I’m beginning to really regret starting blogmas. It is hard to come up with a new post every day, never mind the fact that Christmas is not on my mind (I was horribly late in posting cards). Mind you, I haven’t really been doing much to blog about anyway, what with work and just feeling exhausted, as we come to the end of the year. But Christmas is just around the corner, and we picked up our supplies from the Swedish shop to be ready for Julafton or Christmas Eve.
A classic dish served on Julafton as well as other feast days is Janssons frestelse, or Jansson’s temptation. Last year, I featured the recipe in Swedish, so this year here it is in English. As I repeatedly tell people DO NOT USE ANCHOVIES. You need to get hold of the special ansjovis, which are a specially cured sprat. If you live in a country or area that has an IKEA, then I think you can get them from their food shops, otherwise try on line I guess. Unless you are intending to go to Sweden of course.
Preheat the oven to 225C. Grease a baking dish. Finely chop an onion, and fry until soft and golden. Combine 200ml cream and 100ml milk. Peel around 10-12 potatoes (my recipe says winter ones, which is not that easy in summer, but you get the idea), then slice them thinly into matchsticks. This is time consuming, so put on your favourite comedy podcast. Place a layer of potatoes on the bottom of the dish, then add a little of the onion and some chopped ‘ansjovis’. Repeat until you finish with a layer of potato. Pour over half of the cream/milk mix plus 3 teaspoons of the fish marinade (which smells heavenly). Sprinkle some breadcrumbs over the top, dot with butter and put in the oven for 30 minutes. At this point, remove from the oven and pour the rest of the cream/milk mixture around the edges of the potatoes, and cook for another 15 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.
It is so simple, and yet such a lovely dish to have on the Christmas table, along with the ham, herring, meatballs, smoked salmon and of course, beer and snaps. As well as the essential herring and ‘ansjovis’, we also picked that special fish paste, Kalles Kaviar, that my husband hates and I love, and some Swedish sweet treats. Hmmm….maybe it’s beginning to feel a little like Christmas after all…..