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Chris Hennes

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

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Chris, this blog screams out for recipes that combine pork and chocolate. I have a recipe for something you might like. It's a Red Pork Chili that calls for not only chocolate but coffee as well. These flavors are subtle (well, not the pork or the chili of course) but they definitely add a twist. If you want it I will send it along sometime soon. It's what I would want after a cold day in outer space.

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Thanks for the photo of the Corner Room and its Cheeseburger Club, very glad you enjoyed lunch!

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Chris, this blog screams out for recipes that combine pork and chocolate. I have a recipe for something you might like. It's a Red Pork Chili that calls for not only chocolate but coffee as well. These flavors are subtle (well, not the pork or the chili of course) but they definitely add a twist. If you want it I will send it along sometime soon. It's what I would want after a cold day in outer space.

All the pork shoulder is called for in other projects right now (wait until you all see the list of stuff I am cooking this week!!), but I've still got that half-belly to use up: maybe as an eGullet team we can come up with something that involves pork belly and chocolate (and maybe coffee too?).

My general plan for the blog this week is to basically show you what I normally eat and cook, but I've condensed several larger projects that I don't usually do all in one week to keep things interesting (for you and me!). Of course, for lunches I am flexible because you don't want to see me eat Qdoba burritos every single day (though I do love them...), and I figure I had better show Capaneus and Katie Loeb the fine Austrian fare at Herwigs since I raved about it last time I was in Philly.

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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:

My wife and brother in law, both Penn State grads used to go to CJ peppers for a cheesesteak fix. They are South East PA born and bred. I am ashamed to say while I have lived in PA and going into Philly often I have not been to Pat, Geno's or Tony Lukes. I have gotten very lost trying to find them however. Since I have a garmin now I will have to see what all the fuss is about.

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Engineers - god love you all - you are indeed a group apart.

Thanks for taking time to blog!

If you can combine pork and chocolate in one meal, its a good day!

You did get me wondering if a mole-inspired cure would make good bacon.

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My wife and brother in law, both Penn State grads used to go to CJ peppers for a cheesesteak fix. They are South East PA born and bred. I am ashamed to say while I have lived in PA and going into Philly often I have not been to Pat, Geno's or Tony Lukes. I have gotten very lost trying to find them however. Since I have a garmin now I will have to see what all the fuss is about.

Stickler alert: CC Peppers, not CJ Peppers. Now there's a memory. I had my first CC Peppers cheesesteak my very first night as a student....

Christopher

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My wife and brother in law, both Penn State grads used to go to CJ peppers for a cheesesteak fix. They are South East PA born and bred. I am ashamed to say while I have lived in PA and going into Philly often I have not been to Pat, Geno's or Tony Lukes. I have gotten very lost trying to find them however. Since I have a garmin now I will have to see what all the fuss is about.

Stickler alert: CC Peppers, not CJ Peppers. Now there's a memory. I had my first CC Peppers cheesesteak my very first night as a student....

Christopher

You are correct Sir! I have not been there for a few years and with my advancing age, oh well.....I do remember they made a fine sandwich

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Chris...fie!.....and foul!

I had been wondering where in PA you lived, the "culinary wasteland', the "middle of nowhere" to which you have often referred. Now I find out that you have a WEGMAN'S. Anyplace with a Wegman's is not eligible for that reputation!

I live, as my insurance man says, between the "Shawshank Redemption" and the "China Syndrome", better known Graterford Prison and the Nuclear twin towers at Limerick PA, 30 miles west of Philly. There are plenty of grocery stores here, but no good ones, a couple of dreary little farm stands in the summer and that's about it. No meat market, no fish market, no "gourmet" shop.

If there are such places near me that I've missed, anyone is welcome to make me wrong and tell me about them. Please.

Looking forward to your blog.

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Chris...fie!.....and foul!

I had been wondering where in PA you lived, the "culinary wasteland', the "middle of nowhere" to which you have often referred.  Now I find out that  you have a WEGMAN'S.  Anyplace with a Wegman's is not eligible for that reputation!

:shock: So sorry! Much as I complain, things aren't so bad here, Wegman's being the main case in point (Meyer's dairy being the other!). Wegman's will be what I miss most about State College when I (finally!) leave...

The other thing I will miss is my kitchen: Here is a wide shot:

gallery_28660_5872_53037.jpg

The kitchen takes up a full 1/4 of our apartment... in fact, I rented the apartment five years ago, sight unseen, based purely on the amount of the floorplan occupied by the kitchen. I don't really like my landlord, but I could never bring myself to move because I love the kitchen so much! I hope that wherever I move to this summer I can find someplace with a big countertop like I've got here (admittedly, a bit cluttered on the day I took the photo).

