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Chris Hennes

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Everything posted by Chris Hennes

  1. Chris Hennes

    Oreo Cookies

    I can't have Oreo cookies in my house. I will and have eaten entire packages in a single sitting. Dipped in milk, regular variety only, please. You can keep your doublestuff golden cakester whatever-the-heck-they-are. And I better not catch you with any damn Hydrox!! Any other Oreo fans?
  2. I just started into The WikiGullet Project article on Carbonara which set me to thinking about the subject. It seems to me that at least in the English-speaking world, carbonara is among the most riffed-upon of all Italian pasta dishes. For example, Modernist Cuisine has TWO recipes for it. I don't remember EVER seeing it in a US restaurant made with guanciale, and usually not even with pancetta: the US preference seems to be for bacon. It's often made with Parmesan, sometimes even to the exclusion of Romano altogether. Peas? Broccoli? The list goes on and on. Anyone else notice this particular creative attention to carbonara, or is it my imagination?
  3. Chris Hennes

    Forums Upgrade

    This morning we updated the eG Forums to the latest software from Invision, Community Suite 4.3. The bulk of the changes are under the hood, but a few things of note for those who like technical details: You can now use real emojis (rather than just emoticons). So, 🎉 and/or 🥂. This is particularly nice for those using mobile devices. Emoticons will still work, though . We've switched from MySQL Fulltext searching to ElasticSearch. This should give better search results in the long run, but will take us a bit of time to really dial in. Although we don't ever give your information to third parties, and we don't accept advertising, this software update does help us comply with some of the other requirements of the GDPR. If you experience any problems with the software, please see this topic. 🍾
  4. Chris Hennes

    Sonic Drive-In

    Sonic Drive-In is based here in Oklahoma City (in fact I was at their headquarters not two hours ago), so I feel like I should have some loyalty to the local company, eat at their place occasionally, etc. That, and they just opened a new location near me that makes them the most convenient food option when I am driving around near home. So finally, a few weeks ago, I stopped by. And have continued stopping by on occasion as I am out. But not because it's actually any good: as near as I can tell, everything on their menu is actually pretty crappy. But the convenience!! Surely there must be something worth eating at the Sonic, right? What is it? It's sure as hell not their bacon cheeseburger (today's mistake) or their fries (that was last week, they are terrible).
  5. Chris Hennes

    Blueberry Pancakes

    Pancakes get a lot of love around here. Of course, there is The pancake topic to end all pancake topics, plus also Pancakes, how do I love thee? , Pancakes, Waffles, French Toast: Pick One., and more. But I think that blueberry pancakes are both unique enough in construction, and just awesome enough in general, to warrant a separate discussion. One of the tricks with blueberry pancakes is that their minimum thickness is governed by the size of the berries: if you have big berries, you are going to wind up with thick pancakes. I find this necessitates some changes to the batter structure so that you achieve the best texture. I also like to skip any vanilla extract, but add a little (or sometimes A LOT) of lemon zest. What are your thoughts on blueberry pancakes? How do they differ from your normal pancake recipe, if they differ?
  6. @Tri2Cook -- I made those for a party last week and had the same reaction. I made a second batch and increased the mint by a pretty substantial amount (at least double, maybe more). I preferred the mintier version.
  7. Chris Hennes

    Best Fast Food Burger

    It seems like every time I drive down the street a new fast food place is opening in my town. Of course, McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy's, etc. And Carl's Jr, and now Jack in the Box, and a couple others I can't even remember the names of. Back on the East Coast I was fond of Backyard Burgers and Five Guys, but we don't have either of those here. Which places should I try for the best fast food burger?
  8. A few weeks ago I checked out a copy of Madhur Jaffrey's Vegetarian India from the library, and it is well on its way to earning a permanent place in my collection. I've really enjoyed the recipes I've cooked from it so far, and thought I'd share a few of them here. Of course, if anyone else has cooked anything from the book please share your favorites here, too. To kick things off, something that appears in nearly every meal I've cooked this month... a yogurt dish such as Simple Seasoned Yogurt, South Indian-Style (p. 324)
  9. I've got a whole bunch of these tiny (½ oz) jars of colored cocoa butter, and as I discovered last weekend they are badly enough out of temper after all these years that they don't really give me a nice glossy finish, and don't release well from non-dome molds. I'd like to re-temper them, but they are such a small amount I'm not sure what the best way to do it is. I prefer to table chocolate, but I fear these are just too small so the working time will be unmanageably short. I have no usable seed cocoa butter whose temper I am confident in. Any advice?
  10. Chris Hennes

