• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Chris Hennes

eG Foodblog: Chris Hennes - Pork and chocolate, together at last!

260 posts in this topic

Good morning from State College, PA (and congratulations to Kerry Beal for guessing my identity!) :smile: . I only wish that the first teaser photo was current---alas, it was taken last summer, things aren't quite that green yet at this latitude. Thanks, Susan, for inviting me to do a foodblog this week.

First a little background: "Hennes" rhymes with "tennis," I'm 27, and I'm working on my Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering at Penn State. My wife is currently finishing her Ph.D. in Accounting here, and you're catching us an an exciting/scary/stressful time in our lives: tomorrow we have to decide where my wife is going to accept a job that she will begin at the end of the summer. More on that later...

In the grand tradition of foodblogs past, here is how I begin my mornings (at least, when I have time!):

gallery_28660_5872_19948.jpg

The eGullet mug is an unusual embellishment: I usually drink my morning coffee out of a stainless-steel thermos mug so I can nurse it for a couple hours. But the mug seemed appropriate for this blog, so here it is! Coffee is typically my only breakfast: I don't get hungry until around 10:30 or 11:00 a.m. I know, this is horrible and unhealthy, but there it is... you won't be seeing much breakfast food this week!

What you will be seeing is a lot of pork, and a lot of chocolate:

gallery_28660_5872_6874.jpg

Sorry to disappoint those of you who are hoping to see chocolate-covered bacon, but this is as close as the two will get to each other this week :biggrin: . I've had bacon in a chocolate bar: it was good, but I can think of better uses for both ingredients :cool: .

Other items on the menu this week include such thrilling entries as tacos, stir-fried green beans, and BLTs. Ah, the culinary adventures of a graduate student! :rolleyes: I hope you'll drop by and say hello from time to time despite the mundane dinners! And I hope no one is too disappointed that I don't hail from anyplace exotic!


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ooohhhhh---- this should be a good one! Coffee, chocolate and pork-- three of my favorite food groups! And where do you get those Guittard chocolates? More details about what's in those boxes, please, Chris!


Edited by JanMcBaker (log)

"Fat is money." (Per a cracklings maker shown on Dirty Jobs.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good morning Chris! Nice to see a blog of a "neighbor" - what local places are you planning to visit/shoot this week?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't wait to follow this blog Chris. I'm in Hershey, Pennsylvania right now, it's just starting to get green. Thought that picture looked like somewhere in the middle of the USA.

So we get to find out al la minute where you are going to be moving. Very exciting - I've been wondering where you will settle, and how hard it will become to get ingredients. Are you at the point in your PhD where you can just pack up and go, and return to Penn State when it's time to defend?

Can't wait to see what other charcuterie you are working on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Definitely looking forward to following along, Chris!

One question: is that a really big eGullet mug, or a really small Bodum? :biggrin:


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ooohhhhh---- this should be a good one!  Coffee, chocolate and pork-- three of my favorite food groups!  And where do you get those Guittard chocolates?  More details about what's in those boxes, please, Chris!

The chocolates in those boxes (they are the 5kg boxes I picked up from Chocosphere) are, from left to right, "Creme Francais" 31% Cocoa Butter based White, "Soleil d'Or" 38% Milk Chocolate, and "Lever du Soleil" 61% Semisweet Dark Chocolate, all wafers.

Good morning Chris! Nice to see a blog of a "neighbor" - what local places are you planning to visit/shoot this week?

I really don't have anything exciting planned for the week, so I can take requests. Anything you want to see? I'll be hitting my favorite lunch spots in town throughout the week, but dinners will be at home for the most part.

Can't wait to follow this blog Chris.  I'm in Hershey, Pennsylvania right now, it's just starting to get green.  Thought that picture looked like somewhere in the middle of the USA. 

So we get to find out al la minute where you are going to be moving.  Very exciting - I've been wondering where you will settle, and how hard it will become to get ingredients.  Are you at the point in your PhD where you can just pack up and go, and return to Penn State when it's time to defend?

