Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Food Column – Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food – ‘J’ for Jelly Beans, Jalapenos, Jack Fruit and Jerky all with a little Jus

Welcome to the series from Carol Taylor, the wonderful A – Z of Food and I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge of wonderful ingredients across the food groups, spices and herbs over the year.

This week in the A-Z of food it is the letter J

I hope you are enjoying this series of the A-z of food as much as I have the research and writing.

Starting with one of my favourite little sweeties the Jelly Bean…

Jelly Beans are primarily made of sugar with a jelly inside a candy shell…There are some awesome flavours…Tabasco Flavour, Chilli Mango, Marguerita and some beautiful fruity flavours…Cringe-worthy flavours like Earthworm, Earwax and vomit are for me a No No! But I suppose for Halloween revellers they will be on someone’s list…


Depending on where in the world you live Jelly can be a wibbly wobbly fruit jelly made with gelatin which in England is served with fruit and cream or used to make a trifle. In the US jelly is put on bread or toast or made into a tart and is what we Brits call jam…Are you confused yet?

Jellies are also sweets…fruit jellies of all shapes and sizes…They may be plain or covered in sugar but are what we call jellies in England.

Jalapeno Peppers…

Those of you who know this lady knows that she loves her hot peppers and these are no exception to this…Jalapeno Peppers on a Pizza or in a chilli …Pickled with carrots was a new one on me until about 18 months ago when someone I met who came from Texas gave me this recipe …I am addicted to them as are the men in this household lovely as a little spicy nibble as one passes the fridge or with some cheese and biscuits as a little snack with a beer…

Jalapenos and carrots

Jamaican Jerk Seasoning… I was given this recipe many years ago when we visited Jamaica for our daughter’s wedding… Think Steel Drums on a beach…Beautiful and our guide who was a huge man going by the name of Wolf… He gave us the best tours of the island and some recipes from the lovely food his wife cooked for us one night… a holiday to remember …


• 1 tablespoon onion flakes.
• 2 teaspoons ground thyme.
• 1 teaspoon dried parsley.
• 1 teaspoon ground allspice.
• 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
• 1 teaspoon ground black pepper.
• 1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
• 1 teaspoon paprika.

Mix together and store in an airtight container.

Jasmine Pearls…

Beautifully handcrafted green tea leaves…An exquisite tea…

Since living here I have learnt how to brew green tea properly and these pearls are a treat a beautiful tea…

Juniper Berries…


The primary flavour in gin and they also make a lovely rich sauce and pair very well with venison.

For the ways to prepare Juniper berries: Fruity Fridays

Jasmine Rice…

Thai jasmine rice is the long grain rice which is well known for its fragrance and taste all around the world. Thai jasmine rice is one of the main export products of the central and northeastern of Thailand. Because of the most suitable geographic location, Thailand can grow the best quality and unique jasmine rice.

Thai Jasmine rice is also known as Thai Hom Mali rice, Thai Jasmine Rice and Thai Fragrant Rice…


Is a one-pot recipe of chicken, sausage, shrimp and rice which has its roots in the Creole

The first is Creole jambalaya (also called “red jambalaya“). First, meat is added to the trinity of celery, peppers, and onions; the meat is usually chicken and sausage such as andouille or smoked sausage. Next vegetables and tomatoes are added to cook, followed by seafood.

Many variations exist of this recipe often passed down through the family. and often Jambalaya and gumbo get mixed up but they are two different dishes and there has been many a battle to determine which takes the crown… A beautiful warming dish on a cold night and one which tastes even better the next day when the flavours have been allowed to develop.


A technique of cutting vegetables, fruit or citrus rinds into matchstick-sized strips.


French for juice, in restaurant terms jus usually refers to the pan juices from a piece of meat used to sauce it on the plate.

Jaffa Cakes… Almost iconic ..Chocolate covered orange biscuits, bite-sized genoise cakes first introduced to the UK in 1927 by McVities…In 2012 they were ranked the best selling cake in the UK…

Jack Fruit…

Often mistaken for Durian…Jackfruit is now hailed by Vegans as the best alternative to pulled Pork and indeed when the young Jackfruit is cooked it does resemble cooked meat…I was absolutely astounded the first time I cooked a young jackfruit as to how much it changed the texture and taste…

However to get to the lovely fruit is something else …But never fear I have included a lesson in how to get into that big green fruit …Think latex and all will be revealed…haha

For ways to prepare Jack FruitFruity Friday

Jerky is lean trimmed meat that has been cut into strips and dried (dehydrated) to prevent spoilage. Normally, this drying includes the addition of salt to prevent bacteria growth before the meat has finished the dehydrating process.

Jerky is popular all around the world and I am sure there are many different recipes. Here in Thailand it is very popular and made using either beef or pork. Normally sun dried and it can be either threaded on bamboo much like a necklace or slightly larger pieces which are sold by the weight.

