I discovered an interesting Swedish recipe called Janssons frestelse. Frestelse means temptation, so the dish translated as Jansson’s temptation. Janssons frestelse gets its name from either a 19th century opera singer called Pelle Janzon or after the movie Janssons frestelse, from 1928. Either way, I can understand why is called a temptation after eating it. It’s so good that I don’t know what to say about the number of portions. When I looked at it I thought is enough for 4 side dishes, when I’ve started eating it… I went with 2 mains version, in full agreement with my husband. Now I’m thinking of making a little twist to the dish and create a vegan option too.
Janssons frestelse is a casserole with potatoes, onions, and pickled fish. Of course, I didn’t make it with fish. I discovered a vegetarian version on a Swedish website, and with the help of Google translate, I was able to make that version. Because it is a hearty meal, it is more suitable for winter. Indeed it can appear on the Christmas table of Swedish families. I made it in the Summer because I was cooking along the World Cup (countries with which England plays against). On the same time, the dish doesn’t take a lot of time to make, it is an easy and fast dish to make. From start to finish takes about 30 minutes.
To make this dish I’ve used Jersey Royal potatoes, mainly because that was the type of potatoes I had in the fridge. I imagine it will work great with any boiling potatoes. The bigger the better because it means they are easier to grate. I’ve used double cream, but feel free to use single cream if you don’t fancy the extra fat. I think it works great with double cream because the recipe asks for milk too. Make sure you don’t add too much salt. The capers are salty and you don’t want the dish to be too salty.
Ingredients for 2 mains or 4 side dishes of Janssons frestelse:
– 425g potatoes
– 1 onion
– 150ml milk
– 150ml double cream
– 15g butter
– 100g black olives
– 65g capers
– 15g golden breadcrumbs
Start by preparing the vegetables. Peel and wash the potatoes. Peel, wash, and chop the onion. Drain the olives and the capers. Cut the olives in 4. Now is time to grate the potatoes. If you start with the potatoes they will change their colour, so is better to do it last.
In a big frying pan, heat 5g of butter, toss in the onions and stir. Leave them to cook, stirring from time to time. Add a spoon of water when they start to cook and stir, so they don’t burn. Take off the heat when done.
In a pan, pour the cream and the milk, add a pinch of salt and put on the hob over medium heat. Bring to boil. When it starts to boil, put the potatoes and stir. Turn down the heat and leave the potatoes in the milk to cook for 10 minutes. Stir from time to time so it doesn’t catch the bottom of the pan.
After those 10 minutes, take the potatoes off the heat. Tip them on top of the onions in the frying pan. Toss in the chopped olives and the capers. Mix until all the ingredients are incorporated. I would suggest using a silicone spatula to mix, it is very handy. When all the ingredients are incorporated, level the casserole. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top. Cut small pieces from the remaining butter and put them over the breadcrumbs.
Now is time to finalize the dish by placing it under the grill for about 10 minutes, until the breadcrumbs get a lovely colour.
As I said, the dish is so easy to make and it’s worth the effort. The olives and the capers give it such a lovely flavour. I’m delighted with it. Who knows, it might appear on my Christmas dinner too.