Yup---I'm leaving town this summer with my wife, and will hopefully finish up by December (at least, that's when I am funded until!). I will have to call her "Dr. Hennes" for an entire semester!! :biggrin:

Definitely looking forward to following along, Chris!

One question: is that a really big eGullet mug, or a really small Bodum? :biggrin:

Glad you are all here: it's a gigantic mug! It must be around 14 oz, I can fit the entire batch of coffee in it at once. Get yours here!


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I get to my office and get my laptop hooked up, this is what greets me every morning:

gallery_28660_5872_112036.jpg

You might think based on this that I like bacon... you'd be right! The image on the left monitor is here, and on the right is from here.

Obviously, then, one of the charcuterie items this week is a fresh batch of bacon: here is the mise en place (I did this on Saturday so I could smoke next Sunday and you would get to see the finished product)

gallery_28660_5872_75979.jpg

I'm actually only curing half the belly this week: the other half will be used in another, yet-to-be-determined, cooking project.

Depending on when my l'Epicerie order comes in, I may also make some Hungarian Paprika Sausages, as well as some Hot-Smoked Andouille. These are all recipes from Ruhlman and Polcyn's Charcuterie (eG thread here).


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A photo and assessment of the cheeseburger club from the Corner Room (if it's still in business) would be a welcome and nostalgic sight.

Thanks.

OGG, PSU '76, G-Journalism

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A photo and assessment of the cheeseburger club from the Corner Room (if it's still in business) would be a welcome and nostalgic sight.

The Corner Room is still alive and kicking: on the rare occasions that I eat breakfast, that is my restaurant of choice (mostly because it is across the street from my office!). I can't say I've ever had the cheeseburger club, but I'm game. That is definitely one of the spots I was going to hit for lunch, along with Herwigs Austrian Bistro and the Golden Wok. Any other Penn State alums out there? (We are!!)


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is going to be interesting!

I just had a look at your website and I must say, it's not often that you see the rotor noise of helicopters, home made bacon and coconut lemongrass truffles all together on one website :biggrin:

Charcuterie and making chocolates, for me, are 2 of those 'maybe one day' things, and knowing myself, there´s a pretty good chance that day is never going to come! What made you decide to start doing it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This is going to be interesting!

I just had a look at your website and I must say, it's not often that you see the rotor noise of helicopters, home made bacon and coconut lemongrass truffles all together on one website  :biggrin:

Charcuterie and making chocolates, for me, are 2 of those 'maybe one day' things, and knowing myself, there´s a pretty good chance that day is never going to come! What made you decide to start doing it?

Actually, charcuterie is what brought me to eGullet in the first place---I needed some help with the proper duck confit method for a cassoulet! I am always on the lookout for complicated cooking projects (I'm an engineer, I always look for the most complicated solution!! :raz: ), and charcuterie ranks right up there near the top in terms of complication. There is not much more challenging that making dry-cured sausage, IMO. Well, charcuterie is fun and all, but a little hard to bring into the office, and my wife doesn't much care for anything but the bacon. So I hunted around here and the folks over in the various confections threads seemed friendly and helpful, and confections seemed pretty dang complicated, so I dove in. :biggrin: Everyone at my office is going to get fat off all the truffles this week!!


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm actually only curing half the belly this week: the other half will be used in another, yet-to-be-determined, cooking project.

Oh boy! Should have paid more attention to the little details in avatars :wink:

As to the other half of the pork belly - at least three of us thought it was to end up as siu yook, so perhaps you can do something Asian with it? Being an engineer, you'd be right up there with Prawcracker and Origamicrane in figuring out the most complicated method of getting that specific crispiness to the skin. :laugh::rolleyes:

Looking forward to your blog. :smile:


Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As to the other half of the pork belly - at least three of us thought it was to end up as siu yook, so perhaps you can do something Asian with it? Being an engineer, you'd be right up there with Prawcracker and Origamicrane in figuring out the most complicated method of getting that specific crispiness to the skin. :laugh:  :rolleyes:

Siu yook is a great idea! origamicrane's post on the Siu Yook thread is one of the best I have seen on the forums! Incredibly thorough! I've actually never had siu yook, but maybe this week would be a fun time to try it. I haven't planned dinner for next Saturday yet...


