Norwegian newbies try Jansons Frestelser

So this is Christmas time and as my regular readers know I call it Yuletide as its the time to celebrate the return of the sun – the winter Solstice ( we have been doing so for thousands of years). This means a lot of family gatherings with traditional ceremonies, parties and food & drinks. I mean, its the darkest and coldest part of the year – so we need a break: frozen and starving as we are at this time – so don’t blame us Norse for getting a bit wild when we know the sun returns and is slowly warming up us Vikings again.

This blog is after all about Norway and the Nordic countries; our culture, traditions and habits (including food), so this time I’ll share with you a very special and traditional Swedish Yule dish. I’ve been travelling around in the world quite a lot and eaten everything from chicken to kangaroo (or snakes or moose), but never what I assume is the most special Swedish Yule dish you could ask for: Janssons Frestelser (Mr. Pelle Janzon, 1844-1889, Temptations). So let me tell you the story as I invite you to sit in at our Xmas table in our vacation house in Sweden:

Photobucket

While driving here today – as always: we stopped at a grocery store in Karlstad (one of the advantages is that they are open in Sweden at the second day of Xmas – not so in Norway) to bring home dinner. In the freezer section I saw this dish – pre made – and since I’ve never made it myself, and wanted to try it: I gave in :-)

Well, as we always do, we want something special for an appetiser, we bought fried Calamari, so you might see that as well:
Calamari


To make the rest of the story of this wonderful dish short: We read the recipe, put it in the own for 40 minutes and had a feast:
Jansons Frestelser #4 Jansons Frestelser #5
We’ve also heard that cracker bread and cheese goes well with it and we had the Norwegian goat cheese and the French brie. Beer and Aquavit is a must to be drink with it as well of course: after all we are Scandinavians :-)

To make it up for treating with pre made frozen, I’ll provide you with the recipe:
For 4 portions you need:
8 – 10 large potatoes
2 medium onions
20 anchovy filets (2 cans, 100 g each)
3 dl whipping cream; bread crumbs
1 – 2 tablespoons of butter or margarine.

Preparing: Set the oven for 200 – 225°C. Peel the potatoes and the onions. Slice the onions thinly and the potatoes into thin sticks, roughly 0,5 cm x 0,5 cm. (a food processor can be a handy help here!) Wash the potato strips in cold water and let them drain. Grease a large oven proof dish. Place a few layers of potato strips at the bottom of the dish. Next a layer of onion slices followed by a layer of anchovy. Keep layering until all the potatoes, onions and anshovy have been used up. Finish off with a potato layer. Pour over half of the cream. Spread bread crumbs evenly on the surface. If you want to, you can put a few pats of butter on the top. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 45 minutes, until the potatoes have become soft. Pour over the remaining cream towards the end of the baking time. The Jansons’s should now have a rich golden brown colour.

My dear blog friend: Capt’n of our Lifecruise (from Sweden of course), will tell more about their Xmas traditions tomorrow. I text messages her tonight and she told me food and this dish will be included. So go over and read about the real thing!

41 Comments

  1. That looks good! I was a bit scared at first cause you know, traditional dishes are sometimes… er… very traditional. But I like all the ingredients, so I’d probably like the dish!
    And fried calamari… yummy!
    Do you tend to eat more seafood or more meat? Just curious!

    Woohoo! I’m the first one to comment!! :lol:

    RennyBA
    Glad you took the chance to dig into it then and you should try to make it yourself!
    I think we have a good mix of seafood and meat: more meet at Xmas and more seafood at New Years Eve I think. Search for food here on my blog and you’ll see!
    Yea, you where the first this time :lol:

  2. Oh I love fried Calamari! We go to a place that serves sweet and sour fried calamari and it is very yummy! The other, I am not so sure. Perhaps because my stomach is not feeling so well tonight.

    RennyBA
    Yea, I thought you might like that stuff :-)
    I can understand you are sceptical about Jansons Frestelser, but its actually really good – just ask Mrs. Lifecruiser!

  3. It’s been a long time since the Chinese food we had for lunch and after reading your post I’m starving! Must go find something to eat now. ;-)
    Hope your Yul was a good one, Renny.

    Love and hugs,
    Diane

    RennyBA
    … or you could read my post about our smorgasbord from last year ;-)
    Mine was great and I do hope the same for you!
    Hugs and love from me and Diane

  4. It all looks wonderfully yummy!

    RennyBA
    It actually does taste great – try yourself!

  5. I have heard of this dish under the name of Janson’s Temptation — I suppose that is the translation of the name you used.

    Glad to see that you include Swedish recipes and that there are no hard feelings, LOL! My father, of 100% Swedish heritage, often joked about Norwegians and Swedes not liking each other, or at least being rivals, but I’m sure that’s a thing of the past.

