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

Archive for March, 2010

Haroses (aka Apple-Walnut Relish)

Posted by Caveman Cooking on March 28, 2010

Haroses
With Passover quickly approaching, we are sharing a few recipes that we will be contributing to Cavemom’s Sedar.

INGREDIENTS

5 Pounds of Apples
1 Pound Chopped Walnuts
1 Cup Concord Grape Wine
2 Tbsp Honey
1 Tbsp Cinnamon

RECIPE

NOTE: You may recall the incredible Holiday present I received from the Cave-in-laws back in December: An awesome 11 cup Cuisinart food processor. However, since we were then just beginning the process of packing for our recent move, we decided to put the unopened food tool in storage until we were in the new cave. Well, today was the day we pulled it out and put it into the lineup! Let me just say that as good as it looks, it performs even better. Making this recipe with the Cuisinart was quick and easy. I highly recommend this kitchen aid (no competitor-pun intended), especially if you are going to attempt this dish.
Cuisinart 11 Cup Food Processor

Whether you call/spell it haroses, charoset, charoses, haroset, charoseth or haroseth, it is all the same basic dish – an apple and walnut relish that is a staple of the Passover Sedar. It is meant to symbolize the mortar ancient Jews used to build the pyramids while enslaved in Egypt. But, Haroses isn’t just for Passover, anymore! At least in the Cavehold. We will also use it as a side-relish or topping for fish, chicken, and even pork chops (I can just hear the cries of “Sacrilege!” from the Kosher crowd as I type this 😉 ).
Believe it or not, this is all you need to make haroses. Well, you also need some cinnamon … somehow it didn’t make it into the shot.
Haroses Ingredients

First, core and slice apples. Doing this with an apple slicer/corer is a real time and mind saver.
HINT #1: We used the new Pink Lady variety of apples this year … they are perfect for this dish!
Sliced Apples

Put appropriate amount of the apples into food processor. Alternate 1 second on, 1 second off with the “Pulse” button until apples are sufficiently chopped fine. Take care not to puree.
Chopped Apples

Place chopped apples into large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and fold in well.
HINT #2: Before adding the honey to the mixture, place it into a cup with a little bit of the wine and zap it in the microwave for about 10 seconds, then stir well. This will make distributing it evenly throughout the mixture much easier.
Adding Ingredients

Cover mixture and refrigerate until ready for use. This will last a week cold-stored in an airtight container.
Haroses

Prep Time = 15 minutes
Cook Time = n/a
Makes 5-6 Cups

©2010 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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Posted in Holidays, Passover, Side Dishes, Vegetarian | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Prepared Horseradish

Posted by Caveman Cooking on March 26, 2010

Prepared Horseradish
With Passover quickly approaching, we are sharing a few recipes that we will be contributing to Cavemom’s Sedar.

INGREDIENTS

3 Cups Fresh Horseradish
1 1/2 Cup Vinegar
1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
4 tsp. sugar

RECIPE

Peel and chop three cups worth of fresh horseradish root. Place into blender or food processor with fine chop attachment.
Chopped Horseradish Root

Add vinegar, sugar, and salt to blender. Process ingredients until pureed.
Prepared Horseradish Ingredients In Blender

With a rubber spatula, spoon mixture into airtight container.
HINT: Keep your face away from the blender/processor when you remove the lid. Unless, of course, you enjoy the tears you get when chopping onions … in that case, this will be quite a rush for you! 😉
Spooning Prepared Horseradish Into Bowl

Cover mixture and refrigerate until ready for use. May be refrigerated up to 30 days.
NOTE: This stuff is the real deal! It is kind of strong, but goooood!! This makes a great base for a creamed horseradish sauce for prime-rib or other roast beef dish … just add sour cream. It’s also good for spicing up a cocktail sauce or added to a soup/broth.
NOTE 2: If you prefer the “red horseradish”, just boil 3 medium beets until soft, peel completely, and add them to the pureeing process above.
Prepared Horseradish

Prep Time = 20 minutes
Cook Time = n/a
Makes 4 Cups

©2010 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 Passover, Rubs, Sauces, Marinades & Dressings, Side Dishes, Vegetarian | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Cavey Cheesesteak

Posted by Caveman Cooking on March 26, 2010

Cavey Cheesesteak
When you’ve got some leftover beef, this is an easy way to make another great meal out of it.

