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Archive for December, 2009

Freezer Food Fest #3

Posted by Caveman Cooking on December 31, 2009

It’s official! We’re moving!! So, I have been given a “request” by the Cavewoman to empty the freezer before we hit the road. The pressure is on!

As I’m rummaging through the freezer to find some skinless, boneless breasts to make Chicken Panang (Thai Red Curry in Coconut Milk) I come across a bag of frozen French Green Beans from Trader Joe’s, and the light bulb over my head goes on, singeing a bald spot onto the top of my head (okay, so the bald spot was already there :(). I figure these would probably go great in a Panang and I could “kill two frozen birds with one wok”. So, I decided to forego my usual ingredients of peas and red bell peppers for the beans-with-an-accent and went to work on a meal that is one of my favorites, but hadn’t yet been tried by the Cavekids nor was it (curry) on the Cavewoman’s list of faves. But, in being true to my stubborn Taurus lineage, I trudged forward.

Chicken Panang

I sauteed the curry paste, browned the tofu for the veggie-version I would make for my herbivore wife, cooked the chicken and added the rest of the ingredients including the Haricot Verts. The smells emanating from the kitchen definitely piqued everyone’s curiosity. But, upon first glance the Caveboy’s reaction was “What’s that sauce???”, said with a keen feeling of dread. But when the first bites were taken, all reservations were replaced by comments like “Wow, dad! That’s good!!”. Even the Tofu version met with sincere approval from the Cavewoman who found it “Absolutely delicious!”.

Tofu Panang

While I’m really happy that everyone ended up loving this round of Freezer Food Fest, I am slightly bummed. Now, that the whole family likes Panang with French Green Beans there won’t be much in the way of leftovers for moi! 😉 That’s okay, though, because we will be having this dish more often, now that it has received the Cavehold Seal of Approval.

©2009 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.

Posted in Freezer Food Fest | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Chicken Panang (Thai Red Curry in Coconut Milk)

Posted by Caveman Cooking on December 31, 2009

Food Buzz Top 9 for Caution: Caveman Cooking

This recipe was honored with a FoodBuzz Top 9!


This is delicious, traditional Thai table fare. It has a little heat, but it gets cut by the Coconut Milk. Definitely worth a try!

INGREDIENTS

2 Large Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 Can (19 oz.) Coconut Milk
2 oz. Thai Panang Curry Paste (or substitute Thai Red Curry paste)
3-4 Garlic Cloves
2 Medium Carrots, peeled
1/3 Pound French Green Beans, rinsed
4 Large Fresh Basil Leafs, rinsed
2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil

RECIPE

NOTE: I usually use peas and red bell pepper instead of green beans, but I saw an opportunity to get two ingredients into the Freezer Food Fest. It also goes to show that this recipe can accommodate just about any tweeks you want to attempt. Try broccoli, snap peas, bamboo shoots, etc. They all work incredibly well and help create variety for each incarnation of this delicious dish.
Chop carrots, mince garlic, and slice basil. Set aside.
HINT #1: Try to get authentic Thai Panang curry paste and Thai coconut milk, if you can. The taste and texture difference from their Americanized counterparts is very noticeable. If you can’t find Panang paste use the widely available Thai Red Curry paste and add some ground Kaffir Lime leaves (again, if you can find them) or zest of lime.

Cut chicken breasts into medium bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

Heat oil in wok or stir-fry pan. Add garlic and curry paste, saute for 2-3 minutes.

Add chicken to pan. Cook fully.
HINT #2: If things start to get too dried out in the pan, add a small splash of the coconut milk or some water.

Add green beans and carrots … everyone into the pool!  Stir in for about a minute.

Add Coconut milk and stir in well.

Stir in basil while barely bringing liquid to a light boil (just starting to show bubbles).
NOTE: Notice another great hand-model “headshot”. Though, I’ve decided against a new career in metacarpus modeling … I don’t think I could hang with daily manicures. 😉

Remove from heat and serve over steamed rice along with some Thai Table Sauce (Prik Nam Pla).

HINT #3: This recipe can easily be made veggie-friendly. Just substitute some Extra Firm Tofu for the chicken. Be sure to lightly brown the Tofu in a little bit of oil FIRST. Then proceed as chronicled above.

Tofu Panang

Prep Time = 12 minutes
Cook Time = 15 minutes
Serves 4-6

©2009 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.

Posted in Asian, Main Course, Vegetarian | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 34 Comments »

Freezer Food Fest #2

Posted by Caveman Cooking on December 30, 2009

It’s official! We’re moving!! So, I have been given a “request” by the Cavewoman to empty the freezer before we hit the road. The pressure is on!

