Caution: Caveman Cooking

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

Posts Tagged ‘appetizer’

Cavey’s Holiday Helper

Posted by Caveman Cooking on December 23, 2016

Cavey’s Colossal Shrimp CocktailHanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza, New Years … they’re all approaching fast. Which means you should be preparing for your Holiday feast. What’s that? You’re not ready?? Not sure what to make??? Never fear … Caveman is here! Just read on for some suggestions on how to make your celebratory spread highlight your time with friends and family.

Of course, nothing piques an appetite quite like some sumptuous appetizers. You could throw a bowl of nuts on the table and call it good. Though, at C3 we take our pre-meal hors d’oeuvres pretty seriously. A recent favorite of the Cave crowd has been Cavey’s Colossal Shrimp Cocktail. These giant seafaring crustaceans are plump, succulent, delicious, and relatively easy to make. Plus, you can make them ahead of time, and then plate them just before your guests arrive. Other tasty starters include our Baked Brie with Peach Sauce; Lamb Wontons, Teriockeye Salmon Wontons, or – if you are feeling fancy – our incredible King Crab Wontons.

Killer Chili Rojo (Red Pork) Tamales & Killer Queso (Cheese) TamalesWith Hispanic influences solidly embedded into California cuisine, it is no surprise that Tamales are a savory Christmas tradition that we have heartily embraced in the Cavehold. While we are solidly in the Gringo category on the census questionnaire, we will hold our Killer Chili Rojo (Red Pork) Tamales and Killer Queso (Cheese) Tamales up against any competition from South of the border. The masa (dough) in these two recipes is smooth, almost creamy, with a fantastic flavor all on it’s own, while the fillings are so scrumptious and hearty. A perfect blend that makes for a fiesta for your taste buds. While they are labor intensive recipes, 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.

2x Baked PotatoesSide dishes are always a key to making any Holiday meal a memorable gathering. 2x Baked Potatoes are always a welcomed Holiday treat. Yes, they are truly the “angioplasty special”. But, you aren’t starting your New Year’s resolutions for another week or so! Besdies, it’s the Holidays … live it up!! If you need to tone it down a bit, you could always opt for our Roasted Red Balsamic Potatoes for a tasty tater alternative. Other sides you might consider are our Sauteed Asian Veggies, Caramelized Red Pear Salad, and our annual must-have Super Spinach Soufflé. You can’t go wrong, no matter what you choose.

The main course usually goes one of two ways for the Holidays: turkey or beef. Since we recently enjoyed a T-day Turkey Brined bird over Thanksgiving, along with some Phenomenal Focaccia Stuffing, we are opting for our world renowned Glazed Teriyamic Prime Rib. Whether you call it Prime Rib, Standing Rib Roast, or a bone-in Ribeye Roast this is one recipe that is full of flavorful nuances. It is a delectable dish that will have everyoneteriyamicprimerib at the table silent, save for the occasional mewl of palatable pleasure.

A sweet treat is always the way to end a marvelous meal. Unfortunately, the Cavewoman does most of the baking and dessert making around here, and the vast majority of her incredible recipes have yet to make it onto this cyber rag. However, we do have a few posted up that might merit consideration. At the top of the list are her Hand-Dipped Holiday Cookies and other treats. These are an easy way to take some of your favorite store-bought cookies and turn them into something special to cap your Christmas-Hanukkah-Kwanza-New Year’s soirée. Plus, you’ll see that you also get to make pretzel/nut clusters, as well … my personal favorite. Some other temptations include our Pumpkin Whoopie Pies, Easy Peasy Cherry Crumble Cake,Hand-Dipped Holiday Cookies or simply top some ice cream with either our Cognac Marinated Mint Strawberries or Candied Kahlua Pecans. Any of these will certainly put the finishing touches onto your Holiday bill of faire.

I know! I know!! I’ve given you so many options to choose from. But, isn’t that better than being stuck in menu limbo like you were before you read this post? Yeah … I thought so! Besides, you could always just celebrate ALL the Holidays … it will give you an excuse to make more than one Holiday meal! 😉 Let us know how it goes.

The entire Cave clan wishes you a happy, healthy, and delicious Holiday season.

©2016 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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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.

Posted in Appetizers, Holidays, New Year's, Seafood | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Are You Ready For Some Football (for the last time this season)???

