Caution: Caveman Cooking

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

Archive for December, 2010

Happy Holidays 2010!

Posted by Caveman Cooking on December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays 2010!For years now, the Cavewoman and I have sent out a Holiday picture to all our friends and family. Pre-Cavekids, we even took those pictures with our pet birds (both of whom are now with us only in our hearts). The first few years that the Caveboy was around, we had our wedding photographer take a family shot for us to use. But, ever since the Cavegirl joined the tribe, we have had a bit more fun with our annual Holiday offering in the form of mocked-up magazine covers featuring the four of us. We’ve spoofed such rags as People, Poker Player, American Angler, and Photography. This year, for obvious reasons, our attention turned to food. The result: Our 2010 version is a tribute to the long running monthly tribute to chow, Bon Apetite! For those of you versed in Photoshop, you’ll see that the only original things in the picture are us, our clothes (sans hats), and utensils. The kitchen, the chef’s chapeaux, and the magazine headers and titles were all “Photoshopped” in. Yeah, I wish our kitchen looked like that! :mrgreen:
As noted above, we share these Holidays cards with all of our friends and family. So it is, that we would like to share it with you. The love shown this cyber-rag, both vocal and silent, is truly felt and appreciated. You are our friends and, indeed, our family. As such, we wish you and yours all the best for the Holidays, and may your New Year be filled with health, happiness, and prosperity. Thank you for being a part of the Caveclan … we look forward to sharing even more from our tables and times with you in 2011!

©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.

Advertisements

Posted in Chit Chat, Christmas, Hanukkah, Holidays, New Year's | Tagged: , , , , | 15 Comments »

Winners, Winners! New Pans To Cook Dinners!!

Posted by Caveman Cooking on December 21, 2010

ManPans BannerWe are extremely excited to announce the winners of our latest giveaway promotion on the C3 site: The Want Pans? Giveaway. Over $700 in the finest made-in-the-USA, eco friendly cookware from Man Pans! Our 4th Prize Winner was Paula Jones – bell’alimento of Youngsville, NC who has won a $50 Man Pans gift certificate! The 3rd Prize Winner was Wendy Cohen – Vendela Vents of Los Angeles, CA who scored her choice of any one Saute Pan or Sauce Pan with lid (Up to a $124 SRV). Second Prize of a 12″ Stir Fry Wok and Steamer Set (Over a $150 SRV) went to Melissa Robinson-Arezzi of North Brunswick, NJ. By the way, you can read my extensive review of that set here => REVIEW: Man Pans Stir Fry Wok & Steamer Set.
And, our Grand Prize winner was (insert drumroll here) Sarah Trevino – Chefwife of Charlotte, NC. She will be receiving the Man Pans Kitchen Cookware Set, a collection of their most popular pans. Included in this hard anodized eight piece set is a 4 Quart Sauce Pan with glass lid and steamer insert, a 2 Quart Sauce Pan with glass lid, a 12″ Saute Pan with glass lid, and a 10″ Fry Pan.
We want to thank everyone for the hundreds of entries we received. The response to this giveaway was amazing. THANK YOU!
What a way to end the year … our first on the blogosphere! And, we’re just getting started!! There’s much more in the works for next year. Plus, as you know, we don’t do things small around here. Stay tuned! 🙂
NOTE #1: In the spirit of full disclosure, it should be known that Wendy Cohen (the 3rd Prize Winner) is my second cousin. Though, she is still eligible to win under the rules of the contest which state: “Employees of Sponsors and members of their immediate families & household members are not eligible.” While we are related, she is not an “immediate member” of my family nor does she live with the Caveclan. And, as you can see from the drawing video, everything was done on the “up and up”. Heck, I have so many cousins, if they were all ineligible there wouldn’t be anyone left to enter these contests! 😉
NOTE #2: Our original 4th Prize Winner declined her prize. As a result, we had a supplemental drawing in which Paula’s entry was drawn.

See the video of the GRAND PRIZE DRAWING and of the SUPPLEMENTAL 4th PRIZE DRAWING.