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, another good blog off to a great start.

Chocolate, pork, and Apple computers!

:biggrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does this mean, Chris, that at school, you are taking up space?

:biggrin:

I've waited years to use that joke . . .

It's sort of like college is a fountain of knowledge where students go to drink.

Can you tell me something about the chocolate wafers -- are these preferred because they melt faster? I always use great honking bars that have to be chopped.


I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Can you tell me something about the chocolate wafers -- are these preferred because they melt faster?  I always use great honking bars that have to be chopped.

The wafers are fantastic: the are 3 grams each, so it is easy to measure small quantities just by counting them out if need be, and they are all uniform, so they melt quickly and evenly. I don't know if I could go back to bars after getting the wafers.

OK, lunchtime... per Oceangroveguy's request, I went to The Corner Room---here is the exterior:

gallery_28660_5872_57823.jpg

The Corner Room is the restaraunt on the street level of this building. The Allen Street Grill, on the second floor, has a nice atmosphere and good seats by all those windows, but is a bit more expensive and I don't think is worth it.

And, as requested, I got the Cheeseburger Club, burger medium, on white bread, with a side of fries:

gallery_28660_5872_256.jpg

Overall, I was favorably impressed with the sandwich, which I had never had before. The first priority of a club sandwich must be: is the bacon crisp? Check. Next, the meat, in this case the burger: tastes good? Check. Juicy? Check. Done medium? More like medium well, but close enough considering that it remained tasty and juicy. I found the lettuce a bit overwhelming, and the tomatoes are typical winter hothouse garbage (mealy, watery and tasteless), but the cheese was good, and there was plenty of it. So overall, I'd order it again, for the $7.50 it cost. The bonus was that the fries were better than I remembered as well, so good call on the Corner Room! If you're ever in State College and looking for breakfast or lunch at a reasonable price point, with friendly service and a typical PA diner menu, look no further. (I should add that their cheesesteak is pretty good for the region, and their early-bird breakfast special is a good value).


Edited by Chris Hennes (log)

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, man, that sandwich is making me HUNGRY! Time for lunch...


"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope that a homemade Mount Nittany makes the cut for this blog -- I'm sure it would be of interest to this crowd to see a sticky going from a big slab to a lovely, buttery, caramelized baton of carbohydrate goodness, and see it stand up to a scoop of Creamery ice cream. (For those who don't know about Penn State's agriculture school, they have a correspondence course in ice cream making which is essentially how Ben and Jerry learned to make ice cream. The Creamery is the retail outlet for Penn State ice cream.)

Or at least, have a quick sitdown at Ye Olde College Diner to order one.

Christopher

Smeal College of Business, Class of '90

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Or at least, have a quick sitdown at Ye Olde College Diner to order one.

As a general rule I avoid Ye Olde College Diner like the plague, but perhaps for this blog I can make an exception to show everyone else the home of the "grilled sticky." Or maybe I'll just pick up a box of them at the Wegmans and top it with Haagen Daz instead! :biggrin: It is probably sacrilegious in these parts, but I'm not a huge fan of the local creamery ice cream...


Edited by Chris Hennes (log)

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would you get some suicide wings from the G-man for us?

Oh, man you have to take a hit for us do a grilled sticky as well.


**************************************************

Ah, it's been way too long since I did a butt. - Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

--------------------

One summers evening drunk to hell, I sat there nearly lifeless…Warren

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Would you get some suicide wings from the G-man for us?

OK, now, there are some sacrifices I just can't make! Sounds like a grilled sticky is in order, though: maybe I will have one for breakfast tomorrow (<homer voice>mmmm, ice cream for breakfast</homer voice> :smile: ).


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Would you get some suicide wings from the G-man for us?

OK, now, there are some sacrifices I just can't make! Sounds like a grilled sticky is in order, though: maybe I will have one for breakfast tomorrow (<homer voice>mmmm, ice cream for breakfast</homer voice> :smile: ).

Do you really think they are that wings are that hot? Maybe I just burned out the old taste buds. I think as hot wings go, while hot, they have the best flavor I have bought at a restaurant.