INGREDIENTS

6-8 Ounces Cooked Steak, preferably rare
3 Medium-Small Mushrooms
2 Thin Slices Sweet Onion
1/4 Small Red Bell Pepper
1 Slice Cheese
1 Tbsp Oil
1 Tbsp Mayonnaise
1 Fresh Sandwich Roll
Salt & Pepper to taste

RECIPE
NOTE #1: After soaking a Tri-tip in some Teriyamic Marinade for a day, we BBQed for the first time in our new Cave and had the Cave-in-laws as our first guests. Unfortunately, we were too cooked from the unending unpacking to do a photo-shoot for a post, too. But, we had plenty of leftovers and, finally, some time to do one for this! A BIG thank you to the Cavewoman for taking some great shots.

Heat non-stick griddle or large skillet over medium-high heat.
As thinly as possible, slice some leftover steak or other rare to medium-rare beef. Set aside.
Slicing Leftover Tri-tip

Slice mushrooms, paper-thin cut the onion, and slice red pepper. Set aside.
Slicing Veggies

Butterfly slice the roll, being careful not to cut all the way through. Place onto griddle and quickly heat both sides. Remove from griddle, evenly spread mayo, and set aside on plate.
HINT #1: Choosing the right roll is critical for a really good cheesesteak sandwich. If possible, skip the pre-packaged rolls in the store and get a good, fresh-baked Amoroso roll, Artisan roll, or French Roll. It does make a huge difference!
Artisan Roll On Griddle

Add oil to griddle. When heated, add meat.
Tri-tip On The Griddle

Before you are ready to flip the meat, add veggies to skillet/griddle. Keep separated from meat, for now.
HINT #2: Although I said “Salt & Pepper to taste” in the ingredients, I find that any marinated, or rubbed, meat tends to already have more than enough seasonings for this dish. That said, if you feel the need for more, this is the point to add it.
Tri-tip & Veggies On The Griddle

Just before meat and veggies are ready, place cheese on top of the meat. Then, place veggies evenly on top of the cheese, and allow cheese to begin melting before removing from grill.
NOTE #2: Usually, I like to use Provolone cheese on this sandwich. In fact, we had just bought some from our local market. But, upon opening, it was readily apparent that it had already turned to the darkside. So, I subbed out some Swiss, which worked fine. Cheddar would have been great, too. Just goes to show that although “cheese” is an integral part of a cheesesteak, the kind of cheese isn’t as consequential … experiment!
Cheesesteak Stuff

Using a large spatula, remove entire mound of food from griddle and place onto prepared roll. Enjoy!
HINT #3: If you like hot sauce, this is a great vehicle for it. I like to splash a bunch of Tapatio, Cholula, or Tabasco on mine. Pizza sauce also works great … but, I think that may qualify as a whole different sandwich! 😉
Cavey Cheesesteak

Prep Time = 10 minutes
Cook Time = 10 minutes total
Serves 1

©2010 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 Main Course, Sandwiches | Tagged: , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Certs

Posted by Caveman Cooking on March 22, 2010

aka Ramsay Saves Mama/The Snack That Saves

The reason this entry is named after a ubiquitous breath mint is because it is, as the old commercial said, “Two! Two!! Two posts in one!!!”. Okay, so the ad actually said “mints” instead of “posts”. But, the point is readily apparent … I hope! 😉

Chef Gordon Ramsay with Mama Rita's staff

Chef Gordon Ramsay with Mama Rita's staff

Part 1 is “Ramsay Saves Mama”. If you saw Friday night’s episode of “Kitchen Nightmares” you saw a restaurant named Mama Rita’s featured as the bistro in need of rescue by the famed Chef-zilla, Gordon Ramsay. Just so happens that Mama Rita’s was one of the first restaurants we ever tried in our new neighborhood, only then it was our neighborhood-to-be. We had been looking in the Newbury Park/Thousand Oaks area for over a year before our recent move. During our first serious gander at where we might want to live in the area, we found ourselves at this Mexican restaurant’s doorstep in need of sustenance.
Unfortunately, my Chile Verde was dry and the Cavewoman’s Quesadilla needed to be redone three times before it was done right. Needless to say, when Gordon Ramsay complained that the food was dry and lacked flavor, we weren’t very surprised. He also encountered the same slow service we found last year. It was so regrettable to us since we loved the beautiful decor which includes copper topped tables in a modern hacienda motif. The chips and salsa rocked, too! Turns out, they were cooking with frozen ingredients and basically zapping everything in the microwave. Plus, the head chef wasn’t really living up to her title. So, Gordon threw everything out of the freezer and got them cooking with fresh, local ingredients. He also left his mentor chef behind to help develop the new menu and retrain the staff.
Even though we knew it would be packed the following night, we just had to go and see for ourselves if Ramsay’s influence and advice had transformed this eatery. We arrived at 6pm and were seated within 15 minutes. I was driving, so the Cavewoman ordered a Margarita on the rocks – I had a sip and it was done perfectly. We ordered up some guacamole to start and it was made with fresh, ripened avocados and was a perfect compliment to their still rockin’ chips and salsa.
Mama Rita's owner Laura Papenfus

