Caution: Caveman Cooking

Recipes so easy, even a … Well, you know!

Phenomenal Focaccia Stuffing

Posted by Caveman Cooking on November 17, 2016

Stuffed Thanksgiving Turkey
I’ve been promising to share my focaccia bread stuffing recipe for years. But, I’ve been dragging my feet like a typical Neanderthal. Guess what? The wait is over! This stuffing is so good, we make it several other times during the year. Of course, it’s perfect for Turkey Day. So, the timing couldn’t be better. If you’d like, add sausage, bacon, mushrooms, leeks, dried fruit, apples, grapes, or just about anything to snazz it up. Though, the Caveclan likes to just go with this basic combination. By the way, this recipe can be used inside the bird or out. If you want both, you’ll have to double it.

INGREDIENTS

1.5 – 2 Large Foccaia Bread Loafs (1 Pound when turned into croutons)
1 Medium Sweet Onion
3 Stalks of Celery Tablespoons
1 Cup Water Chestnuts
4 Cups Vegetable Broth
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

RECIPE

Slice focaccia loaf into small bite-sized pieces. Place onto cookie sheet and put into a preheated 350° oven for 10-15 minutes until cubes become croutons and are very lightly browned.
NOTE: You can make your own homemade bread. Though, the bakery at our local market makes an incredible “Italian Flatbread” that is absolutely perfect.
Slicing Focaccia Bread

Place broth into a medium sized pot and heat until warmed. Do not bring to a boil.
Warming Broth

Dice celery, water chestnuts, and onion.
Dicing Celery, Water Chestnuts, and Onion

In a large stock pot, heat olive oil. Add diced veggies and saute until onions become translucent. Turn off flame and add focaccia croutons. Gently stir until bread cubes are covered in olive oil. Then, 1/2 cup at a time, slowly add warm broth and stir together so that croutons become evenly coated. Once stuffing is sufficiently soaked (you don’t want mush, but your don’t want them too dry, either) you are ready to move on.
Sauteing Veggies. Mixing in Croutons. Stirring in broth.

If you are going to cook your stuffing inside the turkey, loosely spoon it into the body and neck cavities of the turkey just before you start roasting. Be sure to cover both the bird and stuffing with a foil tent until the last hour of cooking. Stuffing is done when the center of it reaches 165°. The outside will have a nice brown crust, while the inside will be moist and flavorful. Spoon out all the stuffing into a serving bowl, cover, and let stand for about 7-10 minutes.
Stuffing in Turkey

To make your stuffing outside of the bird, butter the inside of a large baking dish. Spoon in stuffing, and top with thin slices of butter. Cover the baking dish and place into a preheated 375° oven. After 25 minutes of baking, remove the cover and allow the top of the stuffing to brown for about 20 minutes. When done, remove from oven, cover, and let stand for about 7-10 minutes.
Stuffing in Baking Dish

Now, serve your stuffing along side all your other Thanksgiving goodies, and enjoy!
Thanksgiving Plate

Prep Time = 30 minutes
Cooking Time = 45-50 minutes outside of bird. When turkey is done and stuffing reaches 165° inside of bird.
Serves 8-12

©2016 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This recipe originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at http://cavemancooking.net authored by Caveman. This recipe may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

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Cavey’s Colossal Shrimp Cocktail

Posted by Caveman Cooking on December 30, 2015

Cavey’s Colossal Shrimp Cocktail
With the New Year’s Eve celebrations set for tomorrow, I thought I’d share one of the favorite appetizers we will enjoy in the Cavehold as we ring in 2016. In fact, we bring this one out just about anytime we are celebrating anything. Take a bite of one of these plump, succulent, delicious decapod crustaceans and you’ll be adding this shrimp cocktail recipe to your next fete’s menu, too! Best of all, the recipe is SO easy … just the way I like ’em!!

