of a knife, between 8 to 20 minutes depending on thickness. Drain asparagus; dry slightly on paper towels.

Bring wine to a boil in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots. Cook until wine is reduced by about three-quarters, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add cream and reduce again by half, about 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add butter to pan, 1 tablespoon at a time. Whisk until smooth. Stir in herbs; add salt and both peppers, to taste.

Arrange asparagus in a large serving bowl. Add cream sauce; toss to coast. Sprinkle with toasted breadcrumbs, and serve immediately.

Serves 6
Per Serving:
Calories: 310, Fat: 25 g (13 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 54 mg, Sodium: 975 mg, Carbohydrates: 14 g, Fiber: 4 g, Protein: 5 g.



Product Talk: Amish Country Roll Butter


Amish Country Roll Butter on grilled cornI’m in love, and I’m shouting it from the rooftop.

Amish Country Roll Butter has my heart, and I’m not afraid to share my infatuation with this amazing product.

Hand-packaged in a wax paper wrapper, this fresh-tasting butter is a game-changer for baking, cooking and spreading. It literally tastes like it was just churned in a farmhouse kitchen next door.

Since 1946, Amish Country Roll Butter has been made using a family recipe that incorporates whey cream and sweet cream for a fresh taste and creamy texture.

It’s delicious on your morning toast, in the cookies you’re baking for the school bake sale and on your dinner baked potato.

It comes in a one-pound roll, but you’ll be surprised at how quickly you run out.

This recipe lets the flavor of the butter shine through on these simply dressed veggies.

Barbecue Grilled Vegetables
(Recipe from Amish Country Roll Butter)

Ingredients:
1/4 cup Amish Country Roll Butter
2 small potatoes, diced or sliced
3 large carrots, chopped
6 oz green beans
1 red bell pepper, quartered
1 yellow bell pepper, quartered
1 small onion, chopped
1 zucchini, sliced

Directions:
Heat grill to high heat. Add tin foil to dish you will be grilling the veggies in. Melt the Amish Country Roll Butter in the tin foil. Add veggies. Let cook on high heat for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from grill and serve.

Serves 4

Per Serving:
Calories: 244, Fat: 12 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 31 mg, Sodium: 129 mg, Carbohydrates: 33 g, Fiber: 7 g, Protein: 5 g.

View the original recipe here.



Product Talk: Adkins® Farm Style Sausage Seasoning


This weekend, I made my own breakfast sausage. Homemade.

We got a meat grinder attachment for my KitchenAid® mixer at Christmas. I’ve ground up beef for burgers, but I hadn’t ventured far beyond that.

It’s important to know, so you keep reading, that you DO NOT need a meat grinder for this recipe. Keep reading. If you DO have a meat grinder, it’s life changing and messy. Very, very messy. So really, you win with this recipe if you don’t have to grind the meat yourself.

Either way, the secret ingredient is Adkins® Farm Style Sausage Seasoning, which I happened upon at Brookshire’s when I was buying the pork to make my sausage. It’s a premixed blend of salt, sage, crushed red pepper, sugar, black pepper, ground red pepper and paprika. Everything you’d want in a breakfast sausage. Almost. I roasted a fennel bulb and added it to the meat grind. Again, you can also add it if you do NOT have a meat grinder.

I also added extra red pepper flakes because I hoped it would be spicier. It was, but it wasn’t overpowering.
Even with the added fat (which was the primary cause of the meat grinder mess…hey, I’m still learning), this was a lean, compact, rich sausage.

Farm-Style Breakfast Sausage

Ingredients:
1 fennel bulb, fronds removed
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs pork tenderloin OR ground pork
1/2 lb trimmed fat (the butcher at Brookshire’s will be happy to accommodate this request) Omit if using ground pork
4 Tbs Adkins® Farm Style Sausage Seasoning
2 egg whites

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400° F. Slice fennel bulb into thin slices, discarding the fronds; place fennel on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil on both sides. Roast, turning once, for about 15 minutes or until golden-brown and beginning to caramelize. Remove from oven; let cool. If using a grinder, chop into large pieces. If using ground pork, dice fennel into small pieces.

Meanwhile, if using pork tenderloin and a grinder, cut pork and trimmed fat into 1-inch pieces or smaller. Spread out on a baking sheet, and place in freezer for about 1 hour. If using a grinder, place all grinder components into the freezer as well.