Posted by Caveman Cooking on February 3, 2012

Rockin’ GuacPerhaps the most popular non-holiday observance in this country is the perennial championship of professional football … better known as the Super Bowl. For many, the game-time menu carries as much importance as the game itself (and the commercials, of course). So, if you haven’t gotten your meal plan together yet, read along as we share the fare the Caveclan will being enjoying for this 46th edition of the pigskin classic.
For starters, we’ll be whipping up a big honkin’ batch of our Rockin’ Guac. Ripened avocados, tomatoes, onion, garlic and other sundry ingredients combine to make a bowl of YUM! Scoop it up with tortilla chips, pita chips, crackers, or even plain ol’ Ruffles and wait for your taste buds to start doing their own end zone dance … it won’t take long! Baked Brie with Peach Sauce

For those looking to get a little more fat in their diet, we also will be sporting some Baked Brie with Peach Sauce that just may be the food embodiment of nirvana. Conjoin gooey French cheese with peacans; pureed peaches; dried berries, cherries, and/or cranberries; and slap it all on a water cracker or lavosh and your eyes will likely be rolling into the back of your head while mewls of pleasure begin wafting through the air after that first bite … and each successive bite, as well! True, this would never make onto Paula Dean’s new diabetic diet, but that’s why we save this one for special occasions like this.
2+2 Tequila Chili
Not all of our menu will consist of choices from the appetizer arena. In fact, the centerpiece of our feast will be individual bowls of meat, beans, onions, sauce, cheese … and TEQUILA! That’s right, our award winning 2+2 Tequila Chili is the MVP of this edible all-star team. Though, I highly suggest you start cooking this dish as soon as you are finished reading this post, as this is by far at it’s best when made ahead of time and allowed to “brew” sufficiently for all the flavors to fully blend together. However, the chili police are not going to knock on your door and confiscate your chili-stash if you do have to make it on game day. Just grate up some cheddar cheese (yeah, more cheese), sit back, and get ready to enjoy the biggest bowl game of them all with a big brimming bowl of meaty goodness.
Yes, you’ll probably be living on fruits and vegetables for several days after this super football fiesta to cleanse your insides. But, trust me, it will be well worth it. Besides, we have to ring out the football-year in fine fashion don’t we?!? I’d like to be able to give you a few more words of hopeful justification that might entice you to join us for your own version of this gridiron spread, but I’ve got to get busy on the chili … and the quarter boxes!

©2012 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.

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

Posted by Caveman Cooking on November 19, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Cavey’s Crab Dip

Posted by Caveman Cooking on July 4, 2011

Cavey's Crab Dip
So, I’m doing some shopping for the stuff we need for our 4th of July feast when I bump into a fellow Neanderthal at the meat counter.  As I get my mitts on a container of real crabmeat from the refrigerated case, he asks me, “What are you gonna do with that?”
I reply, “Make some crab dip! ”
To which he says, “Mmmmmmm.  Sounds good!  Is the recipe on your website?”
That’s the moment I realized that one of the easiest and yummiest dishes I do has never made an appearance on this rag.  Three ingredients and three minutes is all it takes to make an appetizing appetizer perfect for any summertime fete.

INGREDIENTS

24 Ounces Sour Cream
1 1.8 Ounce Package Knorr Leek Soup Mix
8 Ounces Real Crabmeat

NOTE: This recipe can be made with regular onion soup mix and canned crabmeat. However, I highly recommend using Knorr Leek Soup and the real crabmeat found in the refrigerated section of your local supermarket (usually near the meat department). Costco also carries a great lump crabmeat in their refrigerated section. Additionally, though it doesn’t really make this a “healthy dish”, using the “Light” version of sour cream certainly cuts down on the caloric and fat content for those trying to watch their Caveish figure.
 Cavey's Crab Dip Ingredients

Place sour cream and soup mix into medium sized mixing bowl and stir until fully blended.
Sour Cream & Knorr Leek Soup Mix

Now, place crabmeat into bowl and gently fold into sour cream/soup mixture.
HINT: I like to have small lumps of crabmeat in my dip. If you prefer it a little smoother, go ahead and add the crab meat when you initially put in the soup mix. The extra stirring will smooth it out.
Adding Crabmeat

Cover mixture and refrigerate for at least three hours … and that’s it! Just serve with your favorite dipping chip and be ready for the YUM!!
HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!!
Cavey's Crab Dip

Prep Time = 3 Minutes
Chill Time = 3 Hours
Serves 10-20

©2011 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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Teriockeye Salmon Wontons