After the huge success of the first installment of this challenge, or “Shalanje” as we like to pronounce it in the Cavehold, I didn’t want to attempt anything too ambitious for F3 #2. My prayers were answered when I stumbled upon this collection of Costco mini quiches that we had bought, and apparently forgotten about, for a party a few months back. Of course, making all 60 would have been overkill for the four humble Cavepeople I thought would be chowing on these. So, I put 10 of those little puppies on a baking sheet. However, I was immediately faced with severe doubt about their delectability by the Cavewoman, “Why are you making so many? They’re not going to be any good, and the kids won’t eat them.”
I proceeded, undaunted. Popped them into the 375° oven for 14 minutes (probably could have gotten away with 13), pulled the little cups of cheesy goo out for a 5 minute cool down, and readily volunteered for the Guinea Pig role. YUMMMMMM!
Caveboy stepped up to the plate next and hadn’t even swallowed his first bite when the “MMMMMMmmmmm’s” started. Next, Cavegirl was game and downed one before I could even ask her how she liked it. After three rave reviews, the Cavewoman finally relented. I didn’t react to her positive response other than to put on that self-satisfied smile that drives her nuts. By the way, I won’t give out the actual count but, apparently, the Cavewoman liked them the best. 😉
We still have 50 more of these babies to go. So, I expect us to have mini quiches for hors d’oeuvres a few more times before D-day.
On a side note, after seeing the first picture above, I’ve decided that if my voice over career ever hits the skids I might be able to make it as a hand model … don’t ya think?!?

©2009 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.

Posted in Appetizers, Freezer Food Fest | Tagged: , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Freezer Food Fest #1

Posted by Caveman Cooking on December 28, 2009

It’s official! We’re moving!! So, I have been given a “request” by the Cavewoman to empty the freezer before we move in 45 days. The pressure is on!
I’ll be chronicling each meal pulled from it’s frozen vault and thrust into the meal-time limelight. We’ll see if we can actually empty the freezer before zero hour! At the very least, we’ll have some fun and flavor along the way.
For the first meal, I yanked a package of Florentyna’s Fall Harvest Squash Round Ravioli out of it’s chilled lair. If you haven’t sampled Florentyna’s assortment of fresh-frozen pasta creations, I highly recommend you give them a try. When you don’t have the time or inclination to make your own pasta, their fresh varieties are the perfect substitute.
In the interest of full disclosure, you may notice that I am actually holding a package of their Portabella Mushroom Round Ravioli in the picture. The shot of the Squash Ravioli just didn’t come out. So, you are likely to see this same shot again when we attempt the shrooms.
Still the question remained, “What to do for a sauce?”. My Italian Sauce just seemed too heavy to go with the delicate flavors of the Kobocha and Butternut squashes. My tiny Cave-brain started spinning … butter, garlic, basil, pine nuts in some sort of creamy sauce sounded perfect.
So, I went at it and ended up with a new recipe: Creamy Pine Nut Pasta Sauce.
The reviews were incredible! The Cavewoman said “I don’t want to have to swallow it … it’s that good! The best I’ve ever had!!”. The Caveboy gave it “1000 thumbs-up!”. While the Cavegirl mumbled, with her mouth full of ravioli, something to the effect of “Me too!!!”.
So, the first installment of the Freezer Food Fest was a success. I’m just hoping I haven’t set the bar too high for the rest of this Herculean undertaking!

©2009 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.

Posted in Freezer Food Fest, Italian, Main Course | Tagged: , , , , , | 15 Comments »

Creamy Pine Nut Pasta Sauce

Posted by Caveman Cooking on December 28, 2009


Put this one together on the fly. Turned out to be a real crowd pleaser!

INGREDIENTS

1/2 Stick of Butter
3 Tbsp Artichoke Infused Oil (you can use the oil-based liquid from marinated artichoke hearts)
3 Large Garlic Cloves
2-3 Tbsp Pine Nuts
2 Tbsp Sour Cream
2 Tbsp White Wine
1 tsp Dried Basil

RECIPE

Mince garlic. Set aside.
BTW, is it just me or is there nothing better than the smell of fresh chopped garlic?

In a medium sauce pan melt butter, add oil. Saute garlic and basil.
Then, whisk in sour cream. Add wine and reduce slightly until creamy texture desired is reached. Don’t overdo it! (I sound like my Mother, don’t I?) Add salt and pepper to taste.

Stir in pine nuts until warmed – about a minute.

Serve over ravioli or fettucini noodles. Pictured here with Florentyna’s Fall Harvest Squash Round Ravioli.

Prep Time = 5 minutes
Cook Time = 10 minutes
Serves 3-4

©2009 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.