    Tempering tiny amounts of cocoa butter

    Yes - I didn't even think of trying to do it in two steps. Good idea.
  11. Chris Hennes

    Tempering tiny amounts of cocoa butter

    I don't trust the temper on anything I've got in the house: I've been on a multi-year hiatus from making chocolates. With larger amounts of chocolate this is no big deal, I just table it (a process I enjoy immensely anyway, it's like playing in the mud as a kid). But I just don't think I can table such a small quantity, the temperature will change too quickly.
  12. @paulraphael When you say "Highest relative activity of LAB is around 50–55°F" are you quoting the article, or reading that off the chart? From the image it looks like the whole low- and high-end of the temperature range is dominated by the LAB, with the yeast only becoming equally active around the middle of the range. It looks like a proof stage at 39°F (my preference for convenience) or 55°F (MB's preference, for taste) both yield a relatively high level of lactic acid production.
  13. Chris Hennes

    Tempering tiny amounts of cocoa butter

    If @Kerry Beal will send me one for free I'd be happy to use it Alas, it's not really in my chocolate budget at the moment.
  14. Chris Hennes

    "Modernist Pizza"

    I have to admit I'm disappointed in this decision -- it really feels like the Modernist team just can't abide by the criticism leveled their way regarding their previous two forays into the pizza realm, and the only way they know to combat those critiques is to pummel them into oblivion. At some point I think you've just got to agree to disagree, and walk away from the argument. Especially because they just end up being the same arguments, again and again, about taxonomy. Is is Neapolitan? Who should be allowed to say so? Is it even pizza? Blah, blah, blah. Comments taken out of context. Straw men set up and torn down. I mean, I'll probably buy the thing: after all, I do love pizza. But I just can't imagine this book convincing anyone of anything. Count me in as a vote for Modernist Pastry. And Modernist Confections. I promise my co-workers (the beneficiaries of the usual spoils) will be very appreciative of such efforts!
  15. Chris Hennes

    Cooking with Madhur Jaffrey's Vegetarian India

    Chickpeas is a Fresh Cilantro Sauce (p. 134) It's sort of funny to call this a "fresh cilantro sauce" -- after you simmer it for 20 minutes it doesn't really retain much of the character of fresh cilantro. The taste was good, however. I did add the optional chaat masala, about 1 tsp worth, and those are freshly cooked dried chickpeas, rather than the canned ones she calls for.
  16. Chris Hennes

    Cooking with Madhur Jaffrey's Vegetarian India

    Green Beans with Potatoes (p. 63) This is a fairly straightforward dish of green beans and potatoes simmered with cumin, ginger, chiles, and a tomato puree. Not my favorite green bean preparation (I like them less cooked), but pretty good.
  17. Chris Hennes

    Classifieds Forums Rules

    Welcome to the eGullet Culinary Classifieds. We have some rules that must be followed in order to post here... Any item offered for sale must be of culinary interest. You may sell your food truck here, but not your mint-condition 1977 AMC Pacer. Only Society staff have the authority to determine "culinary interest," and their judgement is final. The Society takes no responsibility for the condition of any items sold through a post in our forums, nor does it guarantee the veracity of any claim of condition. The Society takes no responsibility for the perceived fairness of a price, either asked or agreed-upon. Comments disparaging an asking or offering price will be frowned upon. The Society takes no responsibility for shipping or returns, including, but not limited to, costs, packaging and insurance. The Society takes no responsibility for payment for items sold through its forums. Dealers, distributors or vendors may not post sales, with two exceptions: a) a restaurant, for example, may attempt to sell equipment, as long as equipment sales are not part of their usual business; b) a dealer, etc., may ask a forums manager for permission to post a ''for sale'' topic, if there are special circumstances that merit consideration by our membership. Suitability of said circumstances are at the sole discretion of forums management, and are not subject to appeal. ''For sale'' posts under condition 6(b) can only be made with prior permission. Posts or topics made without prior permission will be deleted on sight. After asking for permission, you must wait for a reply; lack of response is not permission. Personal information (e.g., addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, availability of members, etc.) should not be posted. Rather, such information as necessary to complete a transaction should be exchanged through the PM system or email. "Or Best Offer" options ("obo") may not be used to sell an item at a price higher than originally asked for. For example, $50 "obo" means that you may accept less than $50, but you will sell the item to the first person to offer $50. Lower offers may be refused at your discretion. Transactional disputes are not to be posted in the forums. You may not advertise a sale or auction that you've listed elsewhere. For example, you can't say ''Go to this Craigslist posting to see the stuff I've got for sale.'' You may run a sale or auction concurrently with a ''for sale'' topic in our forums, but you must provide full descriptions, etc., for our members to see without having to go elsewhere to get details about what you're selling. Any item offered for sale must be transferred under conditions legal for the particular item. Software, e.g., may only be sold/traded in accordance with all applicable EULA restrictions. It is the responsibility of the seller to determine compliance with any applicable federal/state/local law and to be able to furnish proof that the offered item may be legally transferred. "In Search Of" (ISO) topics are permitted, subject to the rules listed here. You must post if an item is sold, so no one has to waste their time. Likewise, if you fulfill your ISO quest, you should announce it. All aspects of the Society Member Agreement apply to this forum. Topics posted in violation of these rules will be locked, hidden or deleted immediately, pending resolution of the issue(s).
  18. I'm preheating to 500°F and baking at 450°F for 25 minutes, then removing the lid and baking for five more.
  19. Interesting, that hasn't been my experience at all with this loaf, but of course I'm proofing very differently than you. How are you baking? I just use a home oven and a hotel pan as a lid, no steam injection, etc.
  20. Chris Hennes