    RennyBA
    Thats a simple and direct translation you know.
    Interesting observation: it’s this kind of sibling rivalry, you know – so it isn’t all in the past :-)

  6. Hello Renny dear,
    sorry for the late greeting, I have no internet connection here at my hubby`s place. But today, I did my best to pay you a visit and to cope up with your post. :)
    Thats a classy and simple dish, thanx for sharing how to prepare. :)

    Sending you and yours a very warm virtual hug this season!!
    Happy Holidays!!

    kisses,
    ghee

    RennyBA
    You don’t need to say sorry – on the contrary I thank you for taking your time despite your non regular connection!
    I’m glad you liked it and hope you try one day too!
    Thanks for your Xmas greetings Ghee!
    Big hugs from me :-)

  7. That’s a lovely Christmas table setting! I think I need to plan a pretty Christmas setting for my dinner next year.
    Pardon me for my poor understanding, I didn’t know Norway and Sweden share similar traditions. The recipe looks easy enough and I’m sure I can find the ingredients in Singapore. hehe….

    RennyBA
    The setting is a part of the whole dinner and gives the right atmosphere you know.
    Its always okay to ask here ECL – I’m happy you do, so: We are neighbours you know, speaks almost the same language and share mostly the same traditions, culture and historical background. That goes actually for the Danish too :-)

  8. Hmmm,,,janssons! It as swede as it can get on a christmas eve! Just wonder if you guys also show donald duck in Norway during christmas?

    RennyBA
    Yea, I bet you had it for Christmas Eve.
    There is a lot of Disney movies during Yuletide – for children of all ages you know.

  9. Yep, the dinner was quite good. It was the first time I had Janssons fristelser, but I have been wanting to try it for years. We generally like all fish dishes so it wasn’t a big risk. I’m a cularnary adventurer….and experiment often on my very patient and brave family :-) Glad it worked out this time!!

    RennyBA
    Hello darling – your so cute (sitting there in the sofa beside me on your own puter and commenting!).
    We love your experiments you know and also I’m glad I sometimes can share it with the rest of the world when you are guest posting it :-)

  10. Hi there, Love your blog! I have just sent it to hubby so that he can learn some more about Norway. Thank you for sharing.

    RennyBA
    Hi Caroline – nice to see you – good to have Norwegian emigrants as visitors too you know.
    Thanks for your compliments and I hope your husband find something of interest too.

  11. for christmas eve i went entirely nontraditional since i have a person in the house who eats no poultry or red meat. she eats fish though so maybe i should have sent her to you! lol

    RennyBA
    Sometimes its good to do things far out of the box you know, but of course both you, your family and the guest of yours would have been welcome! LoL

  12. Ciao Renny!
    I have a meme on my blog for you!
    dai dai!

    RennyBA
    Ciao Hanna, my dear Italian friend!
    Thanks for your link love – very sweet of you :-)

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  14. Very nice table setting yes. Though I’ll skip the calamares, but Mr L would have been delighted! He loves it.
    The Janssons post over at my place is up now, sorry for the delay, but I had to visit my Mom.
    It was a different Christmas for Lifecruiser this year

    RennyBA
    Thanks and I’ve noticed that the calamares goes for Mr L!
    Your Janssons looks much better than the one we had – home made is the best you know!

  15. Since I red this super recipe on Mrs Lifecruiser blog and now by you I become really hungry and want absolutely try to cook “Jansson ‘s Temptation”! without forget beer and Aquavit! Renny’s blog is a **** Palace! The decoration of the table is beautiful too! I can even smell the Jansson’s…

    RennyBA
    Glad you liked it and hope you’ll try it one day – and of course don’t forget the drinks:-)
    Thanks for the compliments Claudie – your always such a great supporter!

  16. How to comment this post?
    Norwegian/American couple in Mariestad (Sweden) – of course – you know how our dear Captan and Mr Lifecruiser adore this dish–?-

    Great post

    RennyBA
    I think your comment was great – as always – thanks!

  17. Thank you Renny for visited me at my birthday and for your kind wishes,
    I really appreciate it.
    Thanks for this yummy post!

    RennyBA
    Your welcome and I meant it from the bottom of my heart you know.
    Your welcome – glad you liked the dish!

  18. Happy Holidays to you and your family! I brought with me 2 bottles of Aquavit and my family had a taste of it already. They like it! :) Hehehe.

    RennyBA
    Wish you the same Mark and glad you family got the good taste of the Norwegian liquor :-)

  19. Looks delicious as always!

    RennyBA
    Thanks for taking your time to visit and for your compliments!

  20. Check out my blog, I’ve got some Norway photos too ;-)

    RennyBA
    I did and the pics from the Xmas marked in Oslo was great – thanks for sharing!

  21. Well as the assistant to the Network Evanglist, I was wondering why I didn’t get the call to set the table…but then again, it was Christmas so I did the day off! You did a fabulous job without me…amazing!

    RennyBA
    Hmm, well, maybe you where sleeping after a hard days work and I did not had the heart to wake you up :D
    I try the best I can on my own, but need your assistance as soon as you are awake!

