Caution: Caveman Cooking

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Posts Tagged ‘shrimp cocktail’

It’s Saturday … Do You Know Where Your Turkey Is?

Posted by Caveman Cooking on November 19, 2011

Thanksgiving Turkey Yeah, believe it or not, it’s the Saturday before Thanksgiving … ALREADY!!! Time just seems to fly by too quickly .. and it also appears to be accelerating each year. But, it’s time to start talking turkey! Especially if you are planning on cooking a big bird for your holiday feast. You have to get that baby defrosting NOW, particularly if you have a 20+ pounder that’s still frozen. Using the “Refrigerator Method”, the safest and best way to transform your turkey from it’s icy condition, you need to allow a day for each 5 pounds of poultry. Using my five-finger Caveman calculator, that means you have to get going on that hefty hen TODAY. Of course, for more tips and all the methods available for defrosting the centerpiece of your T-day meal, you can always check out our post Thawing Your Turkey. By the way, you’ll notice we did not include the “Microwave Method” of defrosting in that article. That’s because it is a real flavor and texture killer … we highly recommend using one of the other two methods we’ve detailed. Brining Turkey

Once you have unlocked your turkey from it’s frozen state, you need to either cook it or brine it immediately. In the Cavehold, we would never do the former without first doing the latter. Years ago, when I was just a young Cavelad, the Cavemom developed a great brine that included wine and grapes. Since then, when the Cavewoman and I took over the duties of hosting this particular holiday, we took her brine and bumped it up a notch or two. This recipe was a closely held family secret until we spilled the beans two years ago with our post T-day Turkey Brine. If you want to ensure you serve a juicy, tender turkey full of great flavor, every time, I suggest you give this one a go. It’s easy, it’s foolproof, and as we say around here, “Once you brine, your turkey will be fine!”. By the way, I’ve been told by our Turkey Day faithful that I will be kicked to the curb if I ever try to deviate from this recipe on Thanksgiving … I think that says it all!
Cave’s Cranberry Sauce
Of course, Caveman (or Cavewoman) does not live by turkey alone … even on Thanksgiving. So you might want to check out some of the side dishes and aperitifs we shared previously that have become holiday traditions in the Cavehold. For instance, no T-day meal is complete with out cranberry sauce. Many folks believe it’s just too hard to make their own and go with the canned versions available in the store. But, if you venture just a bit further down the aisle to the veggie and fruit section, and take an extra 20 minutes in your meal’s preparation, you will end up with a C-sauce that will forever have you shunning the pre-made type in the future. Our Cave’s Cranberry Sauce is really just the recipe on the package with some molasses and either wine, port, cognac or brandy added. Best of all, you can make it a day or two ahead of time and just refrigerate it until chow time – which actually also helps it to set up better, both flavor and consistency wise. The only problem with that, really, is keeping everyone away from it until the big meal … the Cavewoman is our biggest offender on that! Cavemom’s Orange Yam Turkeys

Yams or sweet potatoes are another must for this Fall harvest feast. While they take many forms in each family, I really have never tasted anything better than the Cavemom’s Orange Yam Turkeys. This unique, colorful, and tasty dish has become a real favorite of the Cavekids … not just to eat, but to make as well. They really look forward to working in the kitchen on these with their Cavenana, and this year is no different! They’ve already been asking us if their grandmother was “bringing all the stuff to make Yam Turkeys”. Put one of these on your guest’s plate, and I guarantee they will be ooing and cooing about how cute they are. That is, until they taste it and start oohing and awing about how delicious they are! Yams, orange, pineapple, nuts, marshmallows, butter … I mean, what could be bad about that, right?!?!

Garlic Mashed TatersAnother regular player on the Thanksgiving plate is the mashed potato. You’ve got to have something to to put the gravy on – besides turkey and stuffing, of course. You know that in the Cavehold we can’t simply serve a boiled tater mashed up with some butter and salt. We’ve got to give the spud a serious kick in the pants! (GRRRREAT! Visions of kicking Mr. Potato Head are now swirling around in my Neanderthal noggin!!). Which is why our Garlic Mashed Taters always make an appearance on our holiday menu. If you’re going to squish a potato beyond all recognition, why not take it to the next level with butter, milk, sour cream, cream cheese, green onion chives, and roasted “gah-lick”. True, it’s not the healthiest of dishes. But, oh my, is it goooooooooood! Best of all, this is also one of those recipes that you don’t need to save just for Turkey Day … we use this one just about every time we have a hankerin’ to do some mashin’. In fact, they are pictured here with Korean Pork Chops (Daeji Galbi) and Sauteed Asian Veggies.

