"Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)
Elliott and the friends with whom he recorded in middle school in Texas (photo courtesy of Dan Pickering)
Every week, your challenge is to create an eye-opening dish within our capricious themes and parameters. Blog your submission on Open Salon under your real name by Monday 10 a.m. EST — with photos and your story behind the dish — and we’ll republish the winners on Salon on Tuesday. (It takes only 30 seconds to start a blog.) And yes, mashed potato sculpture counts as a dish. Emphatically.
THIS WEEK’S WINNER!
Paul Hinrichs! Paul does his best Cook’s Illustrated impersonation and gives us a detailed explication of how he worked his way through his delicious recipe for asparagus and prosciutto tart — including an optional but super-creative touch: powdering the woody stalks that would otherwise get thrown out. For the rest of us, though, even without dehydrators and an extra four hours, this dish can be a sophisticated but accessible weeknight dinner. (Recipe for asparagus and prosciutto tart included.)
AND HOW ABOUT A HAND FOR OUR CATEGORY WINNERS?
In the Starting From Scratch category:
Ablonde, for sharing helpful, basic information on asparagus cleaning, keeping and treatment. (Recipe for asparagus with anchovy-garlic butter sauce included.)
In the Legacy category:
Dino Romano, for a memory of how his family came to work farmland with a history. (Recipe for pasta with asparagus, bacon and sautéed apples included.)
For extraordinary NOM NOM NOM:
Outside Myself shares a favorite dish featuring asparagus caramelized in the oven, topped with ricotta, and baked in thin crepes until golden with cheese and cream. (Recipe for crespelle with asparagus and mushrooms included.)
In the Honeymoon category:
Lucy Mercer, with an asparagus soup and sandwich that brings back memories of the springtime of her marriage. (Recipes for Crucian asparagus sandwich and creamy asparagus soup with lemon-chive butter included.)
In the Remembrance of Teachers Past category:
Rebecca Farwell, for a memory of an old mentor, whose asparagus patch she aspires to replicate. (Method for asparagus ravioli with ricotta and prosciutto included.)
In the Homage category:
Linda Shiue, for a tribute to an old, distant favorite restaurant. (Recipe for grilled asparagus with curry, lime and lemongrass aioli included.)
In the 10-minute Appetizer category:
Jessie Reiss, for a super-simple and creative way to turn asparagus into party treats. (Recipe for crisp asparagus pastries included.)
In the Spago Would be Proud category:
Lisa Kuebler, for a super-quick weeknight asparagus, goat cheese and ham pizza (Recipe included.)
And in the Presentation category:
Mamie Chen, with a fun way to get her kids to eat their vegetables: present asparagus spears standing in a pool of aioli in a snifter glass. One hopes the kids don’t get more into holding the snifter than eating the vegetables, though.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
AND NOW, FOR THIS WEEK’S CHALLENGE
“So for the week of St. Patrick’s Day, I think the Kitchen Challenge should be about making your best potato dishes,” I said to my boss.
He is a kind and supportive man, but he could barely hide his disappointment. “… Potatoes?”
“Uh, yeah. You know, Irish food.”
“They eat a lot of potatoes in Ireland.”
“OK, I’ll get back to the drawing board.”
And I avoided it for a while, because, well, I happen to think potatoes are pretty exciting. But then, I got an invitation from him for our company St. Patrick’s Day potluck, complete with instructions.
So, hey, and I’m just going to repurpose them for this week’s challenge: let’s see your best/favorite/funnest green food. Bonus points if it’s food that’s not usually green. Triple bonus points if it’s not just a salad. And, because we really want to see your entries, photos are extra important!
Be sure to tag your posts: SKC green food
Scoring and winning
Scores will be very scientific, given for appealing photos, interesting stories behind your submissions, creativity, execution and, well, greenness.
Heatmiser publicity shot (L-R: Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson, Neil Gust, Elliott Smith) (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott and JJ Gonson (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
"Stray" 7-inch, Cavity Search Records (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott's Hampshire College ID photo, 1987
Elliott with "Le Domino," the guitar he used on "Roman Candle" (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Full "Roman Candle" record cover (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott goofing off in Portland (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Heatmiser (L-R: Elliott Smith, Neil Gust, Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson)(courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
The Greenhouse Sleeve -- Cassette sleeve from Murder of Crows release, 1988, with first appearance of Condor Avenue (photo courtesy of Glynnis Fawkes)