  22. Sorry boss I just misspelled Evanelist, oh, Evangelist! It’s 6:30 a.m and I’ve been slaving away since 4:30 am. It’s time for a coffee break boss. LOL!!!!

    RennyBA
    Your excused of course – I’m just glad you took the time anyway – thanks for serving coffee LoL!!

  23. a very happy and prosperous new year is what I am wishing for you and your family Renny!
    May God bless us all in this coming year.

    RennyBA
    Thank lad and you know I do wish you the same!

  24. I get a bit giddy when I know the sun is returning too. ;-)
    Your Yule table looks delightful. All the best to you and yours in 2008!

    RennyBA
    I knew we where two of a kind Lisa ;-)
    Thanks and I wish you the same!

  25. Sounds delicious :)!

    RennyBA
    Thanks – hope you try yourself one day :)!

  26. That is a great potato recipe. It reminds me of kugel dish. I want to make this…and I’ll let you know how it comes out.

    RennyBA
    Don’t know kugel dish, but tell about it when you post yours and keep us posted!

  27. this looks delicious Renny…
    and the table setting is beautiful !
    I make a very simliar dish with potatoes…onion…and red salmon :)
    that calamari looks scrumptious too !!
    wishing you and your family the happiest and sunniest New Year !!!
    :=X Kim

    RennyBA
    I knew you would like it Kim – and how great to do it with salmon – as a Norwegian, I should have to try of course :)
    Wishing you the same!!!
    :=X Renny

  28. I go mad too when the days are getting longer, lol ! I hate these dark short days and in Norway it is even worse. The plate looks very appetizing and is certainly a good dish for a very cold day. As I said yesterday, I published today some pictures of my Christmas in Amsterdam. You will see that this city is really depressing at this time of the year ! Really not a good idea to go there on Christmas !

    RennyBA
    Well, I actually like all four season and to take advantage of them – like eating the suitable dishes :D
    I’ll be over to have a look as soon as I have the time.

  29. Drop by and wish u a Happy New Year!

    RennyBA
    Thanks so much for dropping by and I do wish you the same!

  30. It all sounds and looks so yummy, Renny….I LOVE that you and Mrs. Life Cruiser gave recipos for the same dish, right? (I think it is the same dish….lol)
    You all know about eating GOOD! LOL!
    A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU, MY DEAR!

    RennyBA
    Glad you liked it and yes, The Capt’n and me gave the same, although do the home made thing and that is much better!
    A Very Happy New Year to You too Naomi!

  31. It all sounds delicious! I love calamares, and Janssons Frestelser seems rather like a cross between boulangere potatoes and gratin dauphinoise, with the addition of anchovies. Reading some of the comments, there are other similar dishes too. It’s something else I find fascinating, the way recipes have similarities but also differences in different countries.

    RennyBA
    Thanks for sharing your observation, its very interesting and by that you enriches the subject – I think its fascinating too!

  32. You guys always have so much fun!

    RennyBA
    Well, visiting your blog: it seams like you have quite a lot of fun too!

  33. Dear Renny, your table setting certainly was beautiful and meal sounded yummy!! I wish I could taste them.
    So do you have any preparations for New Years eve? :)

    RennyBA
    Glad you like it – both the table setting and the meal – you have the recipe!
    Preparation for 2008: Make new friend, but first of all take care of the friendships I have :-)

  34. Hi renny,it looks like you had a fantastic Christmas over there! I hope you’ll have a great New Year as well ((hugses))

    Loved Calamari yummm Thanks for sharing:)

    RennyBA
    We had and good to know you had a good one too!
    Wishing you the same CheH – a big new years hug to you!

  35. Interesting fare and lovely tradition.

    RennyBA
    Thanks Carlo – always great to welcome new readers and welcome back any time for more!

  36. the recipe is from the internet? it’s not from you coz you just said you don’t know how to cook it. hehehe. you’ve eaten kangaroo????

    happy new year renny! :)

    RennyBA
    Yea, it is – so that you can make it too!
    Yes I’ve eaten it in Australia.
    Happy New Year to you to dear blog friend :)

  37. Looks delicious! And I kid you not!

  38. Hmmmmm that looks all good to me, we have eaten great litlle snacks like on you photo’s…

    I wish You a Happy and Creative 2008, Look at my Happy fireworks and wishes. See my blog:) JOANN

  39. looks absolutely yum! you’re such a gr8 cook! ;)

  40. I was just telling a friend how my childhood memories of Christmas back in Denmark mostly revolved around food… the house was always filled with these wonderful smells, as my mother cooked her way through the season.

    These days, the closest I get is the annual Christmas Bazaar at the local Sons of Norway Hall, here in my local town.

  41. Thank you for this recipe in English, I totally agree with you it’s delicious, I mariied a Swedish man and lived in Sweden for over eight years, so I’m quite familiar with Scandinavian specialities, I l love all of them!

    Regards, Pamela Larsen

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