Before getting to the real meal, we try to tempt our guests’ palates with some basic, yet delicious appetizers. And, shrimp cocktail is about as basic as it gets. However, a chilled shrimp is only as good as the sauce that accompanies it. You could make your own sauce from scratch. But, that is time consuming and, as you know, we like to make things as easy as possible around here. Thus, with necessity being the mother of invention, came the recipe for Cave’s Quick Cocktail Sauce. As the name suggests, it’s quick, it’s easy, and man is it goooooood! If there is any doubt about how good it really is, on a holiday known for leftovers, there are never any leftover shrimp!

As good as those little crustaceans bathed in that sauce are, we still have to make sure that the non-carnivorous crowd is well accounted for. So, we also whip up an incredible, veggie friendly, Baked Brie with Peach Sauce. When coupled with the dried cherries and pecans, this gooey plate of yum becomes a huge hit. Serve it up with some quality Lavosh or water crackers and let the feasting begin!
NOTE: Even though you will want to dig right in, be sure to let the baked brie cool for about 10 minutes after pulling it from the oven as the melted cheese inside the brie casing can get quite hot. Nothing worse than burning your tongue on that first bite and not be able to taste the full flavor of the rest of the meal. Yes, this is the voice of experience talking! :oops:

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies Lastly, while both apple pie and pumpkin pie are expected desserts amongst the Caveclan come Thanksgiving day, a new addition to the post-meal eats has made it’s way into our hearts and stomachs. The Cavewoman’s Pumpkin Whoopie Pies are a unique and welcome change to the usual T-day sweet treats. Give these a try and I promise you will be smiling with delight as they melt in your mouth. Besides, these Whoopie Pies also garnered a Food Blogs “Post Of The Day” honor! So … what are you waiting for? Hit the link!!

Yes, we’ve given you a lot to contemplate here. However, this is the one holiday that truly centers around the food that is served. So, consider giving some, if not all, of these recipes a try and let us know how it goes. But, if you haven’t gotten that big bird out of the freezer yet, stop reading this and get a move on! ;) The entire Caveclan wishes you and yours a safe, happy, and delicious Thanksgiving.

P.S. – We are less than two weeks from the premier of Caution: Caveman Cooking’s online cooking show, C3TV. Look for more info on the launch right after Turkey Day. In the meantime, you can get a sneak peek here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xw-uf78Tlzk

©2011 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at http://cavemancooking.wordpress.com authored by Caveman. This may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

Posted in Holidays, Thanksgiving | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Thanksgiving Prep

Posted by Caveman Cooking on November 16, 2010

I don’t know about you but, for the Caveclan, Thanksgiving is the holiday we look forward to the most. A day filled with friends and family, fantastic football, and fabulous food is certainly a day worth giving thanks for. Which is why, when the Cavewoman and I wed, we chose Turkey Day as the one we would host for the entire family. Yeah, it is a lot of work in the kitchen. But, seeing everyone slumped into the couch, satiated and smiling, is worth every moment spent hoping not to burn the gravy or undercook the bird.
Over the last dozen years, we have incorporated some of our families’ recipes with our own to create a meal that has become a tradition … to the point we are threatened with embarrassing public revelations from our pasts if we change anything. Making blackmail truly the most sincere form of flattery you can receive! ;) With that in mind, I want to share with you some of the recipes we’ll be employing next week for the big day. I hope to also post a few new recipes over the next week that we will be enjoying this year, as well.
Before getting to real meal, we try to tempt our guests palates with some basic, yet delicious appetizers. And, shrimp cocktail is about as basic as it gets. However, a chilled shrimp is only as good as the sauce that accompanies it. You could make your own sauce from scratch. But, that is time consuming and, as you know, we like to make things as easy as possible around here. Thus, with necessity being the mother of invention, came the recipe for Cave’s Quick Cocktail Sauce. As the name suggests, it’s quick, it’s easy, and man is it goooooood! If there is any doubt about how good it really is, on a holiday known for leftovers, there are never any leftover shrimp!
As good as those little crustaceans bathed in that sauce are, man (and, more specifically, the vegetarian Cavewoman) can’t live on prawns alone. So, we also whip up an incredible veggie friendly Baked Brie with Peach Sauce. When coupled with the dried cherries and pecans, this gooey plate of yum becomes a huge hit. Serve it up with some quality Lavosh or water crackers and let the feasting begin!
NOTE: Even though you will want to dig right in, be sure to let the baked brie cool for about 10 minutes after pulling it from the oven as the melted cheese inside the brie casing can get quite hot. Nothing worse than burning your tongue on that first bite and not be able to taste the full flavor of the rest of the meal. Yes, this is the voice of experience talking! :oops:

