I continue with some typical Scandinavian Christmas dishes now just days before Christmas Eve. Jansson’s temptation is the translation of the Swedish name of the dish – “Janssons frestelse”. This is a must on our traditional Christmas dinner table. This is a creamy potato and fish gratin. The combination might sound a bit strange, but the salty fish is a great combination with the creamy potatoes. It’s made with julienned potatoes, onion, anchovies and cream. The “anchovies” we use for this dish is actually more cured sprats. But here in USA I bought anchovies by Trader Joe’s and that works fine. Try the recipe, you will be surprised how delicious it is!
Ingredients (4-6 pers):
- 2 lb potatoes (creamy sort)
- 2 onions
- 1 tbs butter
- 6 oz anchovies (keep also the liquid/brine the anchovies are kept in)
- 1 2/3 cup half cream, half milk
- butter, breadcrumbs, pepper
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Peel the potatoes and then cut them into juliennes or thin strips (thinner than french fries). Peel the onion and cut into thin circles or strips. Fry the onion in butter until it is softened without browning (gives a more delicious taste than raw onion). Lightly grease an ovenproof baking dish. Start with placing a third of the potato juliennes on the bottom of the dish. Then add half the fried onions and half the anchovies pieces (again, don’t through out the anchovies brine). Next layer, add another third of the potatoes, followed by the remaining fries onion and anchovies pieces. The last layer should be the remaining potatoes. Now add the cream/milk mix and the brine from the anchovies. Then top the gratin by sprinkle over the breadcrumbs and then dot the surface with some butter. Season with some pepper (it’s already so much salt in the fish so salt is not needed). Bake in the middle of the oven for 50-60 minutes until golden brown. Place a foil over the dish after half time if getting too much color on the top.
Serve you Jansson’s temptation with salad. We normally serve it as part of a (Christmas) buffet.