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!
Linda Shiue! For battling her pregnant cravings for raw fish by experimenting with cooked forms of sushi — and the spicy mayonnaise sauces that make them good enough to stave off a hungry, expecting woman. (Recipe for Spicy California Rolls included.)
AND HOW ABOUT A HAND FOR OUR CATEGORY WINNERS?
In the Mayo Variations category:
Hadrian. The great emperor pays us a visit from beyond the grave to share a solid basic recipe for mayonnaise, and then nearly a dozen variations from there, including Creole, Provencal, Avocado, and Roasted Garlic. And in an addendum, some recommendations on how to use these sauces as well. (Recipes for many, many mayo variations included.)
In the OMG AMAZING category:
Lucy Mercer checks in with a great Southern hug to her jar of mayo, and a slew of great dishes. But the most amazing of these is the simplest — a mayonnaise-fried slice of poundcake. I can’t tell if it makes me want to cry from happiness or terror, but you know I’m making this posthaste. (Recipes for Fried Fish Sliders With Spicy Tarter Sauce, Fish Stew With Red Pepper Aioli, and of course, the Fried Poundcake included.)
In the Great Miracle Whip Controversy category:
Iamsurly, for lashing out against lovers of mayonnaise for not bowing down to the Great Altar of Miracle Whip. She’s got a deviled egg recipe to convince you of its miraculousness, but the comments on her post have become an all-out war. (Recipe for Miracle Whip Deviled Eggs included.)
In the Great Mayonnaise Sociological Controversy category:
1_Irritated_Mother, not for any particular recipe, but for an informative survey on whether mayonnaise is … racist.
In the Coleslaw category:
Asha Baisden, for a lovely and light-ish version garnished with grapes. (Recipe for Sweet and Spicy Coleslaw included.)
In the Shrimp Dip category:
Rebecca Farwell, for a note of good wishes to the fishermen on the Gulf Coast, and a fabulous-sounding dip for boiled, steamed or grilled shrimp. (Recipe for Old Bay Mayonnaise included.)
In the Lovers With Accents category:
Ruff Stuff takes us through a life of rock ‘n’ roll and regret, salvaging a dip recipe from a busted dalliance with a lover. (Recipe for Creamy Black Bean Dip included.)
In the Vegan category:
Sueinaz, for a tofu-based sauce that tastes, in her honest appraisal, only kind of like mayonnaise. But since she hasn’t had eggs or dairy since 1994, who knows? Maybe it tastes like unicorns! (Recipe for Vegan Tofu Mayo included.)
In the Mayo-Potato Collaboration category:
Cyndi Baker tells us of her love of French fries with mayo, but respects that there are limits. “Old Chicago Pizzeria nearly fired my friend Joey after he cut off a patron from further sides of Ranch (in his defense, this followed her request for a seventh side order of Ranch in which to dip her pizza) … The question is, by what means can we have our mayo and our dignity?” But in honor of the eternal love affair between potatoes and mayonnaise, she shows us a way to use mayo to amp up the goodness of potatoes au gratin, a technique I’ve never come across. Let us know if you try it! (Recipe for Potatoes au Gratin included.)
In the Mayo-Tuna Collaboration category:
Annie Wang gives us another unusual cooked-mayo dish, this time a Minnesota Tuna Hot Dish (which the uninitiated may call “casseroles”). Her version includes, intriguingly, uncooked noodles soaked overnight in milk, mayonnaise, and beautiful photos. (Recipe for Minnesota Tuna Hot Dish included.)
In the Recipe Resurrection category:
All the Single Ladies, for the (appropriately?) forgotten Waldorf salad, a mix of apples, grapes and walnuts coated in mayo — but for this version, lightened up with yogurt. (Recipe for Waldorf (Astoria) Salad included.)
And finally, in the Goodbye to Judy Berman category:
Just Cathy, for her artichoke dipping sauce, a classic since the ’70s, and a kind note of farewell to our intrepid Open Salon editor. (Recipe for Chilled Artichoke Dipping Sauce included.)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
AND NOW, FOR THIS WEEK’S CHALLENGE
With Mother’s Day coming up next weekend, I’ve been thinking about the dishes and recipes I’m glad to have learned from my mother and her mother.
And while we’re honoring or, in some cases, remembering them, let’s take a moment to honor the dishes we learned from them, too.
So this week’s challenge: share with us your favorite or most meaningful dish that you learned from your mother, grandmother or a mother figure in your life.
Be sure to tag your posts: SKC Mother’s Day
Scoring and winning
Scores will be very scientific, given for appealing photos, interesting stories behind your submissions, creativity, execution and motherly glow.