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 uses for citrus.
THIS WEEK'S WINNER:
Moroccan preserved lemons by Lise Charlebois-Ludot: The traditional way of hanging on to lemons in North Africa is to salt and pickle them -- lemons have enough juice and acid on their own to make this a simple process. But even with refrigerators at our disposal, you should get acquainted with this ancient technique -- the time spent curing makes them incredibly complex in flavor, not just a splash of tartness, but of deep savoriness too. It's magic on fish, chicken or even pasta.
THIS WEEK'S ALTERNATE WINNERS:
Orange and olive salad, by Lollysue11: It might sound unusual, but the combination of sweet, tart oranges with earthy, salty olives is a classic in Sicilian and other Mediterranean cuisines. This salad is a juicy counterpoint to any rich or meaty meal.
Vietnamese "shaking" beef with lime-garlic dipping sauce by Linda Shiue: One of the classics of Vietnamese cuisine, this dish combines tender, flavorful seared beef in a caramelized garlic sauce and a spiky-sharp lime-garlic dip to brighten it up.
Jasmine tea and Meyer lemon bars by Grace Hwang Lynch: Most of the Meyer lemons (a mild, fragrant cross of lemons and mandarin oranges, and favorite of pastry chefs) we have actually come from a recently found strain called the "Improved Meyer lemon." While she's sad about the runtiness of her non-improved Meyer lemon tree, Grace took the name as inspiration, and created these lemon bars made with floral jasmine tea in the crust.
PLUS, ALSO, TOO: THE HONORABLE MENTIONS
Orange glazed chicken and tempeh, by Vivian Henoch and Beans and Greens, respectively: One of the world's favorite things to do with oranges, apparently, is to reduce their juice to a sweet, tart, savory glaze for savory foods. Here are two versions, one with bird, the other vegetarian.
Chocolate bark with lemon peel by Beth McKeon: Less a strict recipe than a helpful method, Beth shows how to make a do-it-yourself candy bar by melting, tempering and spreading chocolate with your choice of toppings.
A bunch of ways to use kumquats, by Theresa Rice: Kumquats are a source of pride in the South, which Theresa describes as "an inside-out orange," because the thin skins are soft and sweet, with tart juice on the inside. Here, she highlights ways to turn them into salsa, glaze for meats, and marmalade with angel biscuits.
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AND NOW FOR THIS WEEK'S CHALLENGE:
Going over the many fantastic citrus recipes this week, we realized pretty quickly that the wave of fresh-fruited inspiration hasn't yet crested. (There really must be something happy-making about its bright flavors this particularly rough winter.) So let's keep it going, but this time, let's keep it in the glass. Share with us your best drinks and cocktails that feature citrus, that really revel in its juicy, fragrant goodness.
Be sure to tag your posts: SKC Citrus drinks (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.