    Lasagna -- eG Cook-Off 52

    I had guests for dinner on Saturday, and lasagne is always a crowd-pleaser. I basically follow the instructions in Bugialli's The Fine Art of Italian Cooking (I see there is an updated edition, but I don't have it), but I make the Bolognese from a 1999 issue of Cook's Illustrated. In particular my meat sauce in this instance was all beef, except for a couple of ounces of pancetta and some dried porcinis sauteed along with the vegetables at the beginning. The Cook's Illustrated technique is in four stages: an initial cooking of the vegetables and ground meat, then a simmer in milk until dry, then a simmer in wine until dry (I used a red in this instance), then a simmer in finely chopped canned whole tomatoes and their packing sauce until it's the texture you want. Call it about five hours of total simmering time. The other layers are a double-thick bechamel seasoned with a hint of nutmeg, and a layer of mozzarella and parmesan. I made plain and spinach pasta and alternated layers, so the finished product, with twelve layers of filling, looks like this (at least, the leftovers I ate for lunch today did!):
  21. When I am cooking for guests, I generally make something I've made before, at least for the main course. For myself at home I very rarely repeat, since I tend to cook my way through cookbooks and then move onto the next book.
  22. Chris Hennes

    Cooking with Madhur Jaffrey's Vegetarian India

    Spicy Cauliflower Omelette (p. 280) An omelette filled with a mixture of finely grated cauliflower, shallots, chiles, and tomato, spiced with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, ginger and garam masala.
  23. Parker House Rolls (p. 4•316) These are exactly what I think of when I think of a "dinner roll" -- light, fluffy, a tiny bit sweet, perfect torn in half and spread with butter, or just used to sop up whatever they are served with. I over-proofed mine a bit (I was making lasagne at the same time, which is always a slower process than I anticipate!) so they browned quite a bit faster than expected. I popped them out of their pan onto a cooling rack and slid them back into the oven upside down while I was baking the lasagne to make sure they were cooked all the way through.
  24. It's been a long time since I've had an entry in this discussion -- my wife says I cook "in phases." Right now I'm in a bread phase, and before that I was in a Mexican phase. So my confectionery phase was quite a while ago now! However, we're having some guests for dinner tonight and I wanted something for dessert that would be non-gigantic and easy to make ahead. So I scrounged up my notebook from a past eG Confectionery Workshop and made Coffee Liqueur Bonbons These have a Guittard 65% Madagascar shell, Chef Rubber Gold Pearl cocoa butter, and the ganache is a standard E. Guittard dark chocolate with a local coffee liqueur scaled at 20%. At first I was going to do a fancier shell, but it occurred to me that a) I am out of practice and b) all homemade bonbons are impressive to non-eGullet guests, even with simple color swirls. So I took the easy route. Of course, I also decided to temper the chocolate by tabling it, because I wouldn't want to make things too easy. That worked fine, as you can see. I can still do this!
  25. Chris Hennes

    Cooking with Madhur Jaffrey's Vegetarian India

    Chili-fried Eggs from Sri Lanka (p. 275) In this simple dish you make a three-ingredient relish (shallots, chiles, and tomatoes) and serve it on top of fried eggs. I'm sure there are a million variants on this idea, since obviously you could add any number of spices to the mixture if you wanted to. A nice easy weeknight dinner, served with rice, sourdough bread, and a selection of chutneys.