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 apple recipes.
THIS WEEK'S WINNER:
Bacon-apple-onion tart by Felicia Lee: As a child, Felicia had very distinct ideas about apples (that is: Get them away from my dinner), but as she grew up into a trained pastry chef, things changed. Now she's using them as the star in this satisfying "pie" with bacon and onions.
THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY WINNERS:
The Winter Angel by Diana Adams: A literally fresh take on a classic cocktail featuring the intense, concentrated apple flavor of Calvados, Diana brightens it up with just-squeezed apple juice as well for a sophisticated tipple.
Chile-lime green apple salad by Linda Shiue: Taking inspiration from travels in Southeast Asia, where unripe fruits like papaya and mango are often used in savory, tart, refreshing chile-hot salads, Linda brings the delicious pain to sweet-sour green apples, rounding them out with the richness of peanuts.
Apple dumplings by Lucy Mercer: I'll just leave it to Lucy's description: "Warm fruit, filled with spices and nuts, encased in a sweet pastry, baked to golden goodness and topped with cream." I want in.
PLUS, ALSO, TOO: THE EXCELLENT HONORABLE MENTIONS:
Tarte tatin by Fusun Atalay: Sometimes, creativity happens under the oddest, most mistaken circumstances. Fusun traces this now-classic caramelized upside-down tart's French roots, and gives us her version.
Apple and green tomato crisp by Sheba Marx: Wait! Hear this out! It actually makes total sense. Tomatoes are all about summer, and apples are synonymous with fall, of course. But just because the temperature drops doesn't mean all the tomatoes that were waiting to ripen will disappear, so what becomes of them? When used for their own qualities, a tender crunch and a mellow tartness, they can complement the assertive apples in a supporting role, like in this crisp.
Caramel-apple oatmeal bars by Grace Hwang Lynch: When a chef neighbor starts eyeing the fruit on your apple trees you're too harried to pick, you just might have some good luck coming your way.
Fried apple pies by Theresa Rice: Or, how the love of fried pies nearly started a political revolt in Georgia. For real.
Applesauce with kids, by Janice Wood: OK, that's "making applesauce with kids," not applesauce flavored with them. (But oh: "Salon Food Presents: Cannibal cuisine!" Imagine the scandal! Imagine the traffic … ) Thankfully, Janice, is approaching the Internet without cynicism, and instead is sharing tips on how to make cooking fun for a young child. And with adorable watercolor illustrations, besides.
Apple, onion and bacon casserole by Gary T. Czerwinski: An old-fashioned bake that produces a crusty dish of sweet, tart and savory flavors, this would be a great fall partner to a roast chicken or pork.
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AND NOW FOR THIS WEEK'S CHALLENGE:
There's "seasonal food" like peaches in the summertime and apples in the fall, and then there's seasonal food like, hey, it's the end of October and it's time to start thinking about candy. We got started on that kick this past weekend, with Francis Lam's recipe for candied bacon.
This week, then, get the Halloween ball rolling either with recipes for homemade candy, or creative things you might do with your bundles of candy come the 31st. I mean, Kitchen Challengers, you're not just going to unwrap it and eat it all plain-like, are you?
Be sure to tag your posts: SKC Halloween candy (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 and execution.