I'll give a tour of the cabinets over the course of the week, but starting at the bottom left and going clockwise around the photo you can see my fish tank, the liquor cabinet, the main dry goods pantry, the door to the deck, then the cookbook collection. Next to that is my meat slicer, then the fridge, appliances, and the rest of the cabinets. The main counter is usually mostly empty (and certainly doesn't usually have my laptop on it!) so that's where I do the bulk of my cooking.

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This blog is looking like fun. Chocolate, pork and ingenuity all over the course of a week sounds like an amusing recipe. I've only been through State College briefly, but "culinary wasteland" and "middle of nowhere" don't seem too far off given my brief but unsuccessful attempts to find someplace interesting to eat there... I hope somebody who lives there can spill the secrets that only the locals know about places that aren't readily found by those passing through.

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This blog is looking like fun.  Chocolate, pork and ingenuity all over the course of a week sounds like an amusing recipe.  I've only been through State College briefly, but "culinary wasteland" and "middle of nowhere" don't seem too far off given my brief but unsuccessful attempts to find someplace interesting to eat there...  I hope somebody who lives there can spill the secrets that only the locals know about places that aren't readily found by those passing through.

Well, there is a reason that this blog will mostly be me cooking, and not me going out to eat. We do have a Wegmans, we do not have a French Laundry :smile:. You could have a look at the eGullet State College thread, but what you will find is a few places to have lunch, and maybe two or three places worth eating dinner.

Also, I'm not sure who is providing the ingenuity in this thread, but it sure isn't me!! :biggrin:


Edited by Chris Hennes (log)

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YAY Chris! Now I'll see what you were talking about. I have to agree that having a Wegman's keeps it a bit above "wasteland" level, but I'm hoping the recent forays to Philly have convinced you that this is the move to make. There are so many places we haven't taken you yet... :smile:

Blog on, bro'. Looking forward to seeing the meat smoking shenanigans.

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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: ).

Well, if you can arrange to have me shipped to State College and back before the blog's over, I'll gladly take one for the team -- and repay you with Moriarty's wings when you are next in Philadelphia. And if your wife manages to decide as I believe you told me you hoped she would when I met you at Chick's Thursday before last (hope all the noise we Phillybloggers made didn't unnerve you), that may be not that long from now.

Chris...fie!.....and foul!

I had been wondering where in PA you lived, the "culinary wasteland', the "middle of nowhere" to which you have often referred.  Now I find out that  you have a WEGMAN'S.  Anyplace with a Wegman's is not eligible for that reputation!

I live, as my insurance man says, between the "Shawshank Redemption" and the "China Syndrome", better known Graterford Prison and the Nuclear twin towers at Limerick PA, 30 miles west of Philly.  There are plenty of grocery stores here, but no good ones, a couple of dreary little farm stands in the summer and that's about it.  No meat market, no fish market, no "gourmet" shop.

If there are such places near me that I've missed, anyone is welcome to make me wrong and tell me about them.  Please.

Looking forward to your blog.

The funny thing is, Limerick is in the Philadelphia metropolitan area*, while State College lies in splendid isolation in the state's geographic center. Yet the grocery shopping's better in the latter, and it's all because of Wegmans. Go figure.

BTW, Chris: I told another eGer that what you had really done with that picture is swipe a photo of the Missouri River floodplain near Leavenworth, Kan., and pass it off as Central Pennsylvania. No landscape I've been through anywhere outside the Midwest has reminded me as much of home as that of Central Pennsylvania farm country -- driving along PA 283 from Harrisburg to Lancaster felt downright eerie, the resemblance was that strong with the Missouri River valley region of northwest Missouri/northeast Kansas. Of course, this same farm country is the source of everything that is good about eating in Pennsylvania save the talent of our local chefs. Do your meats come from around us, or are they imported?

Looking forward to more of your blog and all that lovely bacon.

*Nearest SEPTA service: Bus Route 99 (Norristown Transportation Center to Royersford via King of Prussia and Valley Forge) to its outer end at Limerick Square Shopping Center. Nearest SEPTA service to Graterford Prison: Bus Route 91 from Norristown Transportation Center to the prison, Saturdays only.

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Katie, Sandy, glad to see you following along here: it should be a fun week. Responding to a few of your comments:

Well, if you can arrange to have me shipped to State College and back before the blog's over, I'll gladly take one for the team

:smile: As I explained to Katie and Capaneus when I was there, I don't think there is any food in State College worth making the trip for, with the possible exception of Herwigs, which I will show you all later this week. And maybe my BBQ :biggrin: .

hope all the noise we Phillybloggers made didn't unnerve you

You call that noise? Maybe I should try to upload an audio file from Mad Mex on Friday. Now a bar in a college town, that is noise! :wacko::biggrin:

Do your meats come from around us, or are they imported?

