i love it when people you know pull off something so skilled and talented it’s like they just tore off their shirts and revealed their superhero status to the masses. my friends alejandro and jess put on iron chef: battle citrus last weekend as a follow up to the bacon smackdown, and both proved themselves to be seriously excellent, creative, inventive chefs. not only did they come up with delicious, beautifully presented dishes, but the whole shebang had to be…get this…sodium-free. yup. no salt. not only no added salt, but they had to stick to low-sodium foods, which means no cheese. or bacon. or dairy products other than heavy cream. and so many other things. for most chefs, that’s like asking them to cook with one hand tied behind their back and blindfolded in a sauna while being poked by a room full of agitated monkeys. in a word (or two), fucking hard.
both jess and alejandro have been cooking salt-free for some time now so they at least had a good repertoire of low-sodium foods and tricks to help with the battle, but it was still quite a feat (read jess’s awesome just-started blog for recipes, more info on the sodium-free lifestyle, and what will surely be a fantastic post on battle citrus from inside the action. i’m merely reporting from the sidelines). they both rose to the challenge beautifully, as you’ll see once we break into this insane food porn photo album right now.
to welcome you to the battle citrus showcase showdown, this is what we saw when we first walked into the kitchen:
citrus fruit of all kinds of every conceivable size and color balanced on every available space in the kitchen, the sweet, tangy, and savory smells mixing throughout the room. luckily, it’s the perfect season for california citrus and alejandro and jess had picked up an incredible variety of citrus fruits to use throughout the dishes as (to name just a fraction) seasoning, garnish, butter flavoring, sauce ingredient, soup base, ice cream flavor, and even multiple kinds of bowls. such ingenuity.