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Janzons Temptation

My moms maiden name was Jansson and therefore Jansson’s temptation always is associated with her. She made the most delicious Jansson one could eat and I think the secret was butter and whipped cream. And anchovies, of course.

Anchovies are an amazing little fish “made” by sprat and who is related to the usual herring. It is captured when it is 11-13 cm long, salted, pickled and seasoned with cinnamon, black pepper, allspice, bay leaves, cloves, Spanish hops (oregano), cardamom and sandalwood.

The anchovy that we buy at the grocery store in the can, was invented by Gustav Andersson in the middle of the 1800s, and this classic Christmas dish was invented by opera singer Per Adolf “Pelle” Janzon, (1844-1889), but the dish was not accepted until 40 years Janzon after death. There was a cook named Madame Sophie Pauline Brogårde who renamed the dish to Jansson’s temptation after a film from 1928 starring Edwin Adolphsson …
Yeah … there… you get a little history lesson about this great classic dish that is always part of my Christmas dinner.
Here you go!

4 people

8 potatoes
2 yellow onions
10 anchovy filéts
2-3 tbsp broth of anchovy
3 cup heavy cream
About 4 tablespoons breadcrumbs
white pepper


1. Peel and slice the onion into strips.
2. Peel and cut the potatoes into sticks, about 1 cm thick.
3. Fry the onions and potatoes in butter over medium heat for about five minutes without adding too much color. Add salt and pepper.
4. Cut the anchovy into pieces.
5. Grease a oven proof dish with butter and put onions and potatoes and anchovies in layers.
6. Pour in cream and broth of anchovy and top with breadcrumbs.
7. Bake in 200 degrees Celsius/392 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes.


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Pernilla Elmquist

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