INGREDIENTS

2 Pounds Of Jumbo Black Tiger Prawns – shell on, deveined
4 Quarts Cold Water
2 Tablespoons World Spice Merchants “Classic Crab”
1 Tablespoon Whole Black Peppercorns
1 Preparation of Cave’s Quick Cocktail Sauce
OPTIONAL: Replace 1 cup of the water with a can of your favorite beer

RECIPE

Place shrimp in large colander and quickly rinse with cool water and drain. If frozen, DO NOT defrost.
NOTE: I prefer the “U-12” Black Tiger Shrimp found at Costco. They are already deveined, yet still have the shells on … plus, they are so tasty! That said, any uncooked colossal shrimp (12-14 per pound) should work just fine.
Uncooked Tiger Shrimp

Fill large stock pot with water (add beer, if so inclined), World Spice Merchants “Classic Crab” spice blend, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 10 minutes. Return to boil and add shrimp. Reduce flame and cook until prawns are pink and opaque throughout (about 5-8 minutes if frozen, 3-5 minutes if not) – shrimp will usually float when done.
NOTE: You can substitute the World Spice Merchants Classic Crab with Old Bay Seasoning or other seafood-boil spices. Though, I would recommend adding a Bay Leaf, mustard seed, and other spices/herbs to make up for the difference in flavor.
Cooking Shrimp

When done, immediately strain shrimp in a large colander. Then quickly place prawns into an ice bath until fully cooled. Again, quickly strain shrimp well.
NOTE: It is important not to let the shrimp sit in the cooling water too long. They can absorb water like a sponge, ruining their taste and texture.
HINT: We like to reserve the cooking broth as it makes a great base for seafood soups, cioppino, etc. Just let it cool, put it into a container, and freeze it until ready for use.
Strain, Cool, and Strain Shrimp

Next, shell the shrimp. If you do it right, you can take off the the shells and remove the legs in one motion, as displayed below. I also like to leave the tail and last section of shell on. Not only does it give the dish a stylish presentation, but acts as a little handle for you and your guests to use when eating it.
Peeling Shrimp Cocktail

You can either serve them immediately or refrigerate them for up to 3 days. When ready, just plate them on a large ice-filled platter with a small ramekin of Cave’s Quick Cocktail Sauce in the center. Have another empty ramekin nearby for the discarded tails. Now just dip and enjoy! And, most importantly, have a happy, healthy, and happening New Year!
Cavey’s Colossal Shrimp Cocktail

Prep Time = 20 minutes
Cooking Time = 2-6 minutes
Serves 6-12

©2015 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This recipe originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at http://cavemancooking.net authored by Caveman. This recipe may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

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A New Year’s Wish

Posted by Caveman Cooking on December 29, 2015

From our Cave Clan to you and yours, a wish for a healthy, happy, and happening 2016!

Fondly,
The Avery Family

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Killer Chili Rojo (Red Pork) Tamales

Posted by Caveman Cooking on December 4, 2015

Killer Chili Rojo (Red Pork) Tamales
I gave you my Killer Queso (Cheese) Tamale recipe a few months back. Though, I probably should have posted it’s carnivore counterpart sooner, I felt, with Christmas right around the corner, now would be a perfect time to share it. While this remains a labor intensive recipe, it really is a very easy dish to pull off. Besides, if you gather your masses together for an assembly line when it comes time to actually fill and roll the tamales, it goes by very quickly. When you finally unwrap one and take a bite, you’ll forget about all the steps involved!

INGREDIENTS

Chili Rojo (Meat Filling):
1 Preparation of Chili Rojo Rub
2.5 Pounds Pork Butt (Shoulder) Roast
1/2 Red Onion
5 Cloves Garlic – Smashed
1 Teaspoon Kosher or Sea Salt
1 1/4 Cups Red Chili Sauce
1 1/4 Cup Chili Rojo Stock – Reserved

Masa (Dough):
5 Cups Tamal (Instant Masa Mix)
4 1/2 Cups Vegetable Stock
1/2 Cup Chili Rojo Stock – Reserved
2 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1.5 Teaspoon Salt
2 1/8 Cups Vegetable Shortening
1 1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

1 Package Hoja (Dried Corn Husks)

RECIPE

Follow the instructions for one preparation of Chili Rojo Rub.
Chili Rojo Rub

Cover pork butt roast liberally with the rub. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, place on a plate, and refrigerate overnight.
Pork Butt Roast Covered With Chili Rojo Rub

