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J is for Jicama

January 9, 2014
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J I’ve passed by these weird roots in the grocery store for years and never given them a second thought. Until I started looking for foods that start with J, I never knew they were called jicama. If you’ve never had one it is sort of like a watery potato, but sweeter. After a week of gorging on Italian food I confess that I was hoping I wouldn’t like them.

One of the most common ways to serve jicama appears to be to just cut some up and then add lime juice and salt. You can also sprinkle on some chili powder, but I liked the pieces without chili better. The jicama was sweet and crunchy and reminded me a little of radish. It was an unusual side dish, but I think it worked okay with the North Carolina pulled pork (from Rulhman’s 20). And so the non meat eaters wouldn’t go hungry Sarah and I made our standard homemade Mac and Cheese.

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Most of the recipes I found for jicama were salads and they typically talked about jicama being the Mexican potato. I found a recipe for jicama and carrot soup that has more of an Asian flavor to it and discovered that jicama is also called the Chinese turnip. The soup calls for pork roast, but we just used some of our left over pulled pork. This is a simple soup with the only spice added being some white pepper. I also made a vegetarian pot of the soup which was very bland, but the soup with the pork in it had very good flavor. The jicama was pretty much an after thought, but it stayed crunchy after two hours of simmering.

The next recipe I tried was for a jicama salad. There are easily a dozen jicama salad recipes that come up when you google jicama, but I picked this one because it had oranges and cucumber. It was an interesting salad, but I added red onion this time and it was all I could taste. The recommended pairing for the salad enchiladas so I made the Red Chile Enchiladas from the Common Sense Kitchen. I cheated and used a canned sauce, but I loved his technique of building the enchiladas as a stack. His method is to put down a corn tortilla and then add some sauce, chicken, onion, cheese, etc. Then add another tortilla, another layer of filling, put a third tortilla on and then top the whole thing with a fried egg. It was so good I almost forgot to eat the jicama salad.

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