When pork is cold, remove from freezer. Sprinkle with Adkins Farm Style Sausage Seasoning; add fennel to the tray. Using a medium output plate, feed into meat grinder in small portions until all the meat and fennel are ground up. Remove medium plate; replace with a smaller grind plate. Grind pork a second time.

If using ground pork, pick up the recipe here. Sprinkle ground pork with Adkins® Farm Style Sausage Seasoning. Add in finely diced roasted fennel. Adjust red pepper by adding more flakes if necessary.

Place pork into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add two egg whites. Beat with a paddle attachment until all the spices and egg whites are well-incorporated.

Place on a large sheet of parchment paper. Roll tightly and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. Slice into 1/4-inch slices. Fry in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until internal temperatures reach 145° F.

Serves 16

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 112, Fat: 4 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 44 mg, Sodium: 47 mg, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 17 g.

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



Product Talk: Bob’s Red Mill® Tapioca Flour


Bob's Red Mill® Tapioca FlourThis weekend, we ate at a new restaurant (for us) that we’ve been hyping up in our minds for the months since it opened. It did not disappoint. The salad bar was magnificent, redolent with all kinds of cheese such as an entire wheel of parmesan, dried meats like pancetta and soppressata, fresh vegetables, shrimp, smoked salmon and, of course, salad.

If the salad bar was magnificent, the meal offering was phenomenal. Waiters with skewers of roasted meats still dripping with juices milled about, offering diners a different delicacy every few minutes: lamb chops, bacon-wrapped filets, sirloin, pork tenderloin, beef and pork ribs, and spicy sausages. The miraculous meats just kept coming.

One of the truly unique and fun parts of the meal was the basket of Pao de Queijo, or Brazilian Cheese Rolls.

These light, airy, almost bite-sized rolls melted in our mouths as we popped them in, one after another. I was pleasantly surprised that when I got home, it was easy to find a recipe for these amazing, flavorful rolls.

I was interested to see that they were made with tapioca flour, which made sense when I thought about how light these cheese-laden rolls came out.

Bob’s Red Mill® Tapioca Flour is a starchy white flour that has a slightly sweet flavor to it. Tapioca flour can be used to help bind gluten-free recipes and improve the texture of baked goods, making them lighter and airier. Tapioca adds crispness to crusts and a chewy bite to other baked goods. One of the best parts is that it’s extremely smooth, which makes for a great thickener in sauces, pies and soups since it never discolors and contains no discernible taste or smell.

Pao de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Rolls)

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup water
6 Tbs oil
2 tsp salt
4 cups tapioca flour
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese, grated
1 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400° F. Combine milk, water, oil and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring gently.

Add tapioca flour to the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl that you can use with a hand mixer. As soon as the liquid mixture boils, carefully pour it over the flour.

Mix well on medium speed of an electric mixture. Expect the dough to be very white and very sticky. With the mixer still on, add the eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated. Once the eggs are incorporated, add the cheeses, a little at a time, until fully mixed in. The dough will still be quite soft and sticky.

To shape the dough balls, wet hands with cold water. Using a large spoon, scoop some of the dough to shape balls a little smaller than the size of a golf ball.

Place the balls on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden and puffy. Serve warm.

Makes 30

CHEF’S TIP: As soon as they come out of the oven, you can brush with melted butter mixed with some freshly minced garlic.

To prepare ahead and freeze, shape the balls, place them on the baking sheet, and place in freezer. Once they are frozen, transfer to a zip-top bag, and keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 181, Fat: 12 g (6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 43 mg, Sodium: 540 mg, Carbohydrates: 6 g, Fiber: 0 g, Protein: 14 g.

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

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Product Talk: Spring Break Crispy Shrimp with Garlic Aioli


Spring Break Crispy Shrimp with Garlic Aioli It seems like most of my friends have headed to either the beach or the mountains for spring break!

Because I’m a beach girl myself, I’m going to live vicariously through them since I didn’t get to go anywhere this year. (There’s always next year…goals!)

One of my favorite things to do while I’m at the beach is to eat all of the fresh seafood that I can. Luckily, I can do this without having to go to the beach, as Brookshire’s seafood department brings me all of my favorite fruits of the sea without having to leave my land-locked city.

I especially love going to get fresh shrimp. While most of it is sold with the shells still on, they will peel and devein it for you if you ask very nicely. The friendly staff at Brookshire’s is always willing to lend a helping hand, and I just finish the rest of my shopping while I wait, or call ahead. I don’t mind peeling, but I don’t like deveining.