The next day, remove the roast from the refrigerator 15-20 minutes before you are ready to start cooking. Slice onion into quarters. Peel and smash garlic cloves.
Quartered Onion & Smashed Garlic

Place pork roast into a stock pot. Cover with water by 2-3 inches. Add onion, garlic, and salt. Bring to a boil. Then, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 2.5 hours, until fall-apart tender.
Pork Roast In Stock Pot

When done, remove the pork roast from the stock pot and place onto a large platter. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes, then shred meat with two forks or, if you have them, meat claws. Be sure to separate the meat from the fat, and discard the latter.
Shredded Chili Rojo

Reserve 1 3/4 of the meat stock (1 1/4 for the meat, 1/2 for the masa) and set aside.
Reserving Meat Stock

Place the shredded meat into a large sauce pot, add Red Chili Sauce and reserved meat stock, and heat uncovered over a low flame for 20 minutes. Stir often.
NOTE: You’ll likely have some left over meat filling. Don’t sweat it, it makes for a great version of Carnitas!
Saucing & Reheating Meat Filling

Cover the Hoja (corn husks) with cool water for at least 40 minutes. When thoroughly soaked, squeeze excess water out then place into a colander to allow rest of excess water to drip out. Do not let the husks dry completely – they must be moist and pliable when wrapping the tamales.
HINT: Place a heavy plate on top of the husks so that they stay completely submerged.
Soaking The Hoja (Corn Husks)

While the meat filling is simmering and the Hojas soaking, make your Masa (dough). Place shortening into mixer and whip it until silky (3-4 minutes). Yes, Devo fans. I said, whip it. Whip it good!
Whipped Shortening

Meanwhile, place all the dry ingredients (Tamal, baking powder, salt, cayenne pepper) into a large mixing bowl and whisk together.
Dry Ingredients

Add vegetable stock and meat stock to dry ingredients. Using your hands, mix well until evenly distributed.
Dry Ingredients With Vegetable Stock

Add ingredients from mixing bowl to whipped shortening. Again, whip it until smooth and creamy (3-4 minutes). And yes, again, whip it good!
Whipped Masa (Dough)

Now’s the time to gather the clan and press them into service. Pop open a cold one, put on some good tunes, and make a party of it!
Place one of the large Hoja (husks) on a flat surface and spoon about 2 tablespoons of the masa (dough) onto it. Now, this is where some tamale veterans may cringe, but I have found that this next step makes things go much faster and smoother. Take a small piece of plastic wrap and place it over the masa. With your hand, smooth and spread the masa out evenly, leaving several inches from the bottom of the husk, a couple inches from the top and far edge, and less than an inch from the near edge. The masa layer should be about 1/4″ thick. Remove the plastic wrap and set aside to use again. Then, scoop about 2 tablespoons of the Chili Rojo (meat filling) into the center of the masa.
HINT: If your Hoja are on the smaller side, just overlap two of them by a few inches to make one big leaf. Use a rubber spatula to spread a little masa on the near edge of the bottom husk to act as “glue”.
Making Tamales: Steps 1, 2, and 3

This is where a history of being a Hippie or Rastafarian, comes in handy. Take the near side of the Hoja and fold it over the the far edge. With your fingertips, lightly press the edges of the masa down to seal in the meat. Then, while holding down the far edge of the husk, push down and draw back the near edge of the husk an inch or two so that the masa forms a sealed tube, of sorts. Now, fold up the bottom (narrow) end of the Hoja, making sure it is snug up to the bottom of the filling. Finally, roll the entire thing away from you, over the remaining flap, and …
Making Tamales: Steps 4, 5, and 6

… KaBOOOOOOOM! You have a tamale!! Most folks say tying up the open end of your tamale is optional. But, tying them up with a strip of Hoja keeps all the ingredients inside, and also helps make them look better when done.
Finished Tamales

Once you have formed all of your tamales, fill the bottom of a large steamer pot with water, place the steam insert into the bottom, and cover it with several Hoja leaves. Stack the finished tamales standing up in the steamer. Bring the water to a boil and cover the steamer, allowing the tamales to steam for about 30 minutes.
HINT: You’ll notice that the one tamale I didn’t tie up leaked out the top. Which is why I strongly urge you to give them the “50 Shades Of Grey” treatment.
Steamer, Raw Tamales, and Steamed Tamales

