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 turned to you on advice on how to cook and eat well in a (minor) disaster.
THIS WEEK'S WINNER:
Pasta Puttanesca by Grace Hwang Lynch: The traditional story of this dish of pasta sauced with tomatoes, garlic, olives, capers and anchovies is that it could be prepared by Italian prostitutes quickly, in between clients, from ingredients that would always be lying around the pantry. I don't know if it's true or not, but I can say that it's delicious ... and that the fact that it's sour, salty and just bitter enough to be attractive might have something to do with the name, too.
THIS WEEK'S ALTERNATE WINNERS:
Emergency chocolate dump cake by Meg Whitlock: When trapped in a storm, some fear hunger, and some fear the wrath of children who are not getting a birthday cake. If you ever find yourself in the latter situation, you may find solace in this ingredients-always-on-hand, one-pan-no-bowl-necessary cake.
Black bean soup by Felisa Rogers: Felisa, who just moved back to her hometown in the woods, nearly a full half-hour from the nearest store, describes a life like being snowed-in constantly. And when she actually is snowed in, she makes sure to set a pot of these satisfying black beans to boil, flavored with bacon or chorizo, garlic and spices.
PLUS, ALSO, TOO: THE HONORABLE MENTIONS
A trio of things to bake in foil packets by Theresa Rice: When it's awful out and you're roughing it indoors, it does make a certain sense to dip into the camper's bag of tricks. And when Theresa does that, she comes up with "silver turtles," those foil packets you used to make with meats, vegetables and seasonings, meant to be baked in the ashes of your campfire. Here, she offers orange chicken, sesame ginger pork chops and pesto shrimp.
Rotini gratin, aka ur-mac-and-cheese, by Kolika Elle Kirk: Some dishes were meant to be recipe-less, and Kolika walks us through a simple-to-remember method of making pasta gratin with any combination of cheeses, flavors or whatever you have lying around. All you need to have is pasta, butter, milk, flour, cheese ... and the rest is proverbial gravy.
Peanut garlic noodles by Vivian Henoch: A quick adaptation of a traditional Chinese cold noodle dish, Vivian here makes it with spaghetti and a simple, addictive sauce of peanut butter, soy sauce, garlic and honey.
Frito Pie by Catalyst40+: The funny thing about Frito pie is that if you've had it, you know how to make it, and if you haven't ... you're probably going to need someone to make it for you the first time to get into the spirit of it. But hey, if all you've got is a bag of Fritos and a couple of cans of chili, you're in business.
Spaghetti Al-Fraudo Carbo-Neara by Paul J. O'Rourke: Paul isn't afraid for the very old and the very young, who will probably have plenty of canned and frozen food to last them a good long while. But he does fear for the yuppies, whose "most prominent culinary talent is dusting their kitchens." With that in mind, he offers this hilarious "recipe" to the takeout orderers of the world. Warning: Results may or may not be considered food.
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AND NOW FOR THIS WEEK'S CHALLENGE:
Considering the bad-weather theme of this past week's challenge, it's surprising that there weren't more entries for soup -- I mean, when you're snowed in and cold, you may also be in a mood for some hearty, warming food.
But of course we don't need to have extreme weather to want that kind of satisfaction, so this week, please share with us your best hot winter soups.
Be sure to tag your posts: SKC hot soup (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.