©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 Contests & Giveaways | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Meteors & Melting Chocolate

Posted by Caveman Cooking on December 14, 2010

Hand-Dipped Holiday CookiesI’ve always been a sky junkie. It doesn’t matter if there is something special going on in the celestial realm … I could just sit and look at the stars for hours. Throw in a major meteor shower and clear skies, and I will just sit and look at the stars for hours! So was the case tonight as the Geminid meteor shower, the most prolific sky show of the year, was available to all who cast a heavenly gaze.
But, before I could head out for a couple hours of star staring, I had to help out with a few Holiday honey-do’s. Our annual Holiday card had to be signed ad-infinitum, and our Holiday cookies needed to be hand-dipped in melted chocolates. The former I begrudgingly agreed to. The latter, however, I readily raised my hand for! I mean, what could be better than dipping Double Stuf Oreos, Nutter Butters, Walker’s Shortbread, pretzel twists, and cashew-pretzel clusters in Milk and White Chocolate?!?! Of course, as a “Chef”, you have to sample your wares before they can be offered for public consumption. Plus, any dip-ables that don’t come out “clean” become fair game! Add in the fact that our photo-processed cards don’t quite have palpable flavor, and you can see why my allegiances lie where they do.
I know you are saying to yourself, “Hey, Cave! These look great, but how about sharing some of these choco-coated cookies with the rest of us????”. Well, until they improve computing/internet technology to be able to download some of these yummy seasonal treats, the best I can do is offer the recipe we posted last year for making these delicious delights: Hand-Dipped Holiday Cookies.

Geminid Meteor Shower

Image courtesy of NationalGeographic.com


As for the Geminid meteor shower, much like the cookies, it lived up to the hype! I stepped outside the house and immediately saw a bright streak cross a good portion of the visible sky. I walked up the street to a nearby neighborhood park to avoid the street lights, set up my lawn chair, and was instantly treated to an amazing show. Perhaps, not as amazing as Roger Waters performing “The Wall”, as he did tonight in Anaheim. But, certainly getting to see 3-5 meteors per minute, while only having a clear view of 1/3 of the skyline and fighting the effects of light-to-moderate light pollution, qualifies as a very impressive performance. And, it wasn’t all about the quantity, either. The quality of many of the small balls of fire were nothing short of majestic.
All in all, it was a great night. Got much of our Holiday bucket-list done, munched many hand-dipped delectables, and got my astral fix! If only every night could be so fulfilling. 😉
By the way, (insert shameless self-promoting plug here) tomorrow is the last day to enter our final giveaway of the year! Don’t miss your chance to be one of four lucky winners to score over $700 in professional cookware from Man Pans in our Want Pans? Giveaway.

©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 Christmas, Desserts, Hanukkah, Holidays | Tagged: , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Veggie Wonton Soup

Posted by Caveman Cooking on December 9, 2010

Veggie Wonton Soup
While doing our recent REVIEW: Man Pans Stir Fry Wok & Steamer Set, I made some of this fabulous, veggie-friendly soup. I also promised to share the recipe. Since I never lie (well, almost never ;)) here it is! Oh, and by the way, this gets rave reviews from the Cavewoman, a lifelong vegetarian, as well as from the Cavekids and me, lifelong carnetarians! Though, as you’ll see, this is easily adjusted to satisfy the meat-only crowd.

INGREDIENTS

6 Cups Vegetable Broth
1 1/2 Cups Sliced Mushrooms (Baby Bella or Shitake)
10 Ounces Firm Tofu
8 Ounces Water Chestnuts
5 Green Onions
12 Wonton Wrappers
1/4 Teaspoon Sesame Oil or Chili Sesame Oil
1-2 Tablespoons Corn Starch
Salt & Pepper to taste

RECIPE

Chop the green onions, water chestnuts, and tofu into small bite sized pieces. Then, take about 1/5 of each ingredient and chop that portion more finely for use inside the wontons. Set aside.
Chopped Ingredients

Thinly slice mushrooms. Set aside.
Sliced Mushrooms

Set up a work station with the wrappers; a glass of cool water; a clean, dry plate to make the wontons; a plate covered lightly in corn starch; and the finely chopped ingredients.
Wonton Making Station

To make the wontons, put a single wrapper in the center of the clean plate. Place an appropriate amount of each ingredient onto the wrapper (don’t overstuff the wrapper or it will tear when you take the next steps). With a slightly wet finger, moisten all for edges of the wrapper. Fold one corner of the wrapper up to it’s opposite corner, and firmly seal all edges together. Place the completed wontons on the corn starch plate, taking care not to lay them on top of each other to prevent them from sticking together.
NOTE #1: If you have any leftover wonton “filling”, just save it and throw it into the soup at the appropriate time.
Making Wontons

