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 best bean purées.
THIS WEEK'S WINNER:
Hummus with spicy beef, Mexican style by Felicia Lee: Lebanese immigrants have generations of history in certain parts of Mexico (Salma Hayek being perhaps the most famous example, or the incredibly named Carlos Slim, Mexico's richest man). This week, while remembering the mismatched snack-food mashups of grad school department meetings, Felicia conjures this traditional Lebanese combination of hummus topped with spicy meat as it might have morphed, surrounded by Mexican peppers and seasonings.
THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY WINNERS:
In the Effortlessly Chic category:
White bean, prosciutto and arugula bruschetta by Linda Shiue: Salty, fresh, peppery, smooth, round and rich, this little assortment of delicious things piled on toasts is a perfect snack or appetizer, complex and stylish without trying too hard.
In the Gumption category:
Bean dips from around the world, by Another Mom Trying to Write: Some entries surprise you with their creativity, some with their stories, and some with their sheer ambition. In this, Another Mom really breaks out the culinary atlas to share with us not one but five bean dip recipes composed in honor of cuisines from four continents, like West African black-eyed-pea dip with peanuts, and served with appropriate breads.
PLUS, ALSO, TOO: THE EXCELLENT HONORABLE MENTIONS
Creamy tofu bean dip by Diana Adams: Blending in soft tofu to both lighten and enrich white beans, Diana heads further east with a powerful dose of garlic and ginger for this entry.
Pan-roasted green bean ganoush by Theresa Rice: An intriguing dip using seared green rather than dried beans, this is inspired by baba ganoush, the traditional Middle Eastern purée of charred eggplant.
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AND NOW FOR THIS WEEK'S CHALLENGE:
Do you love French toast? C'mon, do you really? Or do you just think you do because everyone's supposed to? I mean, don't they really just turn most times to eggy, smushy, kinda-burnt messes?
Not to poison the well, but we think we've found the perfect French toast replacement in the bostock, a pastry made by soaking thick slices of stale bread (traditionally buttery brioche) in a light, almond-flavored syrup, topping them with the absurdly delicious almond paste called frangipane, and baking just until the syrup starts to caramelize and turn crisp.
But perhaps the true beauty of this thing is that it's one of those dishes that can manifest in hundreds of different forms, depending on your choice of bread, syrup flavoring, and toppings and garnishes. So this week, we're calling on you to devise your own versions of the bostock, basing your changes on the variables above. Give the article on bostock a read, and then work your magic!
Be sure to tag your posts: SKC bostock (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, nuttiness.