Homemade Beef Jerky…The Thai Way…


• 1 lb top round steak, cut into strips measuring approximately 4 inches long, ½ inch wide, and ¼ inch thick
• 2 tbsp fish sauce
• 1 tbsp dark or light soy sauce
• 2 tsp sugar
• ½ tsp ground white (or black) pepper
• Vegetable oil for frying
• White sesame to garnish(optional)

Let’s Cook!

  1. Heat the oven to 120°F and set a rack in the middle of it. Spread out the beef strips on a large cookie sheet and let them dry out in the oven for one hour. Turn the beef strips over and let them dry for another hour.
  2. You know the beef strips are ready when their surface is dry to the touch while the texture is still somewhat soft and elastic. When that happens, remove the beef strips from the oven or the drying basket and place them in a mixing bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, heat up some vegetable oil in a deep-fryer or an 8- to a 12-inch frying pan with a raised edge on medium heat. You only need just enough vegetable oil to come up to about 2 inches from the bottom of the pan. Line a platter with a piece of paper towel and keep it nearby.
  4. Add the fish sauce, soy sauce, pepper, and sugar to the beef strip bowl and toss; make sure that all of the beef strips are evenly coated with the seasoning sauce.
  5. Test the oil by sticking a wooden skewer or chopstick into the oil, making sure the tip of the wooden skewer touches the bottom of the pan. If you see tiny bubbles rising from the point where the wooden skewer touches the pan, the oil is ready.
  6. Shake excess seasoning off of the beef strips and fry them in two batches. Be sure to stir the beef strips around to ensure even cooking. On medium heat, the beef only needs to be in the oil for less than a minute. You’ll see that the beef will brown up and develop a nice, glossy coating. When that happens, transfer them to the paper towel-lined platter.
  7. Sprinkle with some sesame seeds if using.
  8. Serve the fried sun-dried beef with spicy Thai dipping sauce and sticky rice.


N.B. I dry my beef outside before frying but have given instructions to oven dry as I know many of you don’t have the weather I have here.

Jersey Royals:

The Jersey Royal is a unique potato, lovingly crafted and carefully grown on the island of Jersey since the late 1800s. The island itself is optimal for growing potatoes, with its unique microclimate, soil and environment creating the perfect conditions for this special spud to flourish.

They are also my favourite new potato, cooked and served with butter and mint I could eat a bowlful just on their own.

Besides being unique to Jersey, the Jersey Royal enjoys EU protection of designation of origin in much the same way that France was granted sole use of the word ‘champagne’. The Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) is an official recognition granted by the EU to protect the product as it is produced in its country of origin. This, in addition to Jersey’s unique growing conditions, make these potatoes particularly unique.

I hope that you have enjoyed the Letter J next time it is the letter K…I wonder what that will bring??? I myself am discovering much that I never knew I knew and much that I didn’t on my trawl through the culinary alphabet.

About Carol Taylor

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetables ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use have to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology Amazon US

Connect to Carol

Blog: Carol Cooks 2
Twitter: @CarolCooksTwo
Facebook: Carol Taylor

My thanks to Carol for sharing this series with us as she also works on her cookbook and novel this year…As always we are delighted to receive your feedback and if you could share that would be great.. thanks Sally.


60 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Food Column – Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food – ‘J’ for Jelly Beans, Jalapenos, Jack Fruit and Jerky all with a little Jus

  1. I’m enjoying this A-Z of foods, and the recipes that go withit.
    On the subject of trifle, my Mum always claimed that a proper trifle doesn’t have jelly, and should be made with ‘real’ custard, not the powdered kind.
    When I was at primary school they gave us trifle made with jelly-soaked sponge, and artificial cream. It was disgusting. I hated the cream and the texture of the jelly-soaked sponge. It was made as a treat when it was someone’s birthday, and I tried to keep mine secret!
    Mum soaked her sponge in a little sherry and the juice from a can of fruit before adding the fruit. Then she poured a thick custard over the top, left it to thicken until it was almost solid and covered the top with whipped cream to which she added a teeny bit of sugar and a few drops of vanilla extract. Delicious.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a list. How wonderful. The Jaffa cakes i know from here too. Sometimes i miss the different sort of rice available in the Asia region. Here around 120 kilometres you only can get at least four different sorts.
    Today I noticed that almost no carrots are now available in our local market. At the beginning of the next year, the construction market also will close forever. Then it’s time to look for another location. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The letter J is a particularly interesting food prompt, although the whole issue of the jelly was very confusing. The Glenn Miller band said it best: “It Must Be Jelly (‘Cause Jam Don’t Shake Like That.”

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Wow, I’m loving the letter J here today. Those Jaffa cookies look mighty fine, and thanks for the recipe for the Jerk! Now, who doesn’t love Jelly beans. but sadly, after vomit and earwax, I lost my appetite. LOL ❤ xx

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – 24th – 30th May 2020 – ABBA, Jelly Beans, San Francisco, Resilience and Laughter | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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