Too often, one of the cornerstones of the Thanksgiving meal is taken for granted. The cranberry sauce! Serving it right out of the can isn’t worthy of the time and effort most will put into their holiday spread. You could just follow the rather simple directions that come on a bag of fresh cranberries … at least that is a huge step up from pre-made. But, if you want to bump it up a major notch, I suggest you take the few extra steps recommended in our Cave’s Cranberry Sauce recipe. It’s still very simple to make. But, instead of having your cran-sauce be just an also-ran on the plate, it will become one of the stars of your holiday meal. In fact, you just might find yourself making this dish throughout the year!
Of course, it isn’t Thanksgiving without a turkey. However, it isn’t much of a Thanksgiving, foodwise, if your bird isn’t flavorful, juicy and tender. Fortunately, there is one thing you can do to help assure you achieve all three of those lofty goals: marinate your turkey in brine! My now-famous T-day Turkey Brine is one of those modified/modernized family recipes that has been handed down from my Cavenana to my Cavemom, and most recently to me. Combing wine, fresh grapes, garlic, rosemary and various other ingredients for an overnight marinade creates a turkey that is perfect nearly every time. Turkeys done this way usually don’t have much in the way of drippings because the bird retains so much of the moisture. But, it also helps make the meal’s main attraction tender, moist and full of flavor.
Like I said, these are just a few of the recipes we will be whipping up in the coming days. We should have a few more to share before you start winging it around the kitchen. No matter what you end up making, we wish you and yours a safe, savory and happy Thanksgiving. And, don’t be bashful about telling the people sharing your holiday table how thankful you are for having them in your life – it is the only true fail-safe ingredient to a successful T-Day gathering.

©2010 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at http://cavemancooking.wordpress.com authored by Caveman. This may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

Posted in Thanksgiving | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

TJ’s Appetizer Trio

Posted by Caveman Cooking on December 4, 2009


Just a few ideas that will make your next soiree appear to be a high-priced affair … for only about $6 a head! Best of all, you can get all the ingredients with just one stop at Trader Joe’s

INGREDIENTS

1 Baked Brie with Peach Sauce
1 Cave’s Quick Cocktail Sauce
1 Bag of frozen TJ’s Jumbo Shrimp
1 Bag of TJ’s Whole Cashews (I prefer the reduced salt option)
1 Bottle of Piper-Heidsieck Brut Champagne

RECIPE

Place chilled Champagne on ice. Set aside.
Prepare Cocktail Sauce. Chill.

Prepare Baked Brie. Place in oven.

Thaw Shrimp using the “Quick Thaw” method described on the package. Place ice on large serving dish with raised edges. When thawing process is complete, place bowl of Cocktail Sauce in center of serving dish, then arrange Shrimp on the ice.

When fully cooked remove Brie from oven and let stand 5 minutes while preparing tray of crackers and/or bread.
Place Cashews in bowl, and serve all appetizers to your guests, while toasting them with chilled imported Champagne. Your TJ’s Appetizer Trio will be the hit of the party and will cost you around $6 per person … but, your company will think you went “all out”.

Prep Time = 30 minutes
Cook Time = 30 minutes
Serves 10-12

©2009 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This recipe originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at http://cavemancooking.wordpress.com authored by Caveman. This recipe may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

Posted in Appetizers, Holidays | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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