We Love Cooking! + [sweden]

:: Janssons Temptation

Life is constantly full of surprises, there are some things I plan for and then there are some things that sneak up and just smack you around the chops! I was lucky enough to be shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards last month for my book Good Mood Food, but to be perfectly honest never really expected to win, it was an extremely tight category with some amazing competition. Not being a regular at black tie events I borrowed a tuxedo from my pal Simon, which just about fit, bar some tightening with a belt and dragged myself into the mansion house in Dublin for the awards. It wasn't until the first award winner Donal Og Cusack stepped up to deliver his speech, that the panic set in that on the off chance of winning, I had absolutely NOTHING prepared! Not the way I usually roll! So Best Irish Published category came up and guess what I WON! Honest complete utter shock took over and I really can't remember what I mumbled on stage but I was just so thrilled. It's a fantastic tip of the hat towards young and upcoming writers and huge win for myself, Mercier Press and of course everyone who was involved in producing the book. While celebrations ran into the earlier hours, I managed a couple of hours sleep before getting up to prep my demonstration at the Food&Wine Show in the RDS. It was a fairly packed weekend with the Taste Of Christmas also taking place at the new convention centre in Dublin. For my Food&Wine demo I ran through a collection of traditional Swedish Christmas dishes, after working at a Julbord (the traditional Swedish Christmas buffet) in Gothenberg, I had a great selection of interesting dishes to show off. Along with the Julgrot and Gravadlax I demoed the big hit of the day was the Jansson's Temptation a delicious creamy potato dish which is served alongside the Christmas Ham. It makes an interesting addition to our Irish Christmas dinner and I definitely suggest you give it a go! :)
I am getting around to a full thank you video for the book award but I'll keep you posted on that!

Janssons Temptation
Not unlike a French Potato Dauphinoise this Swedish take features anchovies and is a regular at the Swedish Christmas table. If you don't fancy the anchovies you could of course add some finely chopped garlic instead.

Serves 8
14-16 Swedish anchovy fillets and the brine they're stored in
2 large onions, sliced in half moons
5 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped into matchsticks
200ml of cream
2 tablespoons of butter
A small handful of fine breadcrumbs
Sea salt and ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 225oC.
Put half the potatoes into a large rectangular pyrex dish. Evenly distribute the anchovy fillets and onions over the top of the potatoes and top with the remaining potatoes.
Pour half the cream and anchovy brine over the top and then add the butter in knobs over the top. Season with sea salt and ground black pepper.
Place in the oven until the potatoes are golden and after 20 minutes remove from the oven and top with the breadcrumbs and remaining cream and brine. Place back in the oven and cook for a further 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.