When you think they are done, remove one to test. When it has cooled sufficiently, unwrap it and enjoy. If it has steamed sufficiently, remove the rest from the steamer. Serve with avocado, guacamole, pico de gallo, salsa, rice and beans … you name it! These also freeze very well for future use. Just re-steam them or nuke ’em in the microwave, once they have defrosted.
Killer Queso (Cheese) Tamales

Give these a try … you won’t be disappointed. I’ve had several Hispanic friends swear me to secrecy that they actually liked these better than their Mom’s. Don’t worry, amigos … I’m not naming names!😉

Marinate Time = 24 Hours
Prep Time = 90 minutes
Cooking Time = 3 Hours
Makes 28-32 Tamales

©2015 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This recipe originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at http://cavemancooking.net authored by Caveman. This recipe may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

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Chili Rojo Rub

Posted by Caveman Cooking on December 4, 2015

Chili Rojo Rub
This is a simple Latin flavored, zesty, smokey rub that you’ll need for our Killer Chili Rojo Tamales. Also works great for a unique rendition of Carnitas, as well as many other South-of-the-border dishes.

INGREDIENTS

2 Tablespoons World Spice Merchants Yucatan Rojo
1 Tablespoon World Spice Merchants Chipotle Chili Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Chili Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Dried Minced Garlic

RECIPE

Mix all ingredients into a small bowl, and mix well. BOOM … you’ve got rub!

Prep Time = 5 minutes
Makes 3.5 Tablespoons of rub

©2015 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This recipe originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at http://cavemancooking.net authored by Caveman. This recipe may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

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Let’s Talk Turkey … And More!

Posted by Caveman Cooking on November 19, 2015

Without a doubt, the Thanksgiving feast is the all-time favorite meal in the Cavehold. The combination of good times with family and friends; the enticing colors, aromas, and flavors of the Fall season; and to be able to celebrate all that we are thankful for all makes for a memorable and savory Holiday. With that in mind, we are going to share most of the recipes and tips that help to make our Turkey Day such a favorite for us and our guests.

First, unless you will be cooking a fresh bird or some other type of main course, you need to consider when to start defrosting your turkey. Click here to discover how to safely and effectively thaw the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving dinner. We describe both the Refrigerator Method (preferred) and the Cold Water Method (acceptable). Once you have your bird returned from it’s frozen state, you’ll want to check out our famous T-day Turkey Brine to ensure your fowl is juicy, tender, and full of flavor. It’s so good, I’ve been threatened with great bodily harm if I ever change the recipe.

Cave’s Cranberry SauceYou can’t have a Holiday Turkey without some tangy-sweet cranberry sauce. Unfortunately, far too many modern homo-sapiens are good with the canned variety of the berry relish. We strongly advise you to adopt the Neanderthal way of thinking and give our Cave’s Cranberry Sauce a go. It only takes an extra 20 minutes in your meal’s preparation, and you will end up with a C-sauce that will forever have you shunning the pre-made type in the future. Plus, it’s easy … 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 refrigerate it until chow time – which actually also helps it to set up better, both, flavor and consistency wise. The only problem with early prep is keeping everyone away from it until the big meal … the Cavewoman is our biggest offender on that!

Garlic Mashed TatersAnother essential feature of the T-Day meal, that can also be prepped ahead of time (something we recommend doing whenever possible for this labor intensive repast), is the all important gravy. Our Cavey Gravy is readily prepared the day before the big meal. Then, all you need to do on Thanksgiving is add some turkey drippings and reheat. Best of all it is a flavor filled moisture making sauce that goes good on the bird, mashed potatoes, stuffing … you name it!

Unfortunately, we have yet to post our delicious Focaccia Bread Stuffing recipe. But, we promise to take pictures next week and post the recipe before Christmas. Though, another side dish considered a staple on the Thanksgiving plate is the mashed potato. We have long used our scrumptious Garlic Mashed Taters for this crucial purpose. They are loaded with flavor, easy to make, and are sure to be a hit with your Turkey Day crowd. BTW, you can also see our video version of this recipe … it’s a hoot!

