This week, the winners go traditional with lessons on curing, poaching and crisping up the king of fish
Every week, your challenge is to create an eye-opening dish within our capricious themes and parameters. Blog your submission on Open Salon by Monday 10 a.m. EDT — 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.) Please note that by participating, you’re giving Salon permission to re-post your entry if it’s chosen as a winner, and acknowledging that all words and images in your post are your own, unless explicitly stated. And yes, mashed potato sculpture counts as a dish. Emphatically.
This week, we asked for your most slammin’ salmon.
THIS WEEK’S WINNER:
Dill-and-caraway cured salmon (Gravlax) by Paul Hinrichs: Few people love salmon as much the Scandinavians, and this light, flavorful cure is one of their most famed treatments. Traditionally used to preserve fresh fish, the cure firms up the flesh without cooking it and infuses it with the flavor of herbs and sweet spices. And don’t be intimidated by the idea of curing fish in your house! Just make sure you get the freshest salmon you can find and follow Paul’s easy instructions.
THIS WEEK’S CATEGORY WINNERS:
In the Old-School Revival category:
Poached salmon with sauce Velouté by Melissa Houle: Poaching salmon feels a bit out of fashion when put next to high-heat methods like grilling and roasting. But there is no better way to ensure moist, delicately cooked fish and a flavorful sauce in minutes. Melissa shares a completely traditional method here.
In the Noodle category:
Lemon pepper pasta with creamy smoked salmon sauce by Felicia Lee: Fantastic, flavorful creamy pasta that leaves the saturated fat behind? It can be done, Felicia insists! Using the rich flavor of smoked salmon, even soy milk reduced with shallots can be turned into a delicious sauce. Or you can just use real cream, of course!
In the Dollar-Store Gourmet category:
Salmon patties by Lucy Mercer: Slow economic recovery got you down? Lucy takes a trip to the dollar store and, inspired, whips together a whole menu — including a butterscotch peach tart — that feels utterly generous.
PLUS, ALSO, TOO: THE EXCELLENT HONORABLE MENTIONS
Cambodian coconut curry salmon mousse (Amok) by Linda Shiue: Similar to a favorite of nearby Thailand, Linda’s Cambodian interpretation of this flavorful, delicately steamed dish is aromatic with lemongrass and a perfect pairing with jasmine rice.
Thyme-scented salmon roulades by Theresa Rice: Featuring handy directions on how to turn inexpensive salmon steaks into attractive pinwheels, Teresa’s entry calls her back to her south Louisiana roots.
Citrusy grilled salmon by Boomer Bob: Featuring an intriguing marinade of soy sauce, lime juice and fresh lemongrass, Bob’s salmon would be at home on several continents.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
AND NOW FOR THIS WEEK’S CHALLENGE:
Over the weekend, we talked about hummus, specifically how one of the beauties of that classic Middle Eastern purée of chickpeas, garlic, sesame paste and lemon is that it teaches us how to balance the flavors of an infinite number of varieties.
Considering that all hummus is basically just a bean dip with flavorful aromatics (garlic), enriched by fat (olive oil and tahini) and brightened by acid (lemon), you can create any bean purée of your choosing just by substituting combinations of beans, aromatics, fats and acids.
Take a look at the story, and this week, the challenge is to come back with your very own signature bean purée!
Be sure to tag your posts: SKC bean dip (Please note that by participating, you’re giving Salon permission to re-post your entry if it’s chosen as a winner, and acknowledging that all words and images in your post are your own, unless explicitly stated. Adaptations of existing recipes are fine, but please let us know where the original comes from. And if you’d like to participate but not have your post considered for republication on Salon, please note it in the post itself. Thanks!)
Scoring and winning
Scores will be very scientific, given for appealing photos, interesting stories behind your submissions, creativity, execution and, hopefully, no references to the musical fruit.
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Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
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Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
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Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
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