• 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 (2012) - Chocolate, Tamales, Modernism, etc.

329 posts in this topic

When we talk about chocolates with that showroom finish, this:

Finished chocolates 1.jpg

is what we are talking about.

YYEEEEEAAAAHHHHHH!!! Finally, after years of trying, today I have an entry for that topic! Yes! (yes, I really am that excited, this is far an away the best batch of chocolates I've ever made. Also, the taste is fantastic too).

Here's the interior:

Finished chocolates 2.jpg

Those are spectacular looking! Did I miss where you described what flavour these are?


Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why, what did you have ScottyBoy?

Snack time: salsa. Straightforward prep, made in a food processor in three steps. I like the Muir Glen whole tomatoes for this one.

I like the Muir Glen products. Do you ever try the fire roasted tomatoes for the salsa? It gives it a bit of a Bayless.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those are spectacular looking! Did I miss where you described what flavour these are?

Thanks—the ganache is a milk chocolate flavored with orange/lime/vanilla/bourbon.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the Muir Glen products. Do you ever try the fire roasted tomatoes for the salsa? It gives it a bit of a Bayless.

I make another salsa that I use the fire roasted in, but I've never tried them in this one.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tuesdays are my odd day out, I'm out of the office all morning, so I typically eat breakfast and lunch out. I'm on my way to Braum's for breakfast now.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Blog on, Other Chris.

Can you give us a close-up of that masa? What do the ingredients say? I'm very curious to learn whether it's ground nixtamalized corn or made from harina.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great stuff Chris. I'm catching up on a few amazing eG foodblogs . . .

You have an upstairs kitchen? What are the pros and cons?


Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, I'm back at the office now. On Tuesday mornings I volunteer at the public library, which means a) I am up and about early, and need to eat a real breakfast, and b) I have the car today. So, after dropping my wife off at work I typically drive through someplace to pick up a breakfast sandwich. This week I went with Braum's, a regional fast food chain. They have the best breakfast sandwich around, IMO. It's not flawless, but it's damned good:

Bacon Egg Cheese Sandwich.jpg

Note the immense slice of cheese (and it's a cheese that actually has taste, unlike certain other fast food cheeses), and the plentiful crispy bacon. Yum. If only it were consistently awesome... every now and then the bacon comes out soggy, or the sandwich isn't quite hot enough to melt the cheese. I actually didn't eat it yet at this point, since as you can see the cheese is not melted yet. back into the wrapper, and into the bag, where I let it rest for a few minutes. Next on my list is a stop at the Gray Owl for a cup of coffee. They brew Intelligentsia here, and it's always fresh:

Gray Owl.jpg

At this point I was running a bit early today (library opens at 9) so I took a walk through nearby Andrews Park, and shot this:

Coffee mug.jpg

That's a mega-spillproof mug: non of this "spill-resistant" crap. I can turn that sucker upside down and shake it and it won't lose a drop. Nice when it's sitting on top of large stacks of books.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You have an upstairs kitchen? What are the pros and cons?

No, actually: my house is a single level (no basement, even).


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can you give us a close-up of that masa? What do the ingredients say? I'm very curious to learn whether it's ground nixtamalized corn or made from harina.

I'm glad you asked! I'm actually not sure whether the ingredients list would actually look any different between masa made from reconstituted masa harina and that made from corn, but as you can see, I am buying a masa that has preservatives added, and I'm doing it on purpose:

Masa bag.jpg

In my experience, if you are not using fresh masa within 24-48 hours of the time it's made, it starts to develop a weird off flavor. Since I am buying it in five pound bags and am only cooking for two, it typically takes me about two weeks to use a whole bag, by which time the other available brands (without preservatives in them) are more or less inedible. I've found that this particular variety has the freshest, cleanest flavors of the bunch, and lasts far longer. Amazing, those preservatives actually work!


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't made a dedicated search yet, but I would like to find a source of fresh masa that's available in bulk--in other words in SMALL quantities. I shop for Mexican ingredients at Mi Pueblo (partly because I am addicted to the cuernos for breakfast and their bakery has really good ones) and although the masa, both preparado and non-prep is great and seems very fresh, it's only available in enormous bags. I never need all that masa. I don't know if there are preservatives in it or not, I'll have to check next time. I'm told that it can be frozen, though. Does anyone recommend this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't made a dedicated search yet, but I would like to find a source of fresh masa that's available in bulk--in other words in SMALL quantities. I shop for Mexican ingredients at Mi Pueblo (partly because I am addicted to the cuernos for breakfast and their bakery has really good ones) and although the masa, both preparado and non-prep is great and seems very fresh, it's only available in enormous bags. I never need all that masa. I don't know if there are preservatives in it or not, I'll have to check next time. I'm told that it can be frozen, though. Does anyone recommend this?

I know the Berkeley Farmers Market used to have fresh masa - a friend was purchasing it there a year or so ago.

Here's a link. Primavera is the "brand"

I just phoned a friend in San Jose and she also recommended Mi Pubelo.

She shops at the Story road market in San Jose.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The cutting board in those kitchen photos is about ten years old, and I don't take very good care of it. As a result, it has started to crack. Rather than simply buying one, being the obstinate sort, I set out to make my own. Here is the current status:

Cutting board.jpg

End grain, of course, made of a Canadian hard maple. The target final dimensions are in the neighborhood of 23" x 16" x 2.5", though it looks like it's going to be a small bit larger in each dimension in the finished product, depending on how the final planing goes. I have 22 of 63 glue joints completed, and I'm doing them one at a time because it's easier and more reliable. Have any of you reading this made your own cutting board? How did you do your glue-up?