Either way, it’s easy to pick up some fresh shrimp at Brookshire’s. I love this recipe because it’s lightened up for spring (and bathing suit bodies). The garlic aioli that goes with it is delicious, and it’s made with some products that help you avoid saturated fats.

Spring Break Crispy Shrimp with Garlic Aioli

Ingredients:
3/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs), divided
1 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped
2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
2 Tbs cornstarch
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1 1/2 lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs olive oil, divided
1/2 cup 2% Greek yogurt
1/4 cup canola mayonnaise
1 Tbs garlic, minced
3 Tbs fresh chives, chopped
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp ground red pepper

Directions:
Mix 1/4 cup panko, parsley, thyme and red pepper in food processor; pulse two or three times to combine. Stir herb mixture with remaining 1/2 cup panko in shallow dish. Place cornstarch and egg whites in separate shallow dishes.

Sprinkle shrimp with salt and black pepper. Dredge half of shrimp in cornstarch, shaking off excess; dip into egg whites. Dredge shrimp in panko mixture; press to adhere. Repeat procedure with remaining shrimp.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Heat oil until fragrant and shimmering. Add half of shrimp to pan. (Do not overcrowd the pan or shrimp will not crisp.) Cook for 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with remaining oil and shrimp.

Combine yogurt and remaining ingredients in small bowl. Serve immediately with shrimp.

Serves 4

Per Serving:
Calories: 430, Fat: 22 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 265 mg, Sodium: 583 mg, Carbohydrates: 15 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 41 g.

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



Product Talk: Angus Ground Chuck Patties


Angus Ground Chuck Patty Burgers“What do you want for dinner tonight?” is a typical Saturday question at my house. I meal-plan carefully all through the week, but on weekends, we play it loosey goosey and eat according to our whims.

My kids wanted to grill something, which I’m always on board with, so we went to Brookshire’s to see what tempted our taste buds.

My younger son spotted them first: premade Angus Ground Chuck Patties in the meat section.

“Hey, look at these,” he said. “They’ve already done the work for you, and they’re already nice and flat.”

“Nice and flat” is a bit of a bone of contention with my homemade burgers, apparently. No matter what I do (poking a hole with my finger in the center of the patty, pressing them AFTER they’ve finished cooking), my burgers tend to take on a bit of a bulbous shape in the center. The boys prefer them flat.

These burgers did look good. They were an 80/20 mix of lean to fat, which is great for a burger in my opinion. You don’t want them too lean where all the good flavor is gone, and too much fat is also a cause of the burger bulge as you grill them. Plus, these were a great deal by weight, and as my son pointed out, they already did the work of shaping them for me. (No one likes the feel of ground beef on their hands, do they?)

We brought them home, and I grilled them over a medium-high flame until they were medium. They stayed perfectly flat, much to the boys’ delight, and they had great flavor, much to mine.

We’ll definitely be buying these agains for the wonderful, beefy taste and the definite ease of preparation.



Product Talk: John Soules Foods® Southern Style Chicken


John Soules Foods® Southern Style ChickenI heard a rumor that sounded too good to be true. I heard there was a frozen chicken product at Brookshire’s that tasted a lot like a place where we eat a lot and that’s closed on Sundays. I didn’t believe it.

One Sunday morning, my son wanted chicken and waffles for breakfast. I didn’t really feel like frying chicken, so I added “Southern Style Chicken” to my grocery list.

Found with the frozen foods, John Soules Foods® Southern Style Chicken comes in nuggets or strips. We were making chicken and waffles, so I opted for the strips.

We heated them in the oven, per the directions on the bag. When they came out, I asked my boys, who are connoisseurs of the other establishment, to taste them before we paired them with waffles and syrup. They agreed that they taste a lot like their favorite fast-food restaurant.

Lightly breaded, these strips and nuggets are 100-percent white meat chicken and so delicious. What we didn’t use for the chicken and waffles, we baked later in the week and used for chicken salads atop crispy greens tossed with fresh tomatoes, avocados and bits of crispy bacon.

We’ve also tried the nuggets dipped in barbecue or honey mustard sauce. They make great after-school snacks or lunches on the weekends.