Mama Rita's owner Laura Papenfus


For the main course, Cavewoman went for a repeat of her ill-fated quesadilla order. Only, this time, it was done perfectly right off the bat! Plus, it was accompanied with a generous dollop of guac. I went for something different – a Ramsay inspired Carnitas dish. Slow roasted, succulent pork shoulder spiced with fresh ground Caraway seeds and Pineapple juice, served over Spanish Rice with sweetened corn, a fresh veggie medley, pickled carrot shavings and red onion, and fresh corn tortillas. I so wish I my camera hadn’t died, because it was a huge plate of colorful and flavorful food. The meat was so moist, “dry” wasn’t even in it’s vocabulary. Possibly the most unique version of Carnitas I’ve ever tasted … it was goooooood! Even the kid’s burgers looked meaty and fresh. They certainly ate them quick enough!
While we waited for our dessert of cheese stuffed Churros with vanilla ice cream and chocolate dipping sauce, Mama Rita’s owner Laura Papenfus came over to talk to us. We chatted about the change in the menu and how the show had made such a difference … even though it had been shot 10 months prior! She also informed me that on Friday’s they make her grandmother Rita’s (yes, the namesake) famous traditional Carnitas. I’ll definitely have to give those a try!
We were so happy for Laura that Gordon Ramsay was able to help her turn things around. The food was now stellar, though the service still a bit slow. However, the fact that the place was absolutely packed probably contributed to that. When we left at 8pm, the bar and waiting areas were still standing-room-only with patrons eagerly awaiting a table. I think they may have a lot of sellout nights in their future.
EDIT: Unfortunately, Mama Rita’s was not able to overcome the bad economy of the last few years and has since closed it’s doors.

Harry & David Gift Basket Goodies

Harry & David Gift Basket Goodies

Part 2 of this post is “The Snack That Saves”. The time demands of putting our new place together, a recent increase in my VO workload, and just life in general, have really put a dent in my time to cook. As a result, we have been sampling much of what our new area has to offer in the way of restaurants. However, a recent housewarming gift from the Cavewoman’s cousins John and Sarah, in the form of a Harry & David gift basket, really saved the day today.
Before illustrating the incredible recuperative powers of said basket, an introduction of it’s givers is warranted. John, is my wife’s first cousin from her dad’s side of the family and is one of the most talented musicians I’ve ever met. Sarah, married John in 1992 and, for the last ten years, has been co-host of the top-rated morning radio show in the San Francisco area, airing weekdays on The Alice. However, back in ’92 she was a part-time on-air talent at KLOS in Los Angeles where I was working as the Production Director. Her stint there only lasted three months, but that was long enough to introduce me to my future Cavewoman. So, you could say, I owe them!
The Snack That Saves

The Snack That Saves


Now, I owe them even more because their gift basket truly came to the rescue today. After spending the last two days trying to get the garage cleared of the myriad of boxes that have inhabited it the past two weeks my body decided that a 9am bowl of cereal wasn’t going to cut it by 3pm. Since the Cave-in-laws were coming down for dinner, I didn’t want to ruin my appetite, but I needed something … BAD! That’s when the light bulb went off … the gift basket!
I pulled out the H&D Summer Sausage; Cheddar Cheese; Honey Roasted Nuts; and some crackers, sat down at the kitchen table and was going to have my little snack. Suddenly, the Cavewoman and Cavegirl seemed interested in what I had thrown together and joined me at the table. That’s when my wife grabbed a pear and asked if I wanted a slice … again, a light bulb goes off! I shot up, grabbed the H&D Sweet Hot Mustard and an Artisan roll from a local bakery, and turned this nice little snack into a truly delicious treat. The flavors of the bread, sausage, cheese, pear and mustard combined for a dazzling taste-bud delight. It also gave me the fuel to get back to work and not only nearly complete the garage, but also hang a huge picture over the fireplace! Harry, David, John & Sarah to the rescue!!
And, for some reason, my breath now feels minty fresh. 🙂

©2010 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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A Day To Refresh

