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, most personal or unconventional Thanksgiving dishes.
THIS WEEK'S WINNER:
Sage-butter roasted chicken and pumpkin risotto by Rebecca Farwell: In a home where the suggestion of even adding garlic to the Thanksgiving mashed potatoes can result in marital strife, Rebecca dreams of the day she can make a roast turkey risotto for the big day. In the meantime, though, she makes this lovely dish for herself, and maybe you'll feel like living her dream.
THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY WINNERS:
Chinese sausage and sticky rice stuffing by Linda Shiue: Make this. Make this today, and you will know that you will want to eat it every moment from here until Thanksgiving. Trust me on this.
Chorizo cornbread stuffing by Foodgeek66: If your stuffing is in need of some spice and pork (and, let's face it, whose stuffing can't use a little spice and pork?), you may do well to consider this Southwestern version, warm with chilies and sausage.
Louisiana seafood pie by Theresa Rice: When at the kid's table as a child, Theresa never wondered what pleasures the grown-ups were enjoying at Thanksgiving, until she discovered the oyster pie on her table. Now plumping it up with scallops and shrimp, too, this creamy, flaky treasure turns any table into a Creole party.
PLUS, ALSO, TOO: THE EXCELLENT GRATITUDINAL MENTIONS:
Rutabagas cooked in pork stock by Lucy Mercer: Giving thanks to her late veteran father-in-law, Lucy serves the rutabagas he remembers missing while stationed in England in WWII. And like any good Southern woman, she gives them the equal-opportunity vegetable treatment: Cook them until tender in a broth of salty, smoky pork parts.
Pumpkin gingerbread pudding by Vivian Henoch: Not so much a recipe as a compelling serving suggestion, pumpkin pie filling here forgoes the pie and instead gets baked into pre-made slices of your favorite gingerbread for a warm, spicy treat.
The traditionalist's guide to stuffing and dressing by Gavin Fritton: For some, stuffing (or dressing) is the boring bane of Thanksgiving, and for others, the whole reason to put up with 25 people in your house. Gavin is an avowed fan, and here he walks us through everything we never knew we needed to know.
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AND NOW FOR THIS WEEK'S CHALLENGE:
First, a note: After one full year of Kitchen Challenges, the SKC team is taking a break, and you deserve one, too! So entries for this challenge will be due 10 a.m. EST on Monday, Dec. 6, with winners announced on Tuesday.
In the grand tradition of segueing directly from the Thanksgiving jewel of fall's crown to the winter holidays, it's cookie time at the Salon Kitchen Challenge! Share with us your finest, fanciest, FedEx-worthiest cookies for friends and family. You have a few extra weeks to work up your recipes, so we're ready to be dazzled!
Be sure to tag your posts: SKC holiday cookies (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.