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!
Stephen Easley! For a wonderful story of how being hard up drove him back to his dreaded food service industry, working at a bar ... where NFL legend Jackie Smith taught him to make "Louisiana hot wings," ones that look suspiciously like a recipe made famous in a certain western New York city. But the tough old tight end was undeterred. "Son," he said, "screw those son-of-a-guns from Buffalo." (Recipe for Jackie Smith's Louisiana hot wings included.)
AND HOW ABOUT A HAND FOR OUR CATEGORY WINNERS?
In the How To category:
Paul Hinrichs, with a great, detailed engineer's take on how to cut and fry chicken wings (with diagrams!).
In the Jamaican Jerk category:
Kim Hartman, for a recipe that unapologetically calls for not one, but two habanero peppers. Granted, there are 17 other seasonings in her marinade and all that's for five pounds of wings, but my lips are tingling already. (Recipe for Jamaican jerk chicken wings included.)
In the Sesame Ginger category:
Maybe they were mind reading? Both Linda Shiue and Mamie Chen grace us this week with sticky, saucy sesame-ginger stewed chicken wings. Linda's come to us courtesy of her mother, and Mamie's from her first date with her husband. (Recipes for sesame-ginger stewed chicken wings included.)
In the Roasted category:
Lucy Mercer, for lovely, Indian-inspired roasted wings, glowing with warm spices and paired with a complex, nutty sauce. (Recipe for tandoori wings with tikka masala dipping sauce included.)
In the Hell Hath No Fury category:
Elizabeth Ross Harrison, for threatening divorce and other unpleasantries after finding the last of the Pizza Hut wings eaten. But if you can't bear to watch a marriage fall apart, you can still check out the author's father's great-sounding spice rub, featuring Old Bay, cayenne, and caraway seeds. (Recipe for the Dr.'s Hot Wing Spice Rub included.)
And in the Macho Comeuppance category:
Coogansbluf, for a hilarious story of when testosterone and hot sauce meet in a bar. "'It's not so bad,' I started to say just as an atom bomb hit the back of my throat and I began to hiccup and turn beet red. 'Holy shit!' I managed to gasp. 'We gotta put this on the menu.'"
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AND NOW, FOR THIS WEEK'S CHALLENGE
We've been keeping this gorgeous little nugget in our back pocket since then -- no, not literally, but we would if we could! -- and with April Fool's Day this week, it's finally time. This week's challenge is to make food that looks like something else. Will your kids go to school on Thursday with worm sandwiches made from spaghetti? Will you fry rabbit and call it chicken? Will you make a hamburger look like a cookie? (Yay awesome!)
We love seeing your creative side each week with the challenges; here's a chance to show a little mischief too. Be sure to include photos!
Be sure to tag your posts: SKC April Fools
Scoring and winning
Scores will be very scientific, given for appealing photos, interesting stories behind your submissions, creativity, execution and bonus points for making food that actually looks like other food.