Posted in Italian, Rubs, Sauces, Marinades & Dressings, Vegetarian | Tagged: , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Cave’s Christmas Surprise

Posted by Caveman Cooking on December 25, 2009

Due to various circumstances, I wasn’t expecting much for Xmas. Boy, was I wrong!

A big “THANK YOU!” to the Cave-in-laws, Leo & Peg, for this wondeful surprise. Cooking in the Cavehold just got a whole lot easier! 🙂
Of course, a review will be forthcoming after I get to play with it a bit.

©2009 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.

Posted in Christmas, Holidays, Tools & Tips | Tagged: , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Happy Holidays!

Posted by Caveman Cooking on December 23, 2009

  From our family to you and yours … Happy Holidays!
2009 Holiday Card

BTW, our camera (with all the upcoming recipe photos) was left behind at my Mom’s. 😦 So, we won’t be posting any new recipes until next week. Though, there will be a couple new posts between now and then.
Hope your Holiday season is full of fun and flavor!

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

Posted in Christmas, Hanukkah, Holidays, New Year's | Tagged: , , | 8 Comments »

Lamb Wontons

Posted by Caveman Cooking on December 21, 2009


A flavorful follow-up to the King Crab Wontons. BTW, these were a big hit at our family Holiday shindig!

INGREDIENTS

24 Wonton Wrappers
1/2 Pound of Ground Lamb
1 Tbsp Cilantro, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp Soy Sauce
1 tsp Ground Chili Paste Oil
1 tsp Fresh Ginger, finely grated
1/4 tsp Cumin Seeds
2 Tbsp Corn Starch
1 1/2 Cups of Vegetable Oil

RECIPE

Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and combine well. I like using a zig-zag wire potato masher for this job.

Split corn starch evenly and spread onto two plates.

Set up your work station with a clean prep plate, small bowl of room temp water, wonton wrappers and bowl of lamb mixture all within easy reach.
HINT: Have a paper towel handy to dry your prep plate in between each wonton that is formed.
Position a single wonton wrapper on the prep plate. Place 1/2 of a tablespoon of the meat mixture in the center of the wrapper.

Wet your finger with water and moisten two adjacent edges of the wonton wrapper. Then, diagonally fold the dry edges over onto the wet edges and firmly seal together with your finger. Finally, moisten two opposite corners, fold and seal together. Ta Dah! You have just made a “Bishop’s Hat” wonton!!
NOTE: No, that is not the Lamb filling you see in the picture. I just stole this pic series from the King Crab Wonton recipe since the process is exactly the same. Just too lazy to re-shoot it, I guess. 😉

Place completed wonton onto corn starch plate.
HINT #2: Try experimenting with different shapes of wonton. For example, you can position the wrapper as a rectangle, moisten the edges along the top half, then fold and seal lengthwise. Pinch the ends and make a “George Washington’s Hat” (pictured below with Bishop’s Hats). Just be sure all edges are well sealed.

When all wontons have been made, cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in freezer for 15 minutes. This helps them retain their shape when placed in hot oil.
HINT #2: If 24 wontons are too many for your immediate needs, before cooking, just place the extras in a container and freeze until ready for use at a later date.
Heat oil in a wok, stir fry pan or large sauce pan. Place 5-6 wontons in oil and cook until edges start to turn golden brown.

Then gently flip them over with a slotted spoon and continue to cook until entire wonton starts to turn golden brown. Gently remove wontons from oil with slotted spoon and place on plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil. Continue process until all wontons are cooked. Let stand 2 minutes, then serve with Plum Sauce and/or Duck Sauce.

Prep Time = 20 minutes
Cook Time = 15-20 minutes
Makes 24 Wontons

©2009 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.

Posted in Appetizers, Asian | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Hand-Dipped Holiday Cookies

Posted by Caveman Cooking on December 17, 2009


Who says you have to know how to bake to make some tantalizing Holiday treats? The Cavewoman (who is actually an incredible baker) and I easily dipped our way to some much ballyhooed Holiday cheer. Let me show you how we did it.

INGREDIENTS

2 Pounds Merckens Chocolate Melts (1 Dark Cocoa, 1 Super White)
4 Ounces Non-Pariels (“Sprinkle Balls”)
3 24+ Ounce packages of your favorite cookies
1 Medium bag of pretzels
1/4 Pound of your favorite nuts

RECIPE

First, make sure you get the real deal when it comes to melting chocolates. Merckens makes great stuff and is widely available in stores and on the web. We prefer the Dark Cocoa Dark and the Super White.
HINT #1: When you go in to get the “Sprinkle Balls”, don’t call them that! Use the term “Non-Pariels”, or you are likely to be roundly corrected. I speak from experience! Though, for our purposes, “Sprinkle Balls” will be gladly accepted here. 😉

Next, spread some wax paper or tin foil on your counter while heating some water in a double boiler. When water boils, add one pound (do just one color at a time) of chocolate wafers to the top half of the double boiler. Stir with a rubber spatula constantly until chocolate becomes creamy and smooth. Be careful to not overcook or it will become clumpy.
HINT #2: Save about 1/4 cup of each wafer color to do some easy, yet fancy decorating later on.