Posted by Caveman Cooking on March 19, 2010

Saul's Day Starter

Saul's Day Starter

As you are probably aware, life for the Cave Clan has been just a bit on the hectic side for several weeks. So, when my buddy SoCalBassAssassin (aka Saul) called and asked if I wanted to join him on his 19′ silver-sparkle Monarch bass boat for an early spawn Largemouth Bass (LMB) session on Lake Casitas (near Ojai, CA), my response was a resounding “#@%& YEAH!”. After all, a day of fishing sounded like the perfect way to get my overdone head back in the game … and what fish would be a better target on St. Patrick’s Day than the green LMB?!?
The last time Saul and I ventured out together, I had to get up around 3am to make it to his house by 5am, and arrive at the lake before the 6:30am opening. But, now that we live 45 minutes closer, and because I prepared my BTA Turkey Sandwiches the night before, I actually was able to “snooze in” until 4am. After getting the boat ready and a quick traditional stop at Sam’s, the Vietnamese Doughnut Guy (aka VDG), for a plain buttermilk and a cup of Joe we headed out for a day of fishin’ fun. Until the sun got above the surrounding mountains, it was a chilly 42° on the water. But, when it did warm up, we were treated to a beautiful, mostly sunny 75° day. Though it did get a bit breezy in the afternoon.
Cave's First

Cave's First


At first we saw tons of huge Carp busting the shorelines in search of Bass beds to raid, but we couldn’t find any of the early spawners to target. Though, after about an hour of searching, we found our first LMB guarding the nest. It didn’t take Saul long to entice him with a Texas-rigged Roboworm and pose with our first fish of the day. He nailed a couple more, then I found one just off the beds and got myself off the schnied.
We nailed another nine fish between us, on a variety of baits. I actually wrapped things up with our last fish, who threw in several acrobatic ariels before agreeing to a photo op. If you’d like to see pics of all our catches just click here. FYI, all the fish were safely released to fight another day.
St. Patty's Day Band

St. Patty's Day Band


After cleaning up the boat and heading back to Saul’s, I raced home to have a fun St. Paddy’s dinner with the family at one of our new local hangs … The Alamo Restaurant – purveyors of fine Mexican cuisine in Newbury Park. I didn’t plan on doing a review of them quite yet, so I left my camera in the car. A move I regretted when a 10 person bagpipe band suddenly descended upon the south-of-the-border brasserie. We all gathered ’round as they deftly played Irish classics like Danny Boy and emotion stirring folk hymns like Amazing Grace. While a full review in the near future is warranted, for now let me just say that the homemade guacamole is amazing and the Chili Verde is full of flavorful, tender pork in – what else on St. Patty’s Day – green sauce! The margaritas weren’t too shabby either. 🙂
Best of all, this day of fun, food and festivities really recharged my juices. There still is a ton to do to the new cave, and the VO workload has suddenly exploded, so time is still at a premium. But, I am feeling a constant release from the grip of the insanity that has reigned recently. Who know’s, I might even get a new recipe up on here before the next lunar cycle! 😉

©2010 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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Cookin’ In The New Cave

Posted by Caveman Cooking on March 14, 2010

The Egg Thingy

The Egg Thingy

Well, we are a week into setting up the new cave. We still have painters. We still have boxes. And, I still can’t find my camera cord so I can post up some before and after photos of the new digs. BUT … I finally actually made something, other than a sandwich or bowl of cereal, in the new cave-kitchen!:)
Now, don’t get too excited. It wasn’t anything new, nor is there a new recipe to gawk at. However, it is a family favorite and was the overwhelming dish of choice for the cave clan this morning. I speak, of course, of The Egg Thingy, pictured here on some of Western Bagel’s best.
It really got my jets going, too, as I finished up the delicious day starter and ended up going through about 2/3 of the boxes that filled the garage. You can actually see out to the street from the back end, now! 😉 I’m quite amazed at how far along we are in the short time we have had to unpack, especially considering some of the “pot-holes” we’ve encountered.
In fact, the Cavewoman and I felt comfortable enough from our efforts to take last night off, employ the now geographically nigh Cave-in-laws’ babysitting services, and head out for a real late-date-night … our first in nearly a year. Our first stop was at a very highly recommended local (actually walking distance) Japanese restaurant called Sushi Yusho. Happily, it lived up to the hype and was very delicious. The service was great, sushi chefs friendly, and the clientele seemed to be mostly very satisfied regulars. We will definitely be returning soon, and I plan on doing a full write up of this fishy-find.
Next, we stopped at Claim Jumper for a very sinful dessert they call a Chocolate Chip Calzone. A traditional Italian pizza dough turnover filled with very untraditional ingredients: butter, and semi-sweet and white chocolate chips. When it comes out of the oven, they top it with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and drizzled fudge sauce. Ohhhhhhhh, Man! Is it gooooood!!
Toad The Wet Sprocket

