Jaban – [Spanish] wild boar.
Jackrabbit – A hare native to North America; originally called “jackass rabbit” because of its long ears; five-pound jackrabbits are about one year old and are best for roasting; the meat is dark, rich and more gamey than rabbit.
Jaiba – [Spanish] small, hard-shelled crab.
Jalapeno cheese – Asadero cheese blended and molded with jalapeno chiles; jalapeno jack may be substituted.
Jalapeno peppers, fresh – The dark green jalapeno is the unripe version of the red which often ships with white veins on the outer skin. This does not affect the flavor or quality. They are about 3 inches long, with a rounded tip. They ripen to red and range from hot to very hot, the smallest being the hottest; they take their name from Jalapa, the capital of Veracruz, Mexico; sold fresh, canned or pickled; when dried and smoked, they are called chipotle peppers. Delicious when roasted, stewed or pickled; both are a delight stuffed with cheese or peanut butter and grilled. Jalapeno Poppers became popular in the 90s. Heat ranges from hot to very hot.
Jalapenos en escabeche – [Spanish] pickled jalapenos.
Jam – Thick syrupy mixture of fruit and sugar.
Jamaica – [Spanish] hibiscus; deep red calyxes that cover the blossoms before the flowers open; used to flavor beverages; commonly labeled sorrel in markets.
Jambalaya – The Cajun-Creole version of paella, though more highly spiced. The only consistent ingredients among all of the jambalaya recipes are rice, tomatoes, peppers, and onions. Ingredients used for jambalaya are ham, oysters, chicken, Andouille sausage, duck, shrimp and game birds.
Jambon – [French] ham.
Jamon – [Spanish] ham.
Jarabe – [Spanish] syrup.
Jardiniere – Garnished or served with diced vegetables.
Jarlsberg cheese – [Norwegian] cow’s milk cheese that is firm in texture and nutty in flavor. Similar to Swiss cheese.
Jarros – [Spanish] pitchers.
Jasmine rice – Fragrant long grain rice from Thailand that is distinctly aromatic when cooked. The length of each grain is four to five times its width.
Javelina – Collared peccary; small wild pig found in the Southwest.
Jengibre – [Spanish] ginger.
Jerky – highly seasoned dried meat in strips.
Jerusalem artichoke (sunchoke) – Knobby root (tuber) which keeps well under refrigeration; they discolor after peeling, so dip them in lemon water as the flesh is exposed. They have a very firm flesh and a flavor reminiscent of globe artichokes. These are used as a vegetable, in soups, or cooked and served in salads.
Jicama – Nicknamed yam bean and Mexican potato; a low-calorie thick brown-skinned root vegetable with white crunchy flesh that tastes like a cross between a water chestnut and a potato; after the fibrous skin has been pared away, jicama flesh will not discolor; primarily used in salads; when eaten raw, it is usually sprinkled with lime juice and chili powder; the smaller jicama are the most sweet and moist. Its flavor is mild and sweet. It is a fair source for vitamin C and potassium.
Jitomate – [Spanish] word for the tomato most commonly used in Mexico’s interior.
Jocoque – [Mexican] sour cream that has equal or less fat content than American sour cream. Also referred to as salted buttermilk, although thicker. Its flavors range from mildly tangy to refreshingly sharp.
Johnny cakes – See “Hoe Cakes.”
Joint – Prime cut of meat for roasting; to divide meat, game or poultry into individual pieces.
Jugged – Meat or wild game dishes, such as jugged hare, which is stewed in a covered pot.
Jugo – [Spanish] juice.
Julienne – To cut into thin match-like, narrow strips. The term is usually associated with vegetables, but may be applied to cooked meat or fish.
Juniper berries – Strong, piney, and slightly sweet berries from an evergreen tree. Most often used in making gin, the berries are good in making marinade for poultry, game and fish, or added to sauerkraut. The blue-green berries can be purchased dried. Sold as a bottled spice in most supermarkets.
Jus – [French] a rich, lightly reduced stock used as a sauce for roasted meats. Many of these are started by deglazing the roasting pan, then reduced to achieve the rich flavor desired.
Jus, au – [French] meat served with its natural juices.