While they offer tools specifically made to dip cookies, all you need is a large two-pronged fork. Just put a cookie into the melted chocolate, turn with the fork making sure to coat cookie entirely.

Allow excess coating to drip off of the cookie before placing onto wax paper/foil. If you are decorating with “Sprinkle Balls”, or other toppings, add them now.

Follow the same procedure for other cookies and pretzels.
HINT #3: Our favorites for this recipe include Double Stuf Oreos, Nutter Butter, Shortbread, and Waffle Cookies. Also, we like both the small pretzels and the large pretzel sticks.

When the chocolate level gets too low to dip the cookies, use a spoon to “paint” the cookie with the coating. This is especially effective when coating the shortbread.

When you get to the very last of the chocolate coating, crush up a handful of small pretzels in a plastic bag.

Throw crushed pretzels directly into chocolate pan, add a handful of nuts (we prefer Cashews), and stir with rubber spatula until completely coated with remaining chocolate. Take a large spoon and scoop cookie-sized clusters onto wax paper/foil. You can also use Rice Crispies for this step … either way, it becomes a big clump of chocolate goodness and adds variety, too!

When cookies and clusters are completely dry, take reserved wafers and place into sandwich sized-baggie. Microwave in 20 second intervals until melted smooth and creamy. Be sure to knead the bag between intervals to aid the smoothing process. Again, don’t overcook! When fully melted, cut a very small hole in the corner of the baggy making, in effect, a small disposable frosting bag. Drizzle the chocolate in fun decorative patterns on cookies and clusters.

When drizzles have dried, arrange various cookies, clusters and pretzels onto plates, garnish with foil-wrapped Holiday candies, cover with tin foil, top with a bow, and present to friends and family as a tasty Holiday gift. That is, if you don’t eat them all first! 😉

Prep Time = 15 minutes
Cook Time = 30-45 minutes
Makes 60-70 Cookies, plus Pretzels and Clusters

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

Posted in Christmas, Desserts, Hanukkah, Holidays | Tagged: , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

King Crab Risotto

Posted by Caveman Cooking on December 16, 2009


Easy to make, and great to the taste. As you will see, even the kids will love this, and it can easily be altered to a veggie-friendly version, too!

INGREDIENTS

2 Large King Crab Legs – Cooked
3 Cups Vegetable Broth
1 Cup Arborio Rice (Risotto)
1 Cup Artichoke Hearts
3 Cloves Garlic
2 Green Onions
1/3 Cup Fresh Grated Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan Cheese)
1/4 Cup Pine Nuts
2.5 Tbsp. Butter
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

RECIPE

Using kitchen shears or a nut cracker, shell crab meat, break into large bite-sized chunks, cover and place in refrigerator.

Finely chop green onion and mince garlic. Set aside.

In large sauce pan heat butter and oil. Saute garlic until translucent. Add rice and saute another 2-3 minutes.
HINT #1: For even more artichoke flavor, use the marinating oil from the artichoke hearts instead of the Olive Oil.

Very slowly add 1 cup of the broth to the rice, stirring almost constantly and making sure that liquid is absorbed by rice before adding more broth. Continue adding broth 1 cup at a time in this fashion.
HINT #2: Yes, this is a bit more labor intensive than most of my recipes. So, turn on some tunes, or a great game on the tube, and mouth-breath your way through the next 20-25 minutes. 😉

Once liquid is mostly absorbed by rice, slowly stir in parmesan cheese. Reduce flame to low.

Now, add green onions and pine nuts. Stir in well.

Add artichoke hearts and very gently fold into Risotto mixture.

If it’s an all-carnivore crowd, skip to the next step. But, if you have any vegetarians in the group, go ahead and remove suitable amount to serve them.

Add crab meat and very gently fold into Risotto mixture. Try to keep the crab from breaking up too much.

Cover sauce pan for about one minute until crab warms. Serve with salad and warm bread.

This dish goes over big-time with folks of all ages. As you can see, it met with rave reviews from the Cavegirl. She couldn’t get it into her mouth fast enough! 😉

Prep Time = 12 minutes
Cook Time = 25-30 minutes
Serves 4

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

Posted in Italian, Main Course, Seafood, Vegetarian | Tagged: , , , , , , | 12 Comments »