Cavemom’s Orange Yam TurkeysAnother fun and flavorsome player in our Turkey Day lineup are Cavemom’s Orange Yam Turkeys. These unique, colorful, and tasty yam birds have 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. Put one of these on your guest’s plate, and we 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 … what could be bad about that, right?!?! Plus, they are real hit with the vegetarians in your life.

Super Spinach SouffléThis next dish has become a regular for just about all of our Holiday meals, no matter what time of year we are celebrating. The Cavewoman’s Super Spinach Soufflé is a warm, zesty, delicious dish that you probably won’t have any leftovers on, since everyone always wants seconds, and even thirds, on. While it is plainly obvious that this is not a healthy dish, we try to cut out some of the fat by using non-fat milk and light sour cream. It works great, and there is plenty of other fat in there to more than make up the difference!

Of course, every T-Day in the Cavehold is filled with football, family and friends. Which means we are together for an extened period of time. So, we always have plenty of apps, from shrimp cocktail with Cave’s Quick Cocktail Sauce to our scrumptious Baked Brie with Peach Sauce. Pumpkin Whoopie PiesPost-dinner, we somehow always have room for the Cavewoman’s apple pie and pumpkin pie. But, one of her biggest winners in the dessert selection are her incredible Pumpkin Whoopie Pies … a unique and welcome change to the usual T-day sweet treats. Give these a try and we promise you will be smiling with delight as they melt in your mouth.

We hope that the above recipes help inspire you to create a fantastic feast for your Holiday crowd. Whether you employ these or concoctions of your own, we wish that your Thanksgiving is filled with the warmth of family and friends; the flavors and aromas of the occasion; and, most importantly, the spirit and essence of the season. In other words, Happy Thanksgiving!

©2015 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at http://cavemancooking.net authored by Caveman. This may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

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Road Trip Hit: Taqueria Cuernavaca (Ventura, CA)

Posted by Caveman Cooking on November 1, 2015

Taqueria CuernavacaRoad Trip Hits. Taking a page from Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives, this ongoing series features some of those little known paragons of road-trip rations.

While the beautiful city of Cuernavaca, Mexico is known as the “City of Eternal Spring”, the much more geographically friendly Taqueria Cuernavaca (1117 N. Ventura Avenue, Ventura, California 93001 (805) 653-8052) should be known as the “Restaurant of Eternal Yum”. Located on “The Avenue” in the old section of town, it is a nice departure from the tourist-rich Main Street district of revitalized downtown Ventura. While there are two other locations (Santa Barbara and Oxnard), this one screams of a quaint south-of-the-border hole-in-the-wall.

Taqueria CuernavacaThough, many patrons opt for take-out, there are still 11 tables available for full wait-service. One of the first things you’ll notice is the self-serve salsa bar, loaded with 4 varieties of the Latin sauce plus several types of hispanic condiments like marinated carrots, seared Serrano peppers, onions, cilantro, etc. Also eye-catching is the cold case filled with a wide array of domestic and Mexican beer and soft drinks … including my favorite Jarrtios Mandarin.

Of course, the menu is filled with the usual tacos, burritos, and the like. Taqueria Cuernavaca also offers a breakfast menu (served all day) featuring the customary Huevos Rancheros (fried eggs on fried totillas), Huevos con Chorizo (egss with Mexican sausage), and breakfast burritos. However, once you see the Chilaquiles (tortilla chips topped with eggs and green sauce), sopas (tostada meets a sandwich), tortas (Mexican sandwich), Alambres (grilled meats, bell pepper, onion, and melted cheese, served with corn tortillas), and Pozole (a staple Cuernavacan soup), you realize this is not your usual Mexican fare.

Alambres El Fortachon at Taqueria CuernavacaOn a recent visit to Taqueria Cuernavaca with the Caveboy and his Grandpa, I opted for the Alambre known as El Fortachon – usually served with Carne Asada (steak), Al Pastor (marinated pork), Chorizo, Jamon (ham), melted cheese, onion, bell peppers a generous portion of sliced fresh avocado on top, and a wad of fresh corn tortillas. Though, I asked for no ham (extra Pastor) and no bell peppers. Meanwhile, my Father-in-law went for the same platter with no changes, and the Caveboy chose his favorite as of late: bean and cheese burrito.

