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. 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.) 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 smokingest hot dogs.
THIS WEEK'S WINNER:
Mexican dog with spicy beans, bacon, and avocado by Kolika Elle Kirk: Kolika, writing from Tucson, shares a street food favorite there. Sold from taco trucks but enjoyed by Mexican, white, black, and Asian folks all around town, these dogs reach grand heights of topping awesomeness.
THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY WINNERS:
In the International Mash-Up (Traditional) category:
Korean hot dog kimbap (sushi rolls) by Grace Hwang Lynch: Even if you don't end up making these (though they're fun, and fun to eat), you should click on over to read Grace's interesting take on why hot dogs have won favor the world over.
In the International Mash-Up (Innovative) category:
South African curried chili dogs by Felicia Lee: First, who can deny a chili dog? And who further can deny one when spiked with curry? But Felicia's story of how she had to come around to enjoying hot dogs (and, to a lesser degree, Cold War air raid drills) is worth its weight in processed meat, at least.
In the American Mash-Up category:
Greek diner gyros dogs by Linda Shiue: In her entry, Linda draws the connection between Greek immigrant communities and the classic diners they established, and their role in advancing the cause of tube steaks all across the country. In a retro-fitted homage, she creates the gyros dog: a fantastic combination of hot dog (or lamb sausage), feta cheese, and the refreshing garlicky yogurt sauce called Tzatziki.
In the Straight-up Condiment category:
Spicy Vidalia onion relish by Coogansbluf: To go with his beloved half-smokes, Coog reaches into the pantry for an easy, sweet and spicy topping.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
AND NOW FOR THIS WEEK'S CHALLENGE:
After all the arterial damage caused by our hot dog challenge, it's probably a good time to start thinking about vegetables again.
But don't worry, this isn't going to be "build your best log cabin out of carrot sticks" week (yet). Just because we're getting vegetal doesn't mean we have to deprive ourselves of flavor, and given the exciting comments on Francis's eggplant pasta sauce post last weekend, eggplant is a real favorite for when you want your veggies but want your richness too.
So this week, share your best eggplant recipes!
Be sure to tag your posts: SKC eggplant (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 non-purple prose.
Note: Due to the Independence Day holiday, next week's Kitchen Challenge will appear on Wednesday.