Toad The Wet Sprocket

The final stop of the evening was a local live music venue called The Canyon Club. A place that attracts a wide array of name acts in a smaller, comfortable setting. The headliner were some old friends from Santa Barbara collectively called Toad The Wet Sprocket, a band that has had several top hits and really play a very unique, melodic brand of rock. It was so good to see the boys together again, enjoying what they do best. The packed house enjoyed it, too! Sorry for the lousy pic, but it’s not bad for a Palm Centro, eh?!?
After the 2.5 hour set and some long overdue reunions with the SB faithful, we had to head home and relieve the over-generous grandparents who reveled in the fact they only had a 15 minute drive home (it used to be an hour-fifteen!). It was a great night, and one that we really needed after a crazy year of house selling and buying, packing, and moving. Obviously, we are far from settled-in, and I can’t do the planned post about our actual move until I find that darn cord. But, I now feel like we are indeed here: I’ve cooked, found a great sushi spot, seen some live music in the hood, and have finally posted something longer than a haiku here! 😉

©2010 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 Chit Chat | Tagged: , , , , | 22 Comments »

Slowly But (Stop Calling Me) Surely!

Posted by Caveman Cooking on March 11, 2010

New StudioWe have moved. However, we are far from done moving! It took three days to get everything to the new cave. Painters are still here, and will be for at least a few more days. We still have a pile of boxes that rival the Sears Tower. And, I have yet to have a moment to cook anything in our new kitchen. BUT … my recording booth is done! WOO HOOO!!
Hoping to get enough done by the end of the weekend that we can get back to more of a “normal” life, and to start blogging a bit more regularly here, once again. Thanks for all your support and patience. It won’t be long now … hopefully! 😉

©2010 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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Peeling A Multi-Layered Potato

Posted by Caveman Cooking on March 3, 2010

As you know, a potato is no onion. That is to say, a tater only has two layers: the skin and the starch. This post, contrarily, will have several layers. Yet, it will still pay homage to the layer-declined tuber.
First, however, a quick update on dad. The good news is that he continues to, once again, be able to swallow small amounts of water and pureed food. Hence, the end is no longer as imminent as we believed it to be just a week ago. Of course, the insidious disease that has put him in his near vegetative state remains cureless and will eventually regain it’s dominion over his ability to sustain himself. I thank each of you that has offered support and sympathy in this difficult time … I can’t begin to describe the comfort and succor it has given to my family and me.
Secondly, a quick update on the new cave. We have just three more days to complete all the work we need to get done before moving day. Yes, the pressure is on. Yes, I am having great doubt that I can meet that deadline for all my projects and packing. Yes, I am freaking out! 😮 To add to my feelings of dread, the weather report is calling for a huge storm this Saturday … moving day. Can we buy a break?!? The good news: the Cavewoman loved the light fixtures I picked up for the bathrooms. One thing (actually five things) I won’t have to return!
Thirdly, did anyone else notice that yesterday was “Countdown Day”? (3/2/10)
And, lastly, I have been feeling very guilty about not being able to post anything here food related in the past week or so. Getting ready for our northward migration has not only limited my writing time, it has pretty much wiped out any chance for me to do some cave-cooking. So, it is with great delight that I get to share with you the awesome tater tip below, sent to me by the Cave-in-laws.
My excitement exists on several levels (ie. layers). Obviously, I finally get a long overdue culinary concept published on this cyber-rag, and it really is a great tip. But, perhaps the most arousing part is that it is delivered by Dawn Wells who played Mary Ann on the infamous sitcom “Gilligan’s Island”. Growing up, nearly every heterosexual male I encountered had a thing for Ginger – the voluptuous actress stranded on the uncharted, yet often visited, island along with six other castaways. My “thing”, however, was always for the unassuming, Daisy-duke clad, Kansas farm girl played by Ms. Wells to whom time has been extremely kind (ie. she is still hot! ;)). So, it was with incredible glee that I watched the following and made plans to try the next time a potato needs peeling:

On a side note, I find it amazing that GI has received such legendary status considering that it only lasted three seasons on network TV. Though, back then, a season consisted of 30+ episodes, as opposed to today where as few as 6 shows may constitute a season. With 98 different episodes to choose from, syndication was what made this show such an enduring hit that will actually spawn a major motion picture to be released later this year. IMHO, the incredible post-cancellation success of shows like GI and Star Trek are proof that many, if not most, television executives have no idea what the heck they are doing. But, that is fodder for a whole other subject on a different forum.

©2010 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 Chit Chat, Tools & Tips | Tagged: , , , , | 11 Comments »