Bean & Cheese Burrito at Taqueria CuernavacaWhen the grub arrived, I quickly grabbed one of the warm tortillas and loaded it up with the grilled meat and cheese mixture, topped it with a slice of avo, and drizzled some of the spicy rojo salsa over it all. The first bite was bursting with flavor heaven, as was each mouthful that followed. My father-in-law eagerly agreed … it was “amazing”! My bean and cheese burrito expert readily exclaimed that it was the best one he’d ever had (and he’s had quite a few over the last year). On a previous visit the Cavewoman and Cavegirl had the potato tacos and cheese enchiladas, and both had similar reactions.

Needless to say, Taqueria Cuernavaca has become one of our favorite spots to munch when we are in the Ventura area. We’ve also tried the new location in Oxnard. However, while we found the food to be equally phenomenal, it just doesn’t have that “dive” ambiance of the original location and does not offer full wait-service. We plan on visiting the Santa Barbara location soon. If you find yourself near any of these locations, and you are in the mood for something deliciously different from our neighbors to the South, do yourself a favor and give Cuernavaca a go!

©2015 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at http://cavemancooking.net authored by Caveman. This may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

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Road Trip Hit: ToM’s TaCos (Torrance, CA)

Posted by Caveman Cooking on September 19, 2015

ToM's TaCosRoad Trip Hits. Taking a page from Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives, this ongoing series features some of those little known paragons of road-trip rations.

Anyone who has lived on the West side of Los Angeles has likely heard of, or eaten at, Tito’s Tacos. A multi-decade mainstay of simplified Mexican fast food in Culver City, CA (originally they had an Anaheim location, too). Most days, you will find long lines of hungry patrons waiting at one of their several ordering windows to get their mitts on the munchable burritos, tamales, enchiladas and, of course, tacos. One of those dedicated locals was a man named Ted Niida, who loved their food almost as much as life itself. So, when Tito’s decided to sell their location behind the Orange Curtain, Ted immediately jumped on the opportunity. He changed the sign slightly so that it read “ToM’s TaCos” (named after his beloved late father) and proceeded to offer the same great menu.

Over the years, Tito’s has raised their prices, reduced their portions, and turned to lower quality ingredients. Meanwhile, ToM’s kept the same dedication to quality, and customer satisfaction that made them both such gastronomic successes … and, even expanded their menu slightly to include tostadas, taquitos, nachos, quesadillas, and french fries. Plus, ToM’s Tacos also offers a chicken version of their taquitos, as well as their namesake dish.

So, about a year ago, it was with considerable glee that I directed a Disneyland-bound friend to nearby Ball Road for some great grub. Though, I was deeply saddened to receive a text from that friend, saying that ToM’s had closed it’s doors. Yes, Anaheim is long way from the Cave. But, there was so much comfort knowing that ToM’s was there waiting for my return to Orange County. Fast forward to this Summer, when I was recounting my disappointment to another friend, who excitedly stopped me mid sentence to tell me that ToM’s TaCos had actually relocated to Torrance, CA (4669 Torrance Blvd. Torrance, CA 90503ToM's TaCos Tacos & Taquitos 310-371-0625), not far from his factory. Needless to say, I was ecstatic that my beloved ToM’s was not only still in business, but less than half the distance from me as before. “Get the $*&# out!” I shouted, and we immediately packed up the families and headed over for some beef and cheese tacos, all beef and cheese burritos, bean and cheese burritos, and beef taquitos.

Having grown up about a mile from Tito’s, I remember the quality, size, and flavor they used to offer. As mentioned, it has since waned as their prices have skyrocketed … presumably to cover the cost of the TV advertising they now employ. But, one bite of ToM’s fare immediately brought me back to those delectable carefree days. ToM's TaCos BurritosMy beef and cheese burrito was hefty, zesty, and tasty. The pourable quac was thick and full of flavor, and the famous chips and salsa were as mouthwatering as I remember. The Caveboy and Cavewoman exclaimed they had the best bean and cheese burritos they’d ever tasted, the Cavegirl was too busy munching her taquitos to even mutter a word, and the Cave friends all agreed the food was just like what Tito’s used to be … perhaps even better!