How about a cheesesteak from CJ peppers, is that still there?


**************************************************

Ah, it's been way too long since I did a butt. - Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

--------------------

One summers evening drunk to hell, I sat there nearly lifeless…Warren

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, I just thought about it! Pennsylvania.....

Are we going to see some scrapple?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Would you get some suicide wings from the G-man for us?

OK, now, there are some sacrifices I just can't make!

Do you really think they are that wings are that hot?

Actually, I've never had them, so I have no idea. People around here talk about them like they are crazy-hot, but I don't know how much truth there is to that. In my opinion the best wings in town are at Mad Mex (<-- might want to turn your audio off before clicking that one!): we'll be heading there on Friday for happy hour :smile: . Still, until I have compared them to The Gingerbread Man's I can't make a definitive comment...

How about a cheesesteak from CJ peppers, is that still there?

They are still there, though I hesitate to go near a cheesesteak in this neck of the woods. When I need my fix, I head to Philly! Is the CJ Peppers steak worth seeking out, or just above average for Central PA?

Oh, I just thought about it!  Pennsylvania.....

Are we going to see some scrapple?

Man, I hope not! :biggrin:


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Similar Content

    • By pastrygirl
      Do you ever end up with ganache that reminds you of extra-heavy mayo?  I was winging it today, testing batches that set up ok but grainy, then weirldy flexible. The 60% i usually use is 39% cocoa butter, but in this batch I used 72%, which is 45% fat.  I also made some other changes but was trying to keep a similar ratio of liquid to chocolate.  The 72% ganache is far thicker than the 60% ever is - it probably needs more cream or a splash of booze, right?  Arg, I should know this!
       
      I got annoyed and left the slab out to do whatever it will overnight - cross your fingers that it is either use-able or save-able tomorrow!
    • By chefmd
      My son married a lovely young lady from Yakeshi, Inner Mongolia, China.   Mongolian: ᠶᠠᠠᠠᠰᠢ ᠬᠣᠲᠠ (Ягши хот); Chinese: 牙克石; pinyin: Yákèshí
       
      We had a wedding in the US but her family also wanted to have a traditional wedding in China.  DH and I have never being to China so this was an exciting opportunity for us!  We spent a few days in Beijing doing touristy stuff and then flew to Hailar.  There is only one flight a day on Air China that we took at 6 in the morning.  Yakeshi is about an hour drive from Hailar on a beautiful toll road with no cars on it.  I wish we took pictures of free roaming sheep and cows along the way.  The original free range meat.
       
      The family met us at the airport.  We were greeted with a shot of a traditional Chinese spirit from a traditional leather vessel.  Nothing says welcome like a stiff drink at 9 AM.  We were supposed to have a three shots (may be they were joking) but family took pity on us and limited it to one only.
       

       
    • By Panaderia Canadiense
      Wow, this is my third foodblog for the eGullet….  Welcome!   I'll be with you from Palm Sunday through Holy Sunday to give you all a taste of the veritable food festival that is Easter in Ecuador.  As usual, I intend to eat on the streets, visit a plethora of small shops and vendors, and talk about (and eat copious amounts of ) the specialty dishes of the holiday.
       
      A bit of background on me and where I am.  I'm Elizabeth; I'm 33 years old and since the last foodblog I've ceased to be a Canadian expat in Ecuador, and become a full-fledged Ecuadorian citizen.  I run a catering bakery out of Ambato, and I deliver to clients on the entire mainland.  I've got a large customer base in nearby Baños de Agua Santa, a hot-springs town about an hour downslope of me to the east; I'll be visiting it on Wednesday with close to 100 kg of baked goods for delivery.  Ambato, the capital of Tungurahua province, is located almost exactly in the geographic centre of Ecuador.  It's at an average elevation of 2,850 meters above sea level (slightly higher than Quito, the capital) - but this is measured in the downtown central park, which is significantly lower than most of the rest of the city, which extends up the sides of the river valley and onto the high plain above.  We've got what amounts to eternal late springtime weather, with two well-marked rainy seasons.  Ambato has about 300,000 people in its metro area; it's the fourth largest city in the country.  But maybe the most important thing about Ambato, especially to foodies, is that it's a transport hub for the country.  Anything travelling just about anywhere has to pass through Ambato on the way; it gives us the largest, best-stocked food market in South America.  I have simply staggering variety at my fingertips.
       