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ive made them for years.

the partial assembly is helpful to keep the project flush. endgain is very very difficult to sand.

I used http://www.woodfinishsupply.com/SaladBowl.html for finish.

if you havent made your own cutting board before it will give you great pleasure every time you use it.


Edited by rotuts (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lunch time: since I have the car on Tuesdays, I usually go out for lunch. Today I went to Five Guys (I have a slight preference for Smashburger for this style of burger, but the nearest SB is 35 minutes away, whereas the nearest FG is five).

Bacon Cheeseburger with Fried Onions:

Five Guys Burger.jpg

Five Guys aficionados will notice something conspicuously lacking from this order: there are no fries. I'm sorry, Five Guys, I simply do not care which farm those potatoes came from or what day they were dug up if you do not know how to cook them!!! I like crispy fries, and Five Guys aren't. Total deal-breaker. But I love their burgers.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Five Guys aficionados will notice something conspicuously lacking from this order: there are no fries. I'm sorry, Five Guys, I simply do not care which farm those potatoes came from or what day they were dug up if you do not know how to cook them!!! I like crispy fries, and Five Guys aren't. Total deal-breaker. But I love their burgers.

Agree the fries blow.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Five Guys aficionados will notice something conspicuously lacking from this order: there are no fries. I'm sorry, Five Guys, I simply do not care which farm those potatoes came from or what day they were dug up if you do not know how to cook them!!! I like crispy fries, and Five Guys aren't. Total deal-breaker. But I love their burgers.

Agree the fries blow.

I think that they suck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You might have noticed in those kitchen shots one of those Jiffy greenhouse-things on the counter. That one's got peppers in it, that I just planted a couple days ago (they have not germinated yet). My tomatoes and tomatillos, however, are a couple weeks in:

Tomatoes.jpg

Does anyone else use those little peat pellets to start seeds? I usually take the plastic bits off when I pot them up for the first time: does anyone leave them on? And how big do you wait for your plants to get before potting them up?


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chris - I've been enjoying your blog so far! I start my seeds in rockwool cubes - I get starts that look like your tomatoes/tomatillos after 4-5 days, rather than a couple of weeks. I find soaking the cubes in 5.5pH water initially, and then misting once in a while with the same water gets faster germination. Once I see the first set of true leaves, I'll transfer to my "incubator" which basically keeps the bottoms of the cubes bathed in 25% nutrient fog for a week or two until the roots are long enough to transfer into my normal window garden.

I've also heard really good things about Coco coir, and about these Rapid Rooter plugs.

While usually, the rockwool is only for hydro (since it doesn't degrade too easily (although it can be recycled)), the coco coir and Rapid Rooter are great for starts that will go into soil.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Five Guys aficionados will notice something conspicuously lacking from this order: there are no fries. I'm sorry, Five Guys, I simply do not care which farm those potatoes came from or what day they were dug up if you do not know how to cook them!!! I like crispy fries, and Five Guys aren't. Total deal-breaker. But I love their burgers.

Agree the fries blow.

The fries suck at In & Out as well.. but if you ask for Well Done.. they are much better.. is there any chance Five Guys can do the same?

Incidentally, there is now a Five Guys in my town... but didn't know anyone who has tried one (lot of burgers around here... most good but not better than home made.. makes me unexcited to try new places)... but that does look good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Incidentally, there is now a Five Guys in my town... but didn't know anyone who has tried one (lot of burgers around here... most good but not better than home made.. makes me unexcited to try new places)... but that does look good.

I treat fast food burgers as a category unto themselves: none of them are going to compete with homemade, ever, since they are cooked to well-done. But for what they are, Five Guys is a great burger, as is Smashburger. No In-n-Outs here (yet!) so I haven't tried them.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You might have noticed in those kitchen shots one of those Jiffy greenhouse-things on the counter. That one's got peppers in it, that I just planted a couple days ago (they have not germinated yet). My tomatoes and tomatillos, however, are a couple weeks in:

Tomatoes.jpg

Does anyone else use those little peat pellets to start seeds? I usually take the plastic bits off when I pot them up for the first time: does anyone leave them on? And how big do you wait for your plants to get before potting them up?

My husband is building a green house right now on to the back of our garage. So, I hope to get more in to growing from seed.

Every year we (and I say we very loosely...I mostly mean Mr. Shelby lol) start tomatoes from seed and every year it seems like, no matter what we try, they don't "harden" enough and when we plant them in the garden, they die asap. I do the planting so I'm very gentle with them etc. Kansas sun and wind are so hard on the young'uns, as is the weather in Oklahoma. My garden is not protected on any side from wind/sun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe you need cloches. I use big soda bottles with the end cut off sometimes if i don't trust the weather.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's what we do, too. It works great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You might have noticed in those kitchen shots one of those Jiffy greenhouse-things on the counter. That one's got peppers in it, that I just planted a couple days ago (they have not germinated yet). My tomatoes and tomatillos, however, are a couple weeks in:

Tomatoes.jpg

Does anyone else use those little peat pellets to start seeds? I usually take the plastic bits off when I pot them up for the first time: does anyone leave them on? And how big do you wait for your plants to get before potting them up?

My husband is building a green house right now on to the back of our garage. So, I hope to get more in to growing from seed.

Every year we (and I say we very loosely...I mostly mean Mr. Shelby lol) start tomatoes from seed and every year it seems like, no matter what we try, they don't "harden" enough and when we plant them in the garden, they die asap. I do the planting so I'm very gentle with them etc. Kansas sun and wind are so hard on the young'uns, as is the weather in Oklahoma. My garden is not protected on any side from wind/sun.

I've had some luck putting a bit of newspaper around the stem when I plant tomatoes.

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.