johnsons temtation/Janssons frästelse

This is a holiday favorite that the whole family loves and it's great at this time of year. I know that there is great controversy over this dish, my mom acts as though she is Julia Child while making hers, sauteing the onions in butter, she refuses to talk to me when I use rice milk, it's like the holy grail of Swedish holiday cooking. Conversely, while living in Italy with my Swedish friend Gunn I suggested that we make Johnsons Temptation (it's called Janssons frästelse in Swedish but translated, via my mom, we always called it Johnsons temptation) for Christmas Eve dinner and she said, "that's a peasant dish"... but we made it! and we all loved it. She explained to me that this is what you made when you had nothing left in your cupboard... it only takes - potatoes, onions, anchovies and a bit of milk or cream. Needless to say my mom was very upset by this description and to this day I let her make it when we are together (