       
      This view, which was a teaser for the blog, was taken from my rooftop terrazzo.  It is a fraction of the panorama of the river valley that I see every morning, and since Easter is traditionally somewhat miserable weather-wise, the clouds stick to the hilltops.  The barrio you can see in the middle distance is Ficoa, one of the most luxury districts in the city.  Ambato is notable amongst Ecuadorian cities for having small fruit farms (300-500 m2) still operating within city limits and even within its most established barrios - it's from this that the Ambato gets one of its two sobriquets: The City of Fruits and Flowers.  The tendency for even the poorest barrios to take tremendous pride in their greenspaces gives the other: The Garden City.  My barrio, Miraflores Alto, is a working-class mixture of professors and labourers, and my neighbours keep a mixture of chickens, turkeys, and ducks in their yards; someone down the hill has a cow that I frequently hear but have never seen.  Consequently, if the season is right I can buy duck eggs from my neighbours (and if the season is wrong, entire Muscovy ducks for roasting.)
       

       
      Today, I'll be doing my largest fresh-food shopping at the Mercado Mayorista, the largest market of its kind in South America - this place covers nearly 30 square blocks, and it exists to both buy and sell produce from across the country.  Sundays and Mondays it also opens up to a huge, raucous farmer's market where smaller quantities are available for purchase.  Sunday is the day of the freshest food and the largest number of vendors.  And I'm going to cross more than half the city to get there - I've moved since the last blog, and my new house, on the slopes of the river valley is further away than the old one on the high plain.  I promise to take many pictures of this - particularly close to the High Holy days, the Mayorista is alive with vendors and there will be special sections cordoned off for sales of bacalao, truly enormous squashes, and if it follows the previous years' trends, a festival of Hornado (about which more later).  Apart from mangoes, which are just finishing up their season, it is harvest time across the country, and the Mayorista will be well stocked with all manner of fruits and vegetables.
       

       
      To start us off, I'll demystify one of my teasers a bit.
       

       
      The Minion head that peeks out of my cupboard every day belongs to my jar of ChocoListo, the Ecuadorian equivalent of chocolate Ovaltine.  Since I gave up coffee for Lent, it's my go-to morning beverage.  ChocoListo normally comes in the plain white jar with orange lid that you see in front of the Minion; that's now my hot chocolate jar because I just couldn't resist when the company came out with the specialty jars.  I firmly believe that one is never too old to have whimsical things!
       

    • By beacheschef
      I'm making truffles for a wholesale customer who will be distributing them to their guests on a daily basis. I've been working on my recipes for quite a while, and have some good recipes for a number of flavors. Since the customer base is pretty varied, I'm not adding any alcohol to the ganache centers. The customer is pleased, but has asked me to expand my flavors to a few that they suggested.
      I've been working on a mint center with a white chocolate ganache and am infusing the cream with fresh mint leaves. No matter how much mint I add, the mint taste is not pronounced enough. I've also infused the mint leaves in the cream for up to 6 hours before adding the cream to the chocolate, without pleasing results.
      I've also been playing around with a fresh ginger ganache and am interested in lemongrass and other natural flavorings. Since I don't know if the customer will be pleased with the end result, I'd rather not buy the flavored compounds (I've used the mint flavor compound in a previous job) to enhance the flavor until I get a better result using the fresh ingredients.
      Do you have some advice for using natural herbs and spices to flavor ganache without using extracts, alcohol, or compounds?
    • By RuthWells
      I know this question gets asked frequently, and I've done my research, but I can't believe that I can't find a less expensive option for packaging to hold 2 truffle-sized bonbons.  The two options I liked (from Nashville Wraps and BoxandWrap) come to over $1.60 each when factoring in shipping.  There is no way to price them at that cost.  Am I missing some options out there?
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.