Caution: Caveman Cooking

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Let’s Talk Turkey … And More!

Posted by Caveman Cooking on November 19, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

Cavemom’s Orange Yam TurkeysAnother fun and flavorsome player in our Turkey Day lineup are Cavemom’s Orange Yam Turkeys. These unique, colorful, and tasty yam birds have become a real favorite of the Cavekids … not just to eat, but to make as well. They really look forward to working in the kitchen on these with their Cavenana. Put one of these on your guest’s plate, and we guarantee they will be ooing and cooing about how cute they are. That is, until they taste it and start oohing and awing about how delicious they are! Yams, orange, pineapple, nuts, marshmallows, butter … what could be bad about that, right?!?! Plus, they are real hit with the vegetarians in your life.

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

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

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

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

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A Neanderthal Thanksgiving

Posted by Caveman Cooking on November 27, 2013

T-Day Turkey BrineWell, the big day isn’t until tomorrow, but the cooking almost certainly starts in earnest today. So, if you are looking for a few last minute Turkey Day ideas, I thought I’d share the annual standards we employ in the Cavehold.

I just posted my famous Cavey Gravy recipe the other day. But, you’ll need to put that gravy on something (though, some have considered just grabbing the gravy boat and a straw! 😉 ). Of course, the main event (ie. turkey) is a prime candidate to be smothered in that savory sauce, which calls for a start 24 hours before you pop it into the oven. That’s because we always use our T-day Turkey Brine to ensure a moist, flavorful bird. White wine, grapes, garlic, and rosemary are the mainstays of this magnificent marinade.

Garlic Mashed TatersOne thing that most Thanksgiving gobblers agree on: mashed potatoes are a must! Plus, they are another traditional landing pad for the gravy. But, if you are going to cook like a Caveman, you are going to have to bump it up a notch or two. We accomplish that with our tasty Garlic Mashed Taters. Milk, sour cream, and cream cheese are all combined into this recipe to create a creamy, delectable side dish … which does make it the “Angioplasty Special”. Though, if you are only cranking these spuds out once or twice a year, your cardiologist shouldn’t mind too much. I can attest that your taste buds won’t complain one bit!

Every meal calls for a vegetable. But, even the most anti-veggie attendee can’t turn their nose up on the Cavewoman’s incredible Super Spinach Soufflé. With eggs, two kinds of cheeses, milk, and butter it is plainlySuper Spinach Soufflé obvious that this is not a healthy dish, either. So, we try to cut out some of the fat by using non-fat milk and light sour cream. It works great, and there is plenty of other fat in there to more than make up the difference! I guarantee if you try this one at your T-Day feast once, it will become a regular participant in your family’s faire for years to come.
HINT: I highly recommend that you get some Cougar Gold from the WSU Creamery for this recipe. It adds the perfect flavor that just pushes the entire dish over the top.

Holiday cooking has always been where my Mom shines brightest in the kitchen. Her creative mind is always at work … but, none more so than when she puts her signature touch on a recipe. This is plainly evident with her Cavemom’s Orange Yam TurkeysCavemom’s Orange Yam Turkeys – an ingenious spin on the traditional Thanksgiving yams. 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?!?!

Cave’s Cranberry SauceYou can’t call it a Thanksgiving meal without cranberry sauce. However, far too many call it “good” with a canned variety of the tangy berry relish. If you are in that crowd, I strongly advise you step out of your canned comfort zone and give my Cave’s Cranberry Sauce a go. It will only take an extra 20 minutes in your meal’s preparation, and you will end up with a C-sauce that will forever have you shunning the pre-made type in the future. Plus, it’s easy … just the recipe on the package with some molasses and either wine, port, cognac or brandy added. Best of all, you can make it a day or two ahead of time and refrigerate it until chow time – which actually also helps it to set up better, both flavor and consistency wise. The only problem with that is keeping everyone away from it until the big meal … the Cavewoman is our biggest offender on that!

Most of all, we wish you the sweetest of Thanksgiving Holidays, filled with laughter, love, and memories to last a lifetime!

©2013 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. These recipes originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at http://cavemancooking.net authored by Caveman. These recipes may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies them.

Posted in Holidays, Main Course, Rubs, Sauces, Marinades & Dressings, Side Dishes, Thanksgiving, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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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