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 grilled cheeses.
THIS WEEK'S WINNER:
A basic sandwich, an earth-shaking story by Lisa Barlow: Yes, Lisa lays out everything you need to know to make a pitch-perfect grilled cheese -- grate the cheese (if you're not using the pre-wrapped slice kind), butter the bread, not the pan, etc. But the real reason you need to read this is ... Andy Warhol. Andy Warhol sightings, punk rock, despicable scenesters, Polaroids, grilled cheese and Campbell's tomato soup, of course.
THIS WEEK'S ALTERNATE WINNERS:
Fancy pants grilled cheese by Trish O'Rourke: Growing up the daughter of a deli owner can severely limit your childhood exposure to the last-minute pleasures of a standard grilled cheese, so Trish does her dad proud with this exotic concoction: two cheeses, ham, mustards, apple slices, caramelized onions and guava jam. Thanks, Pops!
Welsh rarebit, by Linda Shiue: If the point of a grilled cheese is to get the gooey, crisp and creamy together, why not do it Welsh style, with a rich cheese cream sauce broiled on toast?
My best friend's grilled cheese (with olives and sun-dried tomatoes) by TG Within: "Aw, mom, can't we ever just have Velveeta and normal bread?" TG's friend whined. "Plastic isn't edible or digestible," his mom would say. "And you're not NORMAL." So this unnormal grilled cheese uses cheddar and mozzarella, with chopped olives and sun-dried tomatoes tucked in. Weirdos rule!
PLUS, ALSO, TOO: THE HONORABLE MENTIONS
Grilled Mac 'n' Cheese by Robin Sneed: Somewhere, the people who brought you the grilled cheese stuffed with fried mozzarella sticks are kicking themselves for not imagining this one -- crisp buttered toast filled with double-cheesed Kraft mac 'n' cheese. This is kind of amazing, and it should it be noted that it was invented by a 10-year-old.
OMG! OMG! GRILLED CHEESE VIRGIN MARY SIGHTING by I Am Surly: Need we say more? Click through to see a miracle.
Gruyere, pimento cheese and red pepper marmalade by Vivian Henoch: Be still our beating hearts!
The noble Monte Cristo, by Theresa Rice: We have to admit that the Monte Cristo, a ham-and-cheese sandwich dipped into egg batter, griddled and served with powdered sugar and jam, feels to us a little like a bridge too far to the realm of breakfast-or-lunch confusion. But if you're into that kind of thing, let Theresa be your guide.
Onion grilled cheese, slightly smushed by Ingrid Carlson: For when taste trumps breath, Ingrid's brilliant addition of thin slices of raw sweet onion between the slices adds intrigue.
With bacon and pickles by Paul Hinrichs: Food, as he says, for the dark night of the soul, especially if your soul owns one of those panini presses that only ever get bought as well-meaning impulse buys.
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AND NOW FOR THIS WEEK'S CHALLENGE:
This past Saturday, watching glory be bestowed upon the Green Bay Packers (sorry, Falcons fans), bratwursts on my plate and cold beer in the fridge, I thought, "I could live like this forever. Or at least another couple of weekends." And so the next night, too, I had people over for playoff football, and served them brats and beer. Just like the week before, with mustardy hot dogs. And just like next week.
Yes, playoff football season is beer and encased meat season, but I can (kind of, sort of, if I really try hard to use my imagination) understand if people are set of the same-old same-old bun/tubesteak/drink combination. So this week, won't you help those poor people out? Come up with a dish that uses either beer or sausages (bonus points if it uses both!) that will excite their game-worn taste buds once again.
Be sure to tag your posts: SKC beer sausage (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.