davepolaschek

Random thoughts and such. Photos. Birbs. Woodworking. Recipes. Miscellany.

Made these after all our stuff was packed for our move to Santa Fe. All you need is a knife & cutting board, a cast iron skillet, and one tin of spice. And the recipe cleaned up the food we had left in the fridge.

Ingredients

  • 2 pork chops
  • 1 Honeycrisp Apple
  • 12 seedless grapes
  • ½ tbsp Chinese five spice
  • ½ tsp flour

Directions

  1. Core apple, and chop it up. Leave the skin on if you’re lazy.
  2. Chop the grapes into halves or quarters.
  3. Simmer apples and grapes with a little water until they go mushy. About 15 minutes. You’re making a quick applesauce.
  4. Add the Chinese five spice and continue to simmer until you have a nice sauce. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl (or ziploc bag)
  5. Use the (warm) sauce to marinate the pork chops for about 15 minutes.
  6. Put the sauce and chops into the skillet and cook about 7 minutes per side on low heat. Add a little water if the sauce looks to be drying up.
  7. Remove the chops from the sauce and plate. Make a pan gravy using a little water and flour.

Pairs nicely with grits if you have them. Also takes about the same total amount of time to cook as quick grits.

#recipe

I made a bowl from some Russian olive that a friend glued up and gave me. I think it came out kind of pretty.

#woodturning

Our house finches are a source of amusement most mornings.

House finch, perched on a yucca stalk

They’re nesting, so often the female is inside the birdhouse, while the male is out standing guard, keeping an eye out for other birds or predators.

House finch, perched on a yucca, singing

And sometimes he sits and sings to us. He can be pretty loud some mornings.

A pair of house finches, one sitting on the hummingbird feeder, and one drinking from the ant trap

They’ve also learned a few tricks this year, like the fact that the ant trap above the hummingbird feeder is a good source of water, and sometimes a tasty ant snack. And if I don’t screw the feeder together quite straight, they can even get a drink of sugar-water from the feeder. I figure that’s okay, since we don’t have a lot of hummingbirds competing with them this year.

#birb #photography

Based on this Lemon Chicken Piccata {Paleo, Whole30, Keto} recipe.

Cook time: 35 minutes Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1½ lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, thin sliced
  • 5 Tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper, ground
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp minced garlic
  • ½ mild yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 C chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ can (roughly ⅓C) coconut cream, unsweetened
  • ½ Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 Tbsp capers, drained

Directions

  1. Mix flour, salt and pepper in a bowl big enough to dredge the chicken breasts in.
  2. Heat a large skillet with 2T of olive oil over medium heat.
  3. Dredge the chicken, one cutlet at a time, and place into the pan. Cook 4 minutes on each side, until golden brown and delicious. Note that depending on the size of your pan, you may need to cook the chicken in two batches.
  4. Remove the chicken and set aside on a plate.
  5. Add 1T olive oil to the pan and get it warm.
  6. Lower the heat to medium-low.
  7. Add the onion, sauté until translucent (3-4 minutes).
  8. Add the garlic and sauté until soft (a minute or two).
  9. Add the chicken broth and lemon juice, increase the heat to medium-high until the broth comes to a boil, then return it to medium-low and simmer for 3 minutes. Stir enough to get any fond loose from the bottom of the pan.
  10. Stir in the coconut cream and Dijon mustard, and 2T of the dredging flour.
  11. Stir to make a thin gravy-like consistency (it’ll thicken as it cooks).
  12. Add in the capers and chicken and return to a simmer until the sauce is a good thickness.
  13. Remove from heat and serve over noodles, rice pilaf, or couscous.
  14. Grate some Parmesan cheese over the plate if you like. It’s not needed, but it’s good.
  15. Enjoy!

#recipe

Cook time: 8 hours. Start this around 8am. You’ll need to fiddle with it about lunchtime and 2pm, too. It’ll be ready about 4pm.

