Jansson’s Temptation

Introduction to the Swedish Classic: Jansson’s Frestelse
by Anna Brones

Translating Janssons frestelse is always a funny thing. It doesn’t quite have the same ring to it in English. But if anything, this dish sticks true to it’s name: tempted you will be.

Commonly part of the Swedish Christmas table it’s a classic dish that also makes its way onto the menu at Easter. In true Swedish fashion, the gratin-style potato dish is full of cream and butter; there’s no better way to eat potatoes. A traditional dish that’s sure to tempt everyone at the table.

Jansson’s Temptation
serves about 4

8 big potatoes
1-2 yellow onions
about 20 Swedish cured sprats*
1 ¼ cream or half and half
salt (but just if necessary the sprats can be very salty)
handful bread crumbs
butter

Peel the potatoes and cut them in thin strips. Slice the onion thinly. Saute the onion in a little butter until they soften. Layer the potatoes and the onions in a baking dish. Open the tins of anchovies and poor the juice over the potatoes. If you want the anchovies in smaller pieces cut them into halves and divide them over the potatoes. Pour half of the cream over. Sprinkle some bread crumbs and divide small lumps of butter over the dish. Bake in the oven at 440°F (200°C) for about 45 min. Just before it’s finished baking, poor over the rest of the cream.
In Sweden they serve it with beer or milk!

* In Sweden they call this fish type of cured fish ansjovis but its not real anchovies (which is called sardeller in Swedish). I, Johanna have cooked Jansson’s with anchovies without knowing it wasn’t correct. Its tasty and flavor full BUT but doesn’t get the correct flavor. We really recommend to get get hold of some Swedish cured sprats. IKEA sells them as skarpsill at IKEA.
(the recipe was adapted by Johanna Kindvall from the Swedish cook book Vår KokBok)

This article was originally published on Foodie underground on 29 March 2013

So who is this guy Jansson? Some say the dish got its name from the opera singer Pelle Janzon who happen to be a great gourmand.

 

A Recipe Diagram for Yellow Beet Salad

A couple of weeks ago David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl at Green Kitchen Stories asked me to illustrate a recipe for them. As I always enjoy visiting their site the answer was easy. The recipe is a beautiful Yellow Beet Salad with green lentils, sheep cheese, pea sprouts and apricots. The salad has a simple mustard dressing flavored with poppy seeds. I’m already in love with the combination of beets, lentils and sheep cheese. But with the addition of pea shoots, apricots and poppy seeds this dish becomes much richer in flavor and texture. Very inspiring! Read the whole article and get the recipe here.

David and Luise lives in Stockholm, Sweden together with their daughter Elsa. This Spring (in April) their first book, The Green Kitchen will be released in both UK, Australia and US. In the US the book will have the name Vegetarian Every Day. The recipes in the book (and the recipes on their website) are all creations of their own everyday vegetarian cooking.

Some of my favorites from their sites are their Lemon & Coconut Bars and this Spinach Kale Soup with Tahini Dressed Chickpeas.

 

A Semla for Fat Tuesday

It’s Fat Tuesday (12 February 2013) and Scandinavians celebrating this day by eating Semlor (Fastlagsbullar or Fettisbullar). This semi-sweet cardamom rich bun is filled with almond paste and heavy whipped cream. My Finish grandfather used to eat this bun soaked in hot milk, which is still a common way to enjoy this bun. However my absolute favorite way, is to use the hat of the bun to scoop a mixture of cream and almond paste into my mouth, before biting into the rest of it’s loveliness. Happy Fat Tuesday everyone!

Recipe by Anna Brones
Recipe by Ibán Yarza
Article about Semlor at Foodie Underground.

Duck Egg Raviolo – A Review of a Dinner

This Autumn I finally got everything right and managed to sit down and eat at Vinegar Hill House. I loved that place long before I had ever set foot there. Why? Its the whole setting. Even if the Vinegar Hill neighborhood is well known it feels like a hidden treasure that can be easily missed if you don’t know where it is. It makes me feel like I have found something for the first time even if I haven’t.

On my first visit at Vinegar Hill House one of the dishes was Duck Egg Raviolo with chantarelles. I learned later that Raviolo is singular for ravioli. I also came across the amusing dish Uova da Raviolo, which is a raviolo that holds a whole egg yolk inside. I’m impressed as that is probably something my shaky hands can’t do.

The raviolo at Vinegar Hill House was nothing like the above. The filling, chanterelles and a fried duck egg had been cooked separately from the pasta and put together in layers as in the illustrated diagram above. The dish was topped with buttered bread crumbs. The duck egg was perfectly cooked with a white just set and a gorgeous looking egg yolk that burst when I poked my fork into it. The runny yolk blended well with the butter-rich chanterelles. I think this dish was wonderful. I could easily have it again and again, as a main course, for lunch or brunch.

 

The Culinary Cyclist (A Book Announcement)

One of my 1st projects for 2013 will be to illustrate the book The Culinary Cyclist, written by Anna Brones and published by Elly Blue and her independent publishing company, Taking the Lane Media. If you know Anna and I its easy to understand that this project is super exciting for both of us. First of all we do like working together, as many of you have already have seen proof of, on top of that we share a great passion for food and bikes.

The Culinary Cyclist is a guidebook to good living, based around two loves: bikes and food.

The guiding principles are simple: Eat local. Mostly plants. Ride your bike. Even on rainy days. Say yes to dinner invitations. Always bring your signature dessert. Invite people on picnics. Bike in the sunshine. Follow a morning ride with a strong French press.

Just like you once mastered two wheels, this book is about mastering food, making it easy, fun and as sustainable as humanly possible. It’s a vehicle for thinking about what you eat, but also for enjoying it and finding pleasure in the smallest culinary tasks. This is your guide to ensuring that you can master any situation, and are well on your way to living the good life.”
Anna Brones

The Culinary Cyclist is planned to be published before the summer 2013. The book will be available for sale in different shops including mine. So keep an eye open for the release.

Please also read Anna’s announcement over at Foodie Underground.

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Read more about the book here.