Posted by Caveman Cooking on July 28, 2010

Teriockeye Salmon Wontons 6
Being that this is now the third wonton recipe I am sharing here, it is readily apparent that the Caveclan loves their deep-fried Asian appetizers. That said, these just may be the best of the bunch! All I know is that I’ve made them several times now and they have all disappeared quicker than one of Lindsey Lohan’s lawyers. 😉

INGREDIENTS

1/3 Pound Fresh Sockeye Salmon Filet
3 Tablespoons Teriyaki Sauce
4 Ounces Cream Cheese (NOT whipped)
4 Water Chestnuts
1 Green Onion
2 Tablespoons Corn Starch
24 Wonton Wrappers

RECIPE

Skin Salmon, then cut into 1″ rectangles. Place into bowl and cover with Teriyaki sauce. Be sure to get all the pieces of fish evenly and completely soaked in the sauce. Set aside.
HINT #1: While any type of Salmon would work for this recipe, I highly recommend Sockeye Salmon. Aside from the fact that it is part of the name of this dish, it is also the most flavorful type of the anadromous Salmonidae.
Teriockeye Salmon Wontons 1

While the fish is soaking, mince onions and water chestnuts, cut cream cheese into 1/4″ cubes (about 1/3 of a teaspoon), and set up your wonton making station. You’ll need the above ingredients plus a small bowl with cool water, a clean plate, a cooking towel, and a cookie sheet completely dusted with the corn starch.
Teriockeye Salmon Wontons 2

Place a wonton wrapper on the plate, add a cube of cream cheese, a piece of Salmon, and a pinch each of green onion and water chestnut.
Teriockeye Salmon Wontons 3

NOTE: Previously, I showed you how to make a “Bishop’s Hat” wonton. This time, I’ll demonstrate the “Pirate’s Hat”.
Wet your finger and moisten three edges of the wonton wrapper. Take the dry edge and fold it over to the opposite edge. With your finger tips, firmly seal all the edges, while pressing gently to remove any gaps between the filling and the wrapper itself.
HINT #2: Any air or gaps may cause a bubble to form on the wrapper surface when the wonton is cooked. These tend to pop and let the cream cheese come running out.
Teriockeye Salmon Wontons 4

Next, fold the front edge back slightly and firmly pinch the ends together, creating an air-tight seal. When done, place wonton onto cookie sheet and wipe any moisture off your prep plate before making your next wonton.
Teriockeye Salmon Wontons 5

When all wontons are made, cover the cookie sheet with plastic wrap and place into freezer for an hour before cooking them. This helps the wontons to hold their shape, as well as prevent tears in the wrapper while they are being cooked.
In a saute pan or wok, heat vegetable oil to 350°. Gently place 4 or 5 wontons into the oil and cook for about 1 minute or so (depending on oil temp). Don’t overcrowd the pan or they won’t cook evenly.
Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. Pictured here with spicy Plum Sauce.
HINT #3: If you make too many (as if that was possible), once they are frozen, remove them from the cookie sheet and place into a freezer-friendly, air-tight container. When you’re ready to eat them, just plop them straight into the oil from the freezer. They will last up to three months.
Teriockeye Salmon Wontons 6

Prep Time = 30 minutes
Cook Time = 1 Minute
Makes 24 Wontons

©2010 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.

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Caveman … Party Of Ten

Posted by Caveman Cooking on June 16, 2010


The Cave Clan

(Top row, L to R)My step-father Bert, Caveboy, Cavemom, Cavegirl, cousin Michael
(Bottom row) Cavewoman, moi, my godmother/cousin Arlene, her husband Leon, cousin Wendy


Well, we finally did it! We had our first major family get-together in the new cave. It only took three months … speed is not my strong suit. Not that we haven’t had company, mind you. The Cave-in-laws have been over several times and we have hosted a number of friends, as well. But, this was the first multi cave-family gathering we have entertained since our big move back in March. The guest list was a who’s-who of the Cave Clan, including the Cavemom and her husband; several Cavecousins; my Cave-Godmother and her spouse; and, of course, the four of us. No special occaision, other than the fact the my Mom and Step-father were in town staying with us for a few days. Besides, any day ending in “day” is a good time for a party!
My original plan was to try something new for our guests to enjoy for dinner, since I’m always game for unfamiliar culinary territory, and it would give me more fresh recipes to share with you. But, there was overwhelming demand for several dishes that have already graced the pages of this cyber-rag. Although, we did throw one new salad into the mix … and boy, was it goooooooood! But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. There are stories to share and details to divulge of this inaugural Neanderthal gathering.