The rave reviews should be no surprise considering that ToM’s TaCos uses no trans fats, no lard, and no MSG. They do, however, use the freshest, high quality ingredients they can find while taking no short cuts in their cooking process. Which leads to the most tender, flavorful cubed beef in the Chili Colorado for the burritos; savory shredded beef in the tacos and taquitos; and hearty, mouthwatering refried beans.

ToM's TaCos MenuSo, the next time you are cruising around the South Bay, and your stomach starts to rumble, head over to ToM’s Tacos for some simple but scrumptious Mexican food. You will walk away sated and full, as will your wallet. Plus, if you are a devotee Tito’s, you will readily become a ToM’s convert! Yes, it’s that good!! Do keep in mind that ToM’s TaCos only accepts cash, and is closed on Mondays.

©2015 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at http://cavemancooking.net authored by Caveman. This may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

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Week 5 Winner!

Posted by Caveman Cooking on September 8, 2015

Broil King Imperial™ Pizza Stone Grill SetCongratulations to Mark Dwyer! He is the week 5 winner in our Summer Grilling Review & Receive Series. Mark will be receiving a Broil King Imperial™ Pizza Stone Grill Kit which we reviewed last week.

Thank you to all who participated in our five week Summer Grilling Review & Receive Series! If you didn’t win, don’t fret … we will be doing some more fantastic giveaways soon. In the meantime, be sure to browse our site for tasty and easy recipes, informative and intriguing reviews and tips, enticing and enlightening Road Trip Hits, and much more!

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REVIEW: Broil King Imperial™ Pizza Stone Grill Set

Posted by Caveman Cooking on August 31, 2015

Broil King Imperial™ Pizza Stone Grill Set
This is the last of five reviews & giveaways we are conducting as part of the Summer Grilling Review & Receive Series. At the end of this report are all the details of how you can win the item we are field testing this week. Be sure to read the rules.

Broil King Imperial™ Pizza Stone Grill SetHomemade pizza usually becomes the first casualty of the summer heat, as it takes a true Marquis de Sade personality to crank up the indoor oven when it’s sweltering. Barbecued Pizza has always been a tasty alternative … IF you can get it done without burning the crust, tearing the dough, destroying your pie, and making an absolute mess of your grill. Thankfully, the folks at Broil King have come up with some products to make the grilled “Zah” experience not only easy and enjoyable, but also so delectable you’ll be tempted to never make it in a conventional oven again – even in the cool of Fall and Winter. Leading the pack in their pizza grilling accessory arena is the Broil King Imperial™ Pizza Stone Grill Set which comes with everything you’ll need to become an outdoor pizza pro. With the included stone, cradle, and peel you should have all the tools to successfully go from kitchen, to grill, to table.

When we removed the contents from the package, we immediately noticed the usual high-quality materials used in all the Broil King grilling accessories we have reviewed in this series. The 13″ stone is solid with a smooth side for pizza and other baked goods, and a ribbed side for delicate items like fish (yes, it’s that versatile!). The cradle is made with 100% sturdy 1.2mm stainless steel, adorned with the customary Broil King stamped oversized 10mm handles. It also sports an integrated stone thermometer to let you know when the stone is ready to go. The wooden pizza peel is made with solid, thick wood and features a detachable handle for easy storage. Additionally, we found instructions and a grilled pizza recipe included.

Setting Up the Broil King Imperial™ Pizza Stone Grill SetSetting up the Broil King Imperial™ Pizza Stone Grill Set is simple and quick. Just screw in the heavy duty wooden handle to the pizza peel (no need to over tighten it, especially if you are going to unscrew it for convenient storage). Bolt on the stone thermometer to the cradle. And, place the stone into the cradle. That’s it … all ready to go.