Alas, all the pork you see is from Niman Ranch. I would love to take hummingbirdkiss's advice and foster a relationship with a local farmer or some 4-H kids, but I never thought to do it while I was here. I will make a point to do so in my new location, however...

Looking forward to more of your blog and all that lovely bacon.

Thanks! Me too!

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Nice slicer. Did you buy that new? I have been torn between a real fryer or a slicer as my next gadget to get.

Fear not limrickers a new Wegman's is going in at 422 and 29. Opening soon.

Have you been out to the Toft Trees for dinner. They do some nice work out there.

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Chris- Have you and your wife gone to Faccia Luna before? Their pizza is very good. Also, Otto's Brewpub is good, too. We try to stay away from the student places downtown, but we really like Otto's (food and beer) :) .

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Chris this armchair traveller thanks you immensly for the PA tour. Yummy! If I recall correctly, Pennsylvania ice cream was way better than its' New York counterpart way back when I was a kid. We'd go to Howard Johnson's in Long Island, and then in PA when we drove to Virginia (pre I 95) and PA was so good!

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Nice slicer. Did you buy that new? I have been torn between a real fryer or a slicer as my next gadget to get.

Fear not limrickers a new Wegman's is going in at 422 and 29. Opening soon.

Have you been out to the Toft Trees for dinner. They do some nice work out there.

Thanks---I love the slicer. There is a little more info and a better picture on the eGullet slicer thread.

I have not been to the restaurant at the Toftrees resort because I heard that is was basically a typical mediocre steak-and-potatoes kind of place. Obviously, I can't report firsthand on that, unfortunately. The dinner places I like in town are Zola New World Bistro and Alto Italian. The owners of those two (Paul Kendeffy and Dave Fonash own both of them) have recently purchased the Gamble Mill, which just reopened, but I haven't tried it yet.

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Chris- Have you and your wife gone to Faccia Luna before? Their pizza is very good. Also, Otto's Brewpub is good, too. We try to stay away from the student places downtown, but we really like Otto's (food and beer) :) .

My wife reports favorably on Faccia Luna but I don't go out for pizza much. Otto's brews great beer, but I'm not enamored of their food. I have eaten there on a number of occasions and while it was always competent, it was never any more than that. It helps that a number of local places carry their beer now, too! :smile:

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is that new orleans style restaurant on college ave still there? what do you think of it?

plus - what ever happened to La Bamba??????

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Chris this armchair traveller thanks you immensly for the PA tour. Yummy! If I recall correctly, Pennsylvania ice cream was way better than its' New York counterpart way back when I was a kid. We'd go to Howard Johnson's in Long Island, and then in PA when we drove to Virginia (pre I 95) and PA was so good!

I was spoiled growing up, we had what I would consider a very good local creamery. When a Haagen Daz store went in just down the block, guess who went out of business? Hint: It wasn't the local creamery :biggrin: . (To be fair, the Haagen Daz was bought out for the retail space they occupied, they didn't go under. I still like the story!)

is that new orleans style restaurant on college ave still there?  what do you think of it?

plus - what ever happened to La Bamba??????

Yup, Spat's is still open. A better bet is to go to the Rathskeller just downstairs: same food, half the price! Spats is a little too expensive on my budget, so I've never actually gone in, although I think they have a BYO night which would help ease the pain!

As may be becoming obvious, I don't really eat out that much, at least not at nicer places. I love food, and budget restrictions mean that I get the most bang for my buck by making it myself. I also tend not to go places that friends and colleagues have already been to and reported negatively on, so I am missing quite a bit of breadth of personal experience in the area.

ETA: Oh yeah, the local La Bamba closed before my time here (I've only been in the area five years).

ETA (more): Wait, there have been two failed restaurants in State College called "La Bamba," according to my research! Is the one I linked to above (burritos as big as your head!) the one you are thinking of? There was another one that closed in Winter '92.


Edited by Chris Hennes (log)

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I hope I'm not stepping on toes if I answer a question or two that was before Chris's time here. La Bamba went out of business many years ago and is now occupied by Mario and Luigi's. That's been in place there for at least 15 years, I believe.

Chris - another question. I've seen that several restaurants in the area are now featuring pork from Hogs Galore, which is about 10 or so miles from here. Do you know anything about this outfit? Tried any of their pork offerings?

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When the choices are crispy pork belly at home or roll the dice some place downtown you never tried. My love and attention is going into the pork belly and I save the $$$ to splurge on something else. See another benefit of EG it allows you to be more selective where you eat!

On the topic of pork and chocolate together at last... did you ever see Daniel's tour de force on pork? I don't know how to link threads it is about a year old. He had some kind of chocolate, caramel pork dessert that sounds so wrong it had to be right.

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CHRIS!!!! I'm so excited I about peed my pants!!!!!!!!

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