First, I must thank my godmother/cousin Arlene and her husband Leon for this wonderful and thoughtful housewarming gift. Even though we requested that nobody bring presents, because we had nowhere to store anything else, Arlene was not going to come empty handed. As the Cavewoman pointed out, Arlene always comes up with the most unique and personalized presents. She put together this great basket filled with tomato, strawberry, and pepper plants along with all the tools and foods necessary to grow big, producing plants. In fact, they are all getting planted today by the Cavekids!
Veggie Plant Basket

Cousin Wendy also refuses to come without bearing gifts. She brought us a great butane burner perfect for entertaining, whether you are serving fondue, chicken wings, chili, or any number of other dishes. It will definitely get used well in the new Cave … just got to find a place to store it! 😉
Once everyone arrived, we served drinks and quickly set out some Hummus, Harif (Yemenite Hot Sauce) and warmed Flat Bread that I had just whipped up, and recently featured in our Middle Eastern Epicurean Excursion.
Hummus, Harif, and Flat Bread

While everyone was enjoying the Mediterranean treats, I started frying up some Crab Wontons. Normally, I make these with King Crab. However, I just had a yen for some Blue Crab. Especially in light of the fact that they will become increasingly harder to get with the damage being wreaked by the oil-spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. For my veggie wife I made a bunch of them without the crab meat. Being a good chef means tasting your dishes before you serve them to your guests … at least, that’s the line being towed! The Caveboy snuck in with the camera and busted us sampling the wares.
Cavepeople Sampling Wontons

Though, it was a good thing that we tried a few of the initial ones to come out of the fryer … they were a huge hit and went very fast! We might not have gotten any otherwise!! We served them up with a spicy plum sauce. It’s also a good thing that I reserved about a half-dozen of the uncooked ones and threw them into the freezer because I am really starting to jones for them as I write this. 😯
Crab Wontons and Spicy Plum Sauce

While everyone was enjoying the company, libations and hors d’oeuvres Cavewoman and I started preparing the main meal. She went to work on a Chopped Caprese Salad with soaked homemade croutons – the new dish I mentioned earlier. Unfortunately, it’s not the best picture of the salad. But, trust me, it is fantastico! I promise much better shots when we post the recipe.
Chopped Caprese Salad

For the main course, we served Tri-tip marinated for 34 hours in Teriyamic Marinade, Garlic-Basil Mashed Potatoes, and Sauteed Asian Veggies. Obviously, we haven’t posted the potato recipe yet. But, it is a very easy and tasty side-dish that we will share soon.
EDIT: Here is the recipe for the Garlic Mashed Taters.
Teriyamic Tri-tip, Garlic-Basil Mashed Potatoes, and Sauteed Asian Veggies

We ended our fabulous meal with some of Cavewoman’s incredible Chocolate Chip cookies and a heaping plate of Leon’s world famous Mandel Bread (a recipe I’m still trying to wrangle out of him), which is kind of like Jewish Biscotti. His is the best I have ever tasted, and I just can’t seem to stop my hand from grabbing piece after piece when it is in front of me … or even at the other end of the table!
Needless to say, our first mass convening of the Cave Clan was a huge success. Everyone was full, happy, and smiling as they waddled over to the couch or overstuffed chair closest to them. The only problem with gatherings like this is that they end too quickly. But, I guess that’s just one more excuse to have yet another party soon … real soon!

©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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Super Sunday Success

Posted by Caveman Cooking on February 8, 2010

Caveman & Cavegirl Making WontonsWhat a day! A good game, great food (if I do say so myself), and a fantastic time was had by all. Actually, this Super Sunday actually started on Saturday with the making of the 2+2 Tequila Chili and the Lamb Wontons. Stews and Chilies are always better the second day, and by making and freezing the wontons ahead of time the game-day workload was greatly reduced. My personal workload was lightened even more by the assistance of the Cavegirl in the making of the wontons. I just showed her how to do it once and then she was off to the races making some perfect “Bishop’s Hats”. She was so proud today when everyone complimented her on how professional her wontons looked … and I was proud that my little girl is already showing some great culinary talent at the tender age of four.
I didn’t make any variations in the wonton recipe. Though, I did experiment a bit with the dipping sauce. I took 4 tablespoons of store-bought plum sauce and combined it with 2.5 teaspoons of apricot juice (reserved from the canned apricots I used for the baked brie described below), 1/4 teaspoon ground chili oil, 1/4 teaspoon fresh fine-grated ginger, and a few drips of chili sesame oil. Turned out to be a nice sweet and tangy sauce that flattered the the bold, rich flavor of the wontons. Almost tasted like a samosa with a sweet chutney sauce.Lamb Wontons

