Friday, January 22, 2010

Jansson's Frestelse

Sometimes the strangest things will lead me to trying a recipe. Matt got the book Make the Most of Your Time on Earthfor Christmas. I was reading through the section on Scandinavia the other day & this dish was mentioned as a standard on the Swedish smorgasbord so then I had to go find out what it was.
20 - Jansson's Frestelse
What I discovered, thanks to recipes on the internets, is that Jansson's Frestelse (or Temptation) is basically a hot dish of potatoes, onions & anchovies. I don't know why but something about that just sounded good to me (maybe its ingrained in my Swedish genes). Matt was a little wary of the whole thing.

We decided to switch out the anchovies to sardines because Matt felt that the recipe was really for larger anchovies that we don't really see around here not the ones in the can. He was afraid the ones in the can would be too salty. Sardines are something we've been wanting to see if we like because they, like other oily fish, are so good for you. (Apparently in Sweden this dish is traditionally made with pickled sprats which is basically a pickled sardine.)
Sardines
I thought the end result was really tasty & different. I like the taste of sardines right out of the can so potatoes & onions can only make them better, right. Matt thought it was just ok but he did eat the whole thing. We needed to add salt to the finished dish which I think the pickled fish would have added if we had them. Perhaps anchovies are the way to go.

Jansson's Frestelse
(adapted from Primordial Soup Kitchen)

2 russet potatoes
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
salt
1 tin sardines packed in oil
1/2 c heavy cream
2 t butter
bread crumbs
pepper

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Peel & finely grate the potatoes. Soak in water for 15 minutes to a couple of hours. Drain & squeeze out as much water as possible.

Butter two 2-cup ramekins. Put 1/4 of the potatoes into the bottom of each ramekin. Top with 1/4 of the onions in each. Sprinkle with a little salt. Layer in the sardines, splitting the tin between the two ramekins. Top with the remaining onions & then potatoes. Pour 1/4 cup of cream into each ramekin. Cut the butter into small pieces & scatter around the top. Cover with bread crumbs, some fresh pepper & a little salt.

Bake for 40 minutes until the potato on top is crispy & brown. Let sit a few minutes before serving.

Serves 2

Update: My mom just called me & said according to her Swedish cookbook lox would be a substitute for the Swedish anchovies as well.

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© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski

14 comments:

Lori said...

That book sounds awesome. I definitely have to look it up. Looks like it will give me all kinds of travel ideas. :)

This dish sounds delicious. I've never cooked with sardines before. I should change that.

Elle said...

Wow, so interesting! My husband and oldest daughter love sardines, so I'm sure they'd love this.

Young Adventures... said...

My husband made this dish a few years ago when his sister hosted a "Swedish" Christmas. We didn't tell anyone about the anchovies, until after dinner. Everyone loved it! I am really enjoying your blog! Have a great weekend.

Dawn said...

you know I love your crazy concotions!!

Stacey Snacks said...

This is in my British cookbook, and I have always wanted to make this.....they use anchovies instead of sardines, I can't wait to try it!

George Gaston said...

kat, this does sound intriguing... and looks delicious.

What a terrific source book. I just flipped through the sample pages and it surely has some amazing information. Thanks...

Vicki said...

This sounds kind of like a potato and kipper gratin I made once. I wasn't sure I was going to like it, but it was pretty good! Maybe I'll try again with shredded taters and sardines.

Foodycat said...

My mum and I made this a lot at one point when I still lived at home - always using anchovies but sometimes we'd layer regular and sweet potato. It's delicious!

grace said...

sardines frighten me, but cream, butter, and taters? those're my dear friends and methinks they'd help me enjoy this interesting dish. :)

_ts of [eatingclub] vancouver said...

Oh, I think I forst heard of this browsing through Bittman's _How to Cook Everything_! Anchovies w/ potatoes and onions sound wonderful -- so perhaps the usual ones in small tins available in stores would be good enough...

Unplanned Cooking said...

You can't go wrong with potatoes :). I'm wondering what your dish tastes like - will have to give it a try. I don't think I've ever cooked with sardines before, or anchovies for that matter.

Lori said...

I love sardines. Cut some onion witht hem and a little spritz of vinegar and I am good to go. But this dish you made sounds very intriguing indeed.

Deborah said...

This is something that I've never heard of before. I haven't had sardines since I was a kid - I wonder if I'd like them?

Anonymous said...

Use anchovies insted of sardines, it will really put you into the swedish christmas spirit :)
-Swede

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