Serves: 8-12. Or a family with 3 growing boys.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds chicken thighs
  • 6 ribs celery, chopped
  • ½ onion chopped
  • 1 tsp tarragon
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 4-6 C chicken stock
  • ¾ bag frozen carrots
  • 1 or 2 potatoes, diced
  • ½ bag frozen roasted sweet potatoes
  • 1 C coconut milk
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp minced dried chives
  • 1/3 bag frozen peas
  • 1/3 bag frozen corn

Directions

  • Place celery, onion, chicken, half of the carrots, and 4C chicken stock into a 4.5 qt crock pot
  • Set crock pot on high and forget about it for 4 hours
  • Using two forks, shred chicken meat and skin and remove and discard bones and cartilage. You will miss at least one piece of cartilage. That shows the soup is home-made.
  • Add potato and balance of frozen carrots
  • Turn to low and let cook for 2 hours
  • Add frozen vegetables and enough chicken stock (about 2 C) to fill the crock pot, and let cook on low for 2 hours.
  • Serve and eat

#recipe

Strawberry kiwi salsa

Ingredients

  • pint or pint and a half strawberries, diced
  • four kiwis, diced
  • one New Mexico chile, plucked off the ristra, washed, deseeded and diced
  • tablespoon lime juice
  • teaspoon salt

Directions

  • mix everything up
  • let it sit for a few hours in the fridge
  • eat on tortilla chips

#recipe

Quail near our blue spruce tree

We had some visitors in our yard this morning, and they looked kinda cute. Only managed to get a photo of one of them, though. But this isn’t the first time we’ve seen them, so hopefully I’ll get another chance.

#birb #photography #NewMexico

Ingredients

  • ¼ lb maple-smoked bacon, diced (we use Beck & Bulow wild boar bacon, which is lean enough that I need to put some oil in the pan)
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 Trout fillets
  • 1 C red split lentils
  • ½ C green beans (frozen will work, fresh are better)
  • 3 C water
  • ⅓ tsp red chile powder (to taste)

Directions

  1. Sauté diced bacon in 2 or 3 quart saucepan.
  2. Mix soy & maple syrup in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. When bacon is cooked, but not crispy, pull bacon from saucepan and set aside. If there’s significant grease, save it for some biscuits.
  4. Put 3C warm water in saucepan, deglazing the pan & bring water to a boil.
  5. Place trout, skin down, on broiler pan and coat flesh side of trout with maple/soy mix.
  6. Broil trout, 9 minutes @ 400F, or 7-8 minutes if you don’t have a temperature setting on your broiler.
  7. Put lentils & beans in boiling water, and reduce to a simmer – simmer for 7-9 minutes, until lentils are done.
  8. Pull trout from broiler, and sprinkle with chile
  9. Add bacon to lentils.
  10. Serve and eat. Enjoy.

Total time, about 25 minutes.

#recipe

The house finches are building a nest again in last year’s birdhouse. Yay!

#birb

Biscuits on a cooling rack

Makes about 15 biscuits. We ate 3 of them before I could take the picture.

Ingredients

  • 4 C all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ C honey
  • ¾ C bacon grease, chilled
  • 1 can (13oz-ish) coconut milk

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450F
  2. Prepare a baking pan by placing a piece of baking parchment in it
  3. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl
  4. Add honey and bacon grease, and cut ingredients together until a “crumb” has formed
  5. Shake can of coconut milk well, open, and pour into bowl
  6. Stir ingredients together just until a dough forms
  7. Put dough onto a floured surface and fold and knead a few times
  8. Roll dough into ¾ inch thick sheet
  9. Cut out biscuits using a biscuit cutter or a drinking glass, and place onto pan
  10. Reform leftover dough into a sheet and cut out remaining biscuits, placing onto pan
  11. Bake for 15-17 minutes, until golden brown on top
  12. Transfer to a cooling rack, or eat as soon as you possibly can without burning yourself

#recipe

Based loosely on 5 Ingredient Dairy Free Biscuits

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