Speaking of the Baked Brie with Peach Sauce, I did make a few adjustments to the usual recipe. For one, instead of using peach sauce I made an apricot sauce that just may be a better compliment to the brie. So, I guess it was really a Baked Brie with Apricot Sauce. 😉 Also, instead of just some dried cherries I found a trio medley that also included dried blueberries and cranberries … definitely an improvement! For some reason, however, the oven wasn’t cooking as hot as usual. As a result, the cheese could have used another 5 minutes or so. It still was absolutely delicious … even the Cavekids were mowing on the pungent cheese.
Baked Brie with Apricot SauceUnfortunately, we had a few last minute cancellations, so our menu changed and contracted slightly. Instead of the planned Crab Dip and Crudites we switched over to some Rockin’ Guac with Garlic Parmesan Pita Chips … a little lighter than the crustacean filled creamy dip and a bit more veggie friendly for the Cavewoman. Besides, we had just gotten a new shipment of homegrown avocados from the Cave-in-laws and a couple of them were just ripe enough – using the mini food processor on them didn’t hurt either. I must say that the Fuerte variety that they grow are, by far, my favorite type of avo. They are so creamy and buttery, you just don’t want to stop eating them … which can be a problem. Rockin' Guac with Parmesan Garlic Pita Chips

The Chili is one of those recipes that is set in stone. If I messed with it, even if it worked, there would certainly be a “mutiny on the chili-bowl”. Instead of inviting an insurgency, I opted to make a second chili. A veggie version of the traditional 2+2 Tequila Chili. Unfortunately, I didn’t quite get the balance of ingredients right with the lesser amounts of veggie meat (Morningstar Crumbles), which also doesn’t impart the same flavors into the dish that the real deal does. Though, I think that with some tweeking, I can make a veggie version that will rock the herbivore crowd the way the carnivores were today. Regrettably, I didn’t take a shot of the Chili course when plated … yeah, I jelled! 😐 But, if you really need to see what it looked exactly like, see this photo.
Angel Food Cake with Nectar of the Gods FruitBefore we get to dessert, let’s talk about the game. The final score (34-17) doesn’t represent the hard-fought, see-saw battle that this Super Bowl truly was. I think the only people who weren’t happy after this game were the Colts’ fans and the much publicized guy who bet $1Million on them to win straight up (what a Du-mah!). The game had it all: a ten point turn around (only the second time in SB history), goal line stands, an “onside kick” to start the second half, and a rockin’ half-time show from The Who that had the whole stadium singing every song. Not to mention, the end result was sweet redemption for QB Drew Brees, the Saints organization, and the city and people of New Orleans. You can’t help but enjoy a show like that!
As for the much lauded Super Bowl commercials, most were ok at best. But a few caught our collective eye: Puxatawny Palamau, Snickers with Betty White & Abe Vigoda, and the VW “Punch” spot with Stevie Wonder and Tracy Morgan at the end.

Yeah, I know, I’ve ranted enough and it’s time for dessert. As usual, the Cavewoman was in charge of the sweet portion of our menu. After all the rich foods we were consuming, she went for something a little lighter: an Angel Food Cake topped with Nectar of the Gods Fruit Salad. I don’t want to give away the whole recipe since she promised to post it this week, but it was sooooooooo good with the sweetened fruit and light, airy cake combining for a perfect capper on a delicious day!

Super Bowl Crew

The best part was seeing the satiated and content smiles on everyone’s face when all was said and done. As you can see the food is all gone, Caveboy is out, the Cavegirl is on her way out, and the rest of the crew (from left, Cousin Wendy, the Cave-in-laws Peg and Leo, and the Cavewoman) was so full, they didn’t move for about an hour. Everyone truly seemed to have a great time at what will undoubtedly be our last soiree in this house. What a great way to go out! 😉
Hope your Super Sunday was as fun and flavorful!

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

Posted in Appetizers, Main Course, Vegetarian | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments »

Rockin’ Guac

Posted by Caveman Cooking on January 25, 2010


As promised in Freezer Food Fest #10, here is my recipe for some killer guacamole. It doesn’t hurt that I get some phenomenal homegrown avocados, courtesy of the Cave-in-laws!

