By Kinsey Gustafson
Erin Zieske’s love of food and recipes started when she was a kid experimenting in the kitchen. She’d spend time watching Graham Kerr’s The Galloping Gourmet on PBS after school and poured over her first food magazine subscription. After traveling the world and trying many cuisines, she decided to focus her passion into a delicious looking Instagram account and her own cookbook.
How did the idea of your cookbook come about and how was it brought to life?
Erin Zieske: I began as that insufferable person on Instagram who would photograph their food all the time, but being in Rapid City, not, let’s say, New York City, they were more skewed towards what I was making, not what I was ordering. Eventually, enough folks wanted to actually know what was going on in those bowls and on those plates and I thought a cookbook was a good way to share.
The cookbook, Record Recipes, was a nine-month project. I spent a lot of lunch hours cooking and photographing and a lot of nights and weekends designing and compiling. I am proud to have done it all myself. Big shout-outs to the friends all over the U.S. who tested recipes for me, though. If anything doesn’t work out for you when cooking from the book (*cough*), blame them!
What is your favorite recipe in your cookbook?
EZ: Oh, man! I don’t think I could possibly pick a single favorite recipe. I like and eat them all. Every recipe can instantly remind me of a time I made it or the person or people I made it for. In that regard, they are all very important to me. I would say that I am probably most proud of ‘The Best Damn Cookies Ever.’ I don’t have much of a sweet tooth and baking is truly a science, so the fact that I have developed a pretty killer chocolate chip cookie recipe is a bit of a ‘brush-yo’-shoulder-off’ point of pride.
What is your go-to meal?
EZ: I love a good ‘kitchen sink salad,’ or as my best friend calls them, “garbage bowls.” They are essentially a bed of lettuce with everything but the kitchen sink added in. Add cooked rice and you’ve got a good start for a grain bowl. Throw in four or five kinds of diced veggies. I’ll add a protein like rotisserie chicken or pressure cooked pork shoulder, some crunch from chips (yes, chips or pretzels – I won’t judge), savory granola or raw nuts and all topped off with a super bright, acidic dressing. On Instagram search #SaladSoSueMe for more ideas.
This recipe isn’t in the book, but in the deep cold of a South Dakota winter, my staple is jook or congee. It’s a simple, savory rice porridge. I top mine with pork, a poached egg, avocado, cilantro and drizzles of fish sauce, liquid aminos, shallot oil and sesame oil. I will never get sick of it!
Read the full interview in the March issue of 605 Magazine or click here.