Kitchen Experiment #6 – Scalloped Jicama Au Gratin

If you’ve never had a jicama, imagine a giant turnip with a brown skin, white inside like a potato, with a crunch like a water chestnut – sort of. As it is low in carbs, it can be eaten on Atkins. One cup has 5 grams of net carbs, so it’s an option on induction, though you need to determine if it works for you.

They can be found only at the larger food stores in the area – the ones that stock the odd items.

I bought one on a whim and didn’t know what to do with it. I thought it potato-like and left it on the counter, but it began to look sad after a week (note to self: refrigerate jicama) so I was prompted into action.

I don’t know where these ideas spring from, but a glance through the fridge made me think about baking a pan of the stuff with cheese.

THE EXPERIMENT: I took the Jicama and peeled it – bit of a pain – and then cut it in quarters and scalloped those. I then laid them in a baking pan with olive oil and butter, salt and pepper, then added a layer of american cheese – about 8 slices. I added another layer, then more cheese. I added parm cheese to the top of this and placed it in a 400 degree oven until the chesse on top was browned in places – I think this took about an hour.

THE VERDICT: Unlike potatoes, jicamas don’t lose their crunch, so the scallop shape doesn’t yield to a fork like scalloped potatoes might. When I took it out of the oven, I found this out, and used a knife to make the pieces smaller.

One of the Low Carb Confidential Taste Panel tried it and asked: “Is this cooked?”

One hour at 400 degrees should cook anything – it’s the comparison to potatoes – what it most looks like – that would lead one to this conclusion.

The taste was pretty good, in my estimation. We sometimes are misled by what we already know and since it looked like potatoes au gratin, you expect it to be potatoes au gratin. It isn’t, but if you allow your mind to accept it as jicama au gratin, I thought it stood the taste test.

I was going to try some later in the week with some low carb ketchup (Heinz reduced-sugar ketchup tastes good and is readily available in my area), but found that the jicama I cooked up was gone – apparently someone in the household found it good enough to eat.