INGREDIENTS

3-4 Medium Avocados, ripened
1 Medium-Large Roma Tomato
1/4 Cup Sweet Onion, minced
1 Tbsp Garlic, minced
1 Tbsp Cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 Fresh Lime
1/4 tsp World Spice Merchants Ancho Chili Powder
1/4 tsp Tapatio Sauce
Salt & Pepper to taste

RECIPE

First, make sure you enlist the help of a good sous chef. Not only do things go faster, it’s a lot more fun to cook with some one else … especially if it’s your kid!

With a sharp knife, cut avocados in half, lengthwise. Score the avocado into 1/2 inch square sections, being careful not to cut through the skin. Then use a spoon to scoop out the flesh of the avo and place into a medium-large bowl.

Chop tomato and cilantro, mince garlic and onion, and place into the bowl. Add chili powder, Tapatio Sauce, salt, and pepper, as well.
HINT #1: I like to use Garlic Salt instead of regular for this recipe.

Take a fork and begin to mix all the ingredients well. Continue until the avocado starts to smooth a bit, yet leaving some chunks, as well.

Squeeze the juice from the lime section onto mixture and mix in well.

At this point taste the guac and adjust seasonings as needed. Place into bowl and serve immediately, or cover air-tight and refrigerate until needed (not more than 4 hours for freshest flavor and color)
HINT #2: Reserve one avocado pit and place into center of completed and plated guacamole. It not only looks kind of cool, but it also helps it from turning color too soon. No one likes guac that isn’t green!

RECIPE UPDATE: Lately, I have taken to switching out the chili powder and Tapatio Sauce for a small jalapeño pepper (veined, seeded, and minced), and a 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. It really takes this already rockin’ recipe to the next level!

Prep Time = 15 minutes
Cook Time = n/a
Serves 4-8

©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 Appetizers, Latin, Side Dishes, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments »

Shrimp Avocado Rolls

Posted by Caveman Cooking on January 19, 2010

Food Blogs Post of the Day for 1/19/10

This recipe won Post of the Day for 1/19/10!


Thought Shrimp Rolls were only for restaurant dining? Think again!

INGREDIENTS

8 Medium-Large Shrimp
1/2 Avocado, ripened
2 Medium Carrots
2 Medium Celery Stalks
2-3 Green Onions
2 Tbsp. Fresh Chopped Basil
4 Egg Roll Wrappers
Vegetable Oil

RECIPE

Rinse and drain shrimp. Remove tails, shells, and veins. Re-rinse and drain. Cover and refrigerate until ready for cooking.

Sliver carrots, celery and onions. Chop Basil. Slice avocado. Set aside.

Next, set up your prep station with a prep plate, another plate dusted with corn starch, a cup of water and, of course, all your ingredients.

Place egg roll wrapper on prep plate and put 1/4 of all ingredients onto wrapper.

Fold one horizontal-to-food edge of wrapper over ingredients. Then, using 3-4 fingers, gently pull folded side back towards ingredients, making sure wrapper is snug against them.

Next, fold over both open ends of roll up to the point where the ingredients are. Roll the wrapper with ingredients toward the opposite horizontal edge. Just before reaching the end of the wrapper, run a wet finger along the edge of wrapper, then continue to finish rolling to the end. Lightly pinch the edge to the roll so that it doesn’t flop open. Place onto plate with corn starch. Repeat process until all rolls are made.

You can either deep fry or pan fry your Shrimp Avocado Rolls. Either way, heat your oil to about 375°. If pan frying, make sure you have enough oil in the pan to cover at least half of the roll. When the bottom half turns golden brown, flip over the rolls and continue until evenly cooked on both sides.

When done, remove rolls from oil and place onto paper towels to absorb excess oil. Allow to cool several minutes before serving.
HINT #1: Cut rolls in half with a sharp knife. They will cool quicker that way and won’t burn your mouth if you get have an unexpected hot-pocket of oil inside the roll.

Serve with your favorite Asian dipping sauce. These were served these with a spicy Plum Sauce – just 4 tablespoons of store-bought Plum Sauce combined with a heaping teaspoon of Ground Chili Sauce.
HINT #2: You can serve this as an appetizer, or plate with some Asian noodles to make it part of your main course.

Prep Time = 20 minutes
Cook Time = 10 minutes
Serves 2-4

©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 Appetizers, Asian, Main Course, Seafood | Tagged: , , , , , | 18 Comments »