All photos copyright Christina Wigren 2010
Please don't ask me who 'Jansson' was/is. I don't know at this moment. But if anyone does know, you are welcome to leave that information in a comment. It was probably some chef who invented this recipe. Wait a moment, here is what I found on Wikipedia:
It has often been claimed that the name originated with the opera singer Pelle Janzon (1844-1889), remembered as a gourmand. However, another claim for the origin of the name has been made by Gunnar Stigmark in an article – "Så var det med Janssons frestelse" – which appeared in the periodical Gastronomisk kalender. According to Stigmark, the name was borrowed from the film Janssons frestelse (1928) featuring the popular actor Edvin Adolphson; as a name for this dish it was coined by Stigmark's mother and her hired cooking lady for the particular occasion of a society dinner, whence it spread to other households and eventually into cookbooks.
The dish is also very popular in Finland as Janssonin kiusaus, which also means literally "Jansson's temptation".
Make sure you choose the right setting, approximately for 'shoe-string french-frys'.)
Ingredients for 4 portions:
A tin of anchovy filets (20 filets). This may be hard for you to find depending upon where you live in the world. I have actually taken tins/cans with me on trips to visit relatives and friends in the US. If you have an Ikea-store near you, they may be able to help you. (But I don't know for sure, since I never have tried to ask them for help.)
Approximately 1 1/3 cup (3dl) of heavy cream or cream with milk or milk.
One or two tablespoons of butter or margarine .(I prefer butter.)
One tablespoon bread crumbs, unseasoned. (I usually take piece of crisp bread (knäckebröd) and crush with a mortar and pestle.)
What to do:
1. Grease your oven-proof dish.
2. Peel the potatoes and put them in the cold water bowl while you do the next step.
3. Chop your onion(s).
4. Cut the first potato(s) into the right size strips and lay them in the bottom of your baking dish.
5. Sprinkle pieces of onion over the thin layer of potato-strips.
6. Lay the anchovies filets over the onions and potatoes.
7. Lay more layers of onions and potatoes until you don't see the anchovies anymore.
8. Mix the liquid from the anchovies tin with the heavy cream and pour it all over the potato-onion-anchovy-layers. It will sink to through to the bottom of your dish.
9. Put some bits (about a tablespoon) of butter here and there over the potato-onion-cream-anchovies mix.
10. Distribute some finely crushed bread crumbs over everything.
11. Bake in oven at 225 degrees Celsius (437 degrees Fahrenheit) for 45 minutes.
(Cover with aluminium folie for the first 35 minutes and then remove for the last 10 minutes to get a golden brown colour.)
Jansson's Temptation is a great as a side dish for a Christmas buffet (smörgåsbord) or main dish with sausage or a cold slice of Christmas ham, a tossed sallad and a glass of beer for a midnight snack on New Year's Eve.
Try it ahead of time first, if you have never made this or even tasted it. Not everybody outside of Sweden likes it. But please follow the recipe before you start experimenting. Do not add extra salt or peppar. The cream, onions and anchovies are the only seasonings you need.
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