For this field test, we decided to jump in with both feet and make a raw dough, medium-crust, BBQ Chicken pizza. Of course, you can also use ready-made crust (ie. Boboli, Mama Mary’s, etc.), or even frozen pizza on this pizza stone. But, the allure of a fresh dough pie Broil King Imperial™ Pizza Stone Grill Set Integrated Stone Thermometerwas too much to resist. The instructions call for a stone temp of about 500°F for thicker crusts, and about 600°F for thinner crust pizzas. To achieve the lower end temperature, you’ll need to utilize an indirect method of cooking. We fired up our Broil King Baron 440 with all four burners going on the “High” setting until our desired stone temp was reached and then turned the two outer burners down to “Medium” and the two inner burners to “Low”, which ended up cooking our pizza to perfection.

To prepare our pizza, we lightly sprinkled some flour on the peel to make it easy for it to slide off onto the stone, as well as some directly on the stone so that it wouldn’t stick. Then, we hand shaped our dough directly on the peel, and added our sauce, cheese, barbecued chicken, and shaved sweet onion. Once the stone was at temp, the pie readily slid onto the stone. One feature we really liked was the way the front half of the cradle was flush to the stone which made sliding the pizza onto the stone effortless. Plus, the back half has a 1″ collar so that your pizza won’t slide off the stone, either when slid on or off of the stone. We also liked how thePlacing and Removing Pizza on the Broil King Imperial™ Pizza Stone Grill Set peel was custom designed to perfectly fit the cradle, and the beveled edge which made the process of placing and removing the pizza a breeze. Just 12 minutes after closing the lid on the grill, our pizza crust was cooked to perfection, the cheese was melted like lava, and we were ready to munch on some zah that rivaled any professional pizzeria. By the way, we also had our smoker box going during the cooking process, which really added some incredible flavor.

The one issue we have with the Broil King Imperial™ Pizza Stone Grill Set is that the instructions call for cleaning of the stone with warm water and a mild soap. Though, we have always been taught to NEVER put soap or water on your stone. They are made of a very porous material that will absorb the water and soap, imparting those tastes onto your next pizza cooked on the stone. We recommend using a stiff brush to just lightly scrape away any large pieces of crust or cheese baked onto the stone … you can also cook it off. Don’t worry about any stains or discoloration of your stone, it’s natural and actually adds flavor. Warm soapy water is okay for the cradle and the peel. Also, be sure not to submerge the thermometer when cleaning the cradle.

Aside from the care discrepancy, we found the Broil King Imperial™ Pizza Stone Grill Set to be a top notch batch of tools that will turn any grill into an outdoor stone pizza oven. It also has the versatility of being able to cook flat breads, cookies, fish etc. Add in the fact that it is constructed from heavy duty materials, and it should be a grilling accessory that is a part of your personal collection for years to come. In fact, the only one who won’t like this set is your local pizza delivery person.

MSRP – $74.95, seen online as low as $66

Cave Club Rating: 4.5 Clubs
Cave ClubCave ClubCave ClubCave ClubCave Club

Cave Club Scale
5 Clubs = The Missing Link
4 Clubs = Rock Solid
3 Clubs = Better Than Sharp Stick
2 Clubs = Not Fully Evolved
1 Club = Should Be Extinct

WANT TO WIN A BROIL KING IMPERIAL™ PIZZA STONE GRILL SET?
This Friday 9/4/2015, one lucky person will win their own sample of the Broil King Imperial™ Pizza Stone Grill Set! To enter, you’ll have to read the above review here on the C3 blog and comment below with the words “I WANT ONE” by 11:59:59PM PDT this Thursday 9/3/2015.
Want additional entries? It’s simple! Gain an additional entry when you “Like” Caution: Caveman Cooking on Facebook, and another each when you follow us on Twitter and Instagram. You’ll also gain another entry when you “Like” Broil King on Facebook, and another each when you follow them on Twitter and Instagram. Plus, one more entry by “Sharing” our Facebook link to this week’s review of the Broil King Q-Lite™. Of course, if you already like or follow us on those sites you will automatically receive those entries … just let us know your names on those sites in your comment below. That’s 8 total entries up for grabs to give you a a better shot of winning. Be sure to read the contest rules.
Good luck!
THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED! See who won.

©2015 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This review originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at http://cavemancooking.net authored by Caveman. This recipe may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

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