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Product Talk: Simply Done™ Disinfecting Wipes


Simply Done Disinfecting WipesI have a canister in my desk at work. I have a canister in my car. I have several stashed around the house (one in each bathroom, one in the kitchen).

Simply Done™ Disinfecting Wipes are simply necessary this time of year.

I especially love them at the office, when people sometimes walk in wiping their noses or coughing and then sit at my desk. After they leave, you’d better believe I’m going to whip out a wipe and disinfect the door knob, my desk and anything else they might have touched. I don’t need germs on my desk, thank you very much.

Simply Done™ Disinfecting Wipes, in lemon or fresh scents, kill the flu virus and 99.9 percent of bacteria in 15 seconds. They are bleach-free and come in a portable canister, so they’re easily stashed wherever it is that you need them most.

Find them on the cleaning aisle at Brookshire’s.

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Product Talk: Valentine’s Day at Brookshire’s


Valentine's Day at Brookshire'sThat’s right, ladies and gentlemen. You have two days left to be at the top of your Valentine’s Day game, but that won’t be a problem with the wide variety of gifts you can buy at Brookshire’s that say “I love you” perfectly.

You can start in the floral department. Traditionally, red roses signify Valentine’s Day, but what about pink, white, lavender, coral or another flower instead? Maybe she likes brightly colored assorted blooms, or she’s the type who would love it if you gave her a plant for her desk or house because your feelings for her will last longer than cut flowers. Brookshire’s has stems, arrangements, plants and vases to go with them, just in time for Valentine’s Day. There are fun balloons and cards, too.

Next, you might want to visit the bakery, where you can pick up a sweet treat like a cupcake to deliver to your loved one at work or a decadent dessert for your romantic meal. (I like to surprise my kids with cupcakes when they wake up on Valentine’s Day morning; sorry, teachers!)

Speaking of romantic meals, Brookshire’s makes it easy to put together something that will wow your love. Grab a copy of our Celebrate Cooking magazine in the store today for ideas, or put together a cheese board with assorted cheeses from the deli with sliced meats, olives and a loaf of freshly baked bread to start.

Then, our butchers can cut a perfect filet, pick out a lobster tail, or prepare a beef loin roast for you. Perhaps a shrimp scampi with some of the artisanal dried pastas would be a good choice, too.

A bottle of wine is never a bad choice for a thoughtful gift or as the perfect accompaniment to your romantic meal. Does your loved one prefer beer? An assortment of all their favorites is easy to put together with a make-your-own six-pack at Brookshire’s.

Don’t forget the candy! Pick up an assortment of any kind you can imagine.

Brookshire’s also has all of the cards and wrappings to make sure that your loved one feels special on Valentine’s Day.

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Product Talk: Brookshire’s Pure Olive Oil


Brookshire's Pure Olive OilIf there is one thing in my kitchen that I never run out of, it’s Brookshire’s Pure Olive Oil.

With its golden color, mild flavor and smooth finish, it’s perfect for grilling, sautéing, marinating and anything else I need when I’m cooking.

The main type of fat found in olive oil is monounsaturated fat. If you replace trans fats and saturated fats in your diet with more monounsaturated fats, you can see health benefits from that change.

A friend of mine made this cake over the holidays. I’ve never used olive oil in baking because olive oil does have a distinct flavor, but in this recipe, that’s exactly what you’re looking to get. It was delicious!

Lemon-Olive Oil Cake

Ingredients:
1 (15 oz) box Brookshire’s Yellow Cake Mix
large eggs, per cake mix package directions
Brookshire’s Pure Olive Oil, per cake mix package directions
2 Tbs lemon zest
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup raspberries

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325° F. Spray a 9-inch cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line bottom of pan with a circle of parchment paper.

Mix cake batter per package instructions, substituting Brookshire’s Pure Olive Oil for the called-for vegetable oil or butter. Stir in lemon zest.

Pour batter into prepared cake pan. Bake until cake is lightly golden and springs back to the touch, about 40 minutes. (A cake tester inserted into the center should come out clean.)

Let cool completely in pan for about 20 minutes. Invert cake onto a stand or plate; remove parchment.

Stir together lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar to make a glaze. Pour glaze over center of cake. Spread to the edges so some drips down the sides. Arrange raspberries in center of cake; serve.

Serves 8

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 386, Fat: 16 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 42 mg, Sodium: 366 mg, Carbohydrates: 59 g, Fiber: 2 g, Protein: 4 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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