Monday, December 3, 2012

Our Own Diana Horst is Featured on Serious Eats!

Here at 37 Cooks, we have cooks with a wide variety of cooking experience. Diana is one of our more experienced members and she was recently featured in an article entitled, In Our Community Corner. How exciting for Diana! And for 37 Cooks! Read on and see why! - 37 Cooks
Name: Diana Horst
Location: Liverpool, NY (a suburb of Syracuse, Go Orange!)
Occupation: I'm a shoes associate at Herb Philipson's, an Army/Navy/Sporting Goods store.
So Diana, we already know that you are a gourmet pizzaiola, Do you want to tell us about what else you enjoy cooking in the kitchen?
My guiltiest pleasure is making yeast dough and baking bread. I've been driving my husband, Jeff, nuts with this need to bake bread. I sometimes sneak downstairs in the middle of the night to get some dough going, or I'll get up extra early in the morning and make dough. I'm obsessed with flour and playing around with different bread making techniques. Currently I have around ninety pounds of flour in the house. Adirondack A.P. flour has a beautiful grind that I love working with. DMC just delivered a fifty pound bag of Occident flour that we split. A couple of weeks ago I picked up a fifty pound sack of All Trumps that makes the best bagels. I picked up six pounds of Prairie Gold high protein whole wheat flour at an Amish market, up north a month ago and some semolina and pumpernickel while I was there. There's also some rye flour, KA whole wheat, amaranth flour and rice flour that I've been playing around with in different bread doughs.
Buttermilk Onion Rye Loaves [Photograph: dhorst]
Tell us about the most memorable bite of food you've ever eaten?
That is a tough one. This past summer, I had some amazing crab cakes with a chipotle aioli and fresh greens at The Restaurant Elderberry Pond Farm in Auburn, NY. They were perfect. The appetizer we had, bruschetta with a dollop of herbed ricotta and a bit of sundried tomato pesto had a terrific balance of flavors and contrasting textures. It's an incredible place.
Bruschetta from The Restaurant Elderberry Pond Farm [Photograph: dhorst]
What is one of your earliest food memories as a Serious Eater?
Grandpa McAdoo... My grandfather used to be a dairy farmer. When he retired, he would take me with him to get fresh raw milk from one of his fellow farmers in glass bottles. I think my love of cheese comes from my grandfather. He would get me to eat some of the sharpest, funkiest cheeses. It amazed his friends, because I was just a toddler at the time. Limburger was the one cheese that he couldn't get me to try.
Is there something that you've eaten recently that you can't stop thinking about?
Garlic scapes and ramps that I had this past spring have been on my mind, even though the season has passed. I shared some scapes with a good buddy at work. He loved them as much as I did. Well, and then there's the Aleppo addiction.
Aleppo and Chipotle Chile Brownies with a custom made Chile Horn [Photograph: dhorst]
What is the most disastrous dish you've ever attempted to cook?
Pizza on the gas grill on the stone. The stone was too low to the flames and I burnt the shit out of it. I rarely burn anything--and for pizza not to turn out? Let's just say my family thought the meltdown I had from that was hysterical. Me, I was out of my mind.
What is your least favorite cooking task?
Peeling garlic for SDS (Secret Dipping Sauce) is one thing I'm sick of. I make a huge batch of sauce and it requires one cup of sliced garlic cloves, which means I have to spend a lot of time peeling; there is no crushing the garlic. The cloves must be peeled and nicely sliced. It's one of the beautiful parts of SDS.
The other thing I'm tired of is shaping gnocchi on the back of a fork. I'm just not that good at it, but it is worth the effort. I've been making some amazing gnocchi of late.
Is there anything you can't stand eating?
I can't stand beets or any kind of melon. I really want to like them but the both trigger the gag reflex. So maybe there's a compound in both of them that is just not for me.
What is your favorite aroma in the kitchen?
The smell of yeast bread baking is my favorite aroma in the kitchen. No surprise there, huh? I also love the scent of grapefruit. In fact, I hate food scented shampoos and body washes, but I love my grapefruit scented shampoo. It's light and refreshing and not cloying.
Garlic, Cheddar, and Chive Bread [Photograph: dhorst]
When people visit the Syracuse area where do you recommend they eat?
Well, my place of course. But if they want to go out to dine in the Syracuse area, I would recommend Pastabilities, The Lemongrass and sister restaurant Elephant Bistro, The Blue Tusk and Dinosaur BBQ. If they want to drive a bit to Auburn, then I would have to
say The Restaurant at Elderberry Pond Farm.
What is your favorite region/city/country to eat at?
I spent some time back in the day in Europe. I loved every minute of it, cuisine wise, but since I've never been to Italy, I think my favorite region to eat at would be Central New York/ The Finger Lakes regions. Crazy? No. We have such wonderful produce, cheese makers and wineries. It's amazing what we have here, and while I like dining out, my true joy comes from being in the kitchen and I love seeing what's out there for me to play with at home.
If you could eat or cook a meal with anyone who would it be?
Writers: Elmore Leonard, Cormac McCarthy, and Richard Russo.
Film Makers: Quentin Tarantino, Guy Ritchie, and Paul Newman
Cooks: All 37 Cooks that I participate with on the 37 Cooks blog, TXCraig1, the pizza party crew and of course all of the staff at SE!
To read the rest of the article, click here!

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