Place broth into properly sized sauce pan or wok and bring to a boil. While many recipes call for you to boil your wontons, I find that doing so tends to create very soft wontons that readily fall apart. To combat this, I like to steam them before adding them to the soup. It should only take 5-8 minutes to fully steam the wontons.
NOTE #2: By using this Man Pans Stir Fry Wok and Steamer Set, I am able to steam the wontons with the boiling veggie stock. Not only is this convenient and eco-friendly, I think it also adds to the flavor of the wontons.
Boiling Broth/Steaming Wontons

When wontons are fully steamed, remove the steamer insert and add the tofu, mushrooms, and water chestnuts. Return to boil for another 3-5 minutes.
Adding Ingredients

Reduce flame, add green onions and sesame oil. Gently add wontons. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir gingerly. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
NOTE #3: If you are adverse to any kind of spiciness, just go with the plain variety of sesame oil. But, if you like just a hint of tang, go for the “chili” version. It won’t make it very spicy at all, but it will add a nice essence.
Cooking Wonton Soup

Serve in bowls along with any of your other Asian favorites. It also makes a fine main course, too.
HINT: This soup is easily transformed into a carnivore version by using the filling from our Lamb Wontons instead. Just be sure not to fry them, as described in the recipe. Also, you may have to steam them for a few more minutes to make sure they are cooked enough. Add some shrimp or chicken chunks to the initial broth boil and you’ll have a delicious meat-lovers rendition of this soup.
Veggie Wonton Soup

If you’d like to win one of these Man Pans Stir Fry Wok and Steamer Sets, or even an entire set of their pans, be sure to enter our Want Pans? Giveaway. Hurry, though, because the contest ends 12/15/2010.
EDIT: THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED!

Prep Time = 40 minutes
Cook Time = 20 minutes
Serves 6

©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 Asian, Main Course, Soups, Vegetarian | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments »

Want Pans? Giveaway

Posted by Caveman Cooking on December 3, 2010

ManPans BannerWe are extremely excited to announce our latest giveaway promotion on the C3 site. It’s our last contest of the year … and we have certainly saved the biggest and best for last! We have teamed up with Man Pans, manufacturers of professional eco-friendly cookware, to offer one lucky Grand Prize winner an entire set of their pans – over a $400 value!! They’ll receive the Man Pans Kitchen Cookware Set, a collection of their most popular pans that would delight any serious cook or chef. Included in this hard anodized eight piece set is a 4 Quart Sauce Pan with glass lid and steamer insert, a 2 Quart Sauce Pan with glass lid, a 12″ Saute Pan with glass lid, and a 10″ Fry Pan.
BUT THAT’S NOT ALL! The folks at Man Pans are definitely in the Holiday spirit!! Second Prize will be their 12″ Stir Fry Wok and Steamer Set (Over a $150 value), Third Prize will receive their choice of any one Saute Pan or Sauce Pan with lid (Up to a $124 value), and Fourth Prize will receive a $50 gift certificate towards any purchase made before the end of the year. That’s well over $700 in total prizes … plus, they are including the shipping to the “lower 48 states” on the top three prizes! I told you this was big!!
All of Man Pans hard anodized cookware is made in the USA using eco-friendly manufacturing processes and are totally free of any PTFE’s, PFOA’s or fluoropolymers . Their proprietary Gem-X2 coating system will not chip, flake or rub off and is metal utensil safe and oven safe to 700° F. If you’d like to learn more about these pans, please read our analysis: REVIEW: Man Pans Stir Fry Wok & Steamer Set.

Man Pans Kitchen Cookware Set

Man Pans Kitchen Cookware Set

Entering is easy-peasy, as all you have to do is reply to this post with the words “I Want Pans” and you will receive one (1) entry into the grand prize drawing. Want more chances to win? We’ve got that for you, too! You can receive an additional single (1) entry by following Caution: Caveman Cooking on Twitter, and another single (1) entry by following Man Pans on Twitter (you must have a Twitter account to follow and receive these entries). An additional two (2) entries are available for anyone who subscribes to the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog “Email Subscription” (NOT the comment/replies subscription). Another two (2) entries may be earned by browsing the Man Pans online store, copying the URL/page address of your favorite pan or gift set that they offer, and pasting it in your comment/reply here. Finally, another two (2) additional entries may be earned if you subscribe to the Man Pans Home Chefs Newsletter, available through their Man Pans Coupon page of their blog. A maximum of 9 entries are available to each visitor to the C3 website who chooses to enter. Please, be sure to mention in your comment/reply which additional entries you are seeking to qualify for so that we may follow up and credit you accordingly! If you are seeking to qualify for any “Twitter” entries, you must also include your Twitter name in your comment/reply. You must put all of these entry methods into ONE single comment/reply … multiple comments/replies will not be accepted!
The entry deadline for this promotion is 11:59 PM PST on Wednesday 12/15/2010. At that time we will draw the winner at random from all verified entries received before the deadline. The winner will be announced within seven (7) days of the promotion’s end.
We hope everyone enjoys the “Want Pans? Giveaway”, and we thank you for visiting C3!

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED! To see who won, please CLICK 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 Contests & Giveaways | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 166 Comments »

REVIEW: Man Pans Stir Fry Wok & Steamer Set

Posted by Caveman Cooking on December 2, 2010

Man Pans Stir Fry Wok & Steamer SetRecently, the folks at Man Pans asked me if I would be willing to do a review of one of their pans here on C3. I did some research into their product line and was impressed by what they purported to offer. Turns out that Man Pans is actually the recently formed consumer division of Lloyd Industries who have been providing professional lines of cookware to chefs and restaurants since the mid 1980’s. In fact, if you’ve ever had a restaurant pizza baked in a pan, it was probably a Lloyd pan. I also discovered that all of Man Pans products are made in the USA using eco-friendly manufacturing techniques. None of their pans contain PTFE’s, PFOA’s or Fluoropolymer coatings. Obviously, I readily agreed … besides, I am always ready to play with a new toy!
They offered to send me the pan of my choosing, and that was all the invitation I needed to start scouring their product line for the perfect pan to do a review on. However, being that I was already in the market for both a new wok and a new steamer, I figured the 12″ Stir Fry Wok and Steamer Set was the logical choice – two birds with one stone, if you will.
I was a little hesitant to ask for one of their highest priced items, but they didn’t bat an eye. A few days after informing them of my choice, a package was left on the front porch containing everything you see here. Yep, they even threw in the makings for some St. Marie’s Wild Chicken Soup! Apparently, they send out some free gifts with most of their orders. I couldn’t wait to get my review going, and you probably can’t now either. So, without further adieu, here is what I found as I ran this puppy through it’s paces:

When I first removed the pan from the box, I was absolutely amazed at how light it felt. Usually, you expect pro-level pans to be a bit on the heavy side, conveying a feeling of sturdiness and toughness. While lighter pans have always seemed to be a sign of inferior quality and design. This was certainly not the case with the Man Pans Stir Fry Wok, as we’ll see. Though, as you can see from the picture, I was easily able to hold onto the pan with two fingers and applying very little pressure. I wouldn’t have dared trying this with my old wok, or even with my smaller Calphalon Stir Fry Pan.
Man Pans Stir Fry Wok

I was also impressed by the rather large profile it exhibited. It was only slightly smaller than the wok it was destined to replace, while easily dwarfing my smaller Calphalon model. Usually, I end up making two versions of every Asian meal I cook – a carnivore rendering for the Cavekids and me, and a veggie-friendly version for the Cavewoman. So, two woks are a must in the Cavehold. It seemed as though the new Man Pans wok would easily be able to handle cooking the larger amounts of food needed to fill three Neanderthal palates.
Comparing Woks

The entire Man Pans line contains their proprietary Gem-X2 coating. It is a two layer sapphire/quartz-like natural mineral finish that is permanently bonded to the aluminum pan. It will not flake, chip or rub off and is metal utensil safe, and oven safe to 700° F. Man Pans claims that the finish is so tough you can rub a coin on the surface and not only will you not scratch the finish, but the coin will actually get worn down! I decided not to test that claim, though. 😉
While the Gem-X2 coating does offer a stick-resistant finish, it is a good idea to coat any new pan with some Canola, or other vegetable oil. Other than that, no further seasoning is needed on the Man Pans. Interestingly, I also found that I didn’t need to use any more oil in the cooking processes than I would using any of the traditional non-stick cookware.
Oiling Pan

Of course, the first thing I was going cook in the pan was stir fry. I decided to just do one of my basic recipes, with a Pork loin version in the Man Pans wok, and a Tofu one on the smaller Calphalon. I figured that not only would I make my wife happy, but, I’d also get to run the pans side by side for a comparison of sorts. Both pans heated up quite quickly, though, the Man Pans Stir Fry Wok seemed to get there slightly quicker. Noteworthy, considering that it has much more surface area to heat. I placed my hand into the pan, without touching it, and could feel that the heat was very evenly radiated.
I put the oil into the pan and it deftly got to cooking level. I sauteed the chopped garlic and found that it cooked perfectly, while I struggled to prevent it from burning in the comparison pan. Turns out, that the Man Pans are designed to cook extremely evenly, and use about 40% less heat from the flame to achieve proper heat levels than most other pans. Making them very “green” in the cooking process as well as in the way they are manufactured.
Another nice feature on the Man Pans are the handles. Their unique CoolGrip handle design minimizes the amount of heat that can be conducted from the hot pan. So, while I always need some sort of mitt or potholder with my Calphalon, I was glove free and felt absolutely no heat as long as I kept my meat-hooks behind the “Hot” marker, even when using the high flame necessary for proper stir frying.
Sauteeing Garlic/Handle

I put the pork loin into the pan to start the browning process. It quickly began to sear and it wasn’t long before I was ready to turn the meat. I was going to reach for the spatula, but the steep sides of the Man Pans Stir Fry Wok invited me to go for a flip of the meat instead. I wasn’t sure if the meat would release easily enough to complete such a move, though my fears were quickly assuaged. As you can see, all of the pork chunks readily released for a very easy flip … I just could have done a better job of completing the move! 😳
Flipping Meat

I added the veggies to the stir fry, and wanted to give the food another flip. Again, it all released immediately and effortlessly. As you can see in the background, the spatula just sat there … I didn’t need to use it once while cooking in the Man Pans Wok. FYI, I don’t even attempt to try that move with the Calphalon, it’s sides are too slanted making it very easy to lose some of the contents when attempting the flip.
Flipping Stir Fry

The stir fry came out perfectly. The meat was cooked to perfection, the veggies remained crispy and firm, and the sauce I added slightly caramelized the stir fry’s ingredients perfectly. Over the course of my weeklong examination I ended up making two more dishes calling for a wok: another basic stir fry and a batch of my Chicken Panang (Thai Red Curry in Coconut Milk). Both, ended up being cooked to perfection, as well. However, I wanted to also give the steamer a go. Unfortunately, it isn’t deep enough to steam larger vegetables, like an Artichoke (my lone negative note on this set). I had to give something else a try and decided to make some Veggie Wonton Soup. Rather than boil my Won Tons in the soup, which tends to tear them apart, I like to steam them first then add them to the soup when it comes time to turn things down to a simmer. By using this set, I was able to steam them while the broth and veggies cooked below. I think it helped add more flavor to the Won Tons. Plus, I didn’t have to use a separate steamer – saving a pan of water, the gas necessary to heat it, and the resources needed to clean it. Making the Man Pans Stir Fry Wok, once again, very eco-friendly.
Steaming Won Tons

I must say that cleaning the Man Pans Stir Fry Wok is almost as satisfying as cooking with it. Returning the pan to it’s pristine state is quick and easy with a little dish soap and some warm water. No heavy scrubbing was needed no matter what was cooked in it. Though, if you ever do need to give it a vigorous cleaning, it is recommended that you re-oil the pan before the next time you cook with it.
Cleaning Pan

For years, I have been a Calphalon devotee. But, using the Man Pans Wok side by side with my old faithful has truly opened my eyes. Using a lighter pan certainly made things much easier in the handling department. Using less energy while cooking and achieving the same results is definitely an attractive quality. And, being made here in the USA using very environmentally friendly processes makes the Man Pans an exciting prospect. But, the bottom line is how they cook the food you are preparing … and on this level the Man Pans ran at least on par, if not better, than my trusty old Calphalon. My only complaint is with the depth of the steamer insert. Though, when you combine all of the pluses apparent in the Man Pans product, I feel as though I have found a new standard by which I will be judging cookware from here on out. The only other downside I see is that I now want to try out all of their other offerings! 😉
Man Pans 12

MSRP – $135, seen on sale for $100

Cave Club Rating: 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

The folks at Man Pans were also kind enough to offer all the readers of this review a generous 20% discount on any purchase made before 12/20/2010. Just enter Coupon Code “2010F&F” on the checkout page of your order and the discount will be applied. You may use that code as often as you like before it expires.
As you know, we only give away products that we believe in and use here on C3. Since I clearly have become a fan of Man Pans, I approached them about the possibility of doing a giveaway here on the blog. Their response was, to say the least, overwhelming! Don’t miss your chance to win some of Man Pans’ finest, as we launch the biggest and best giveaway we have ever undertaken … the Want Pans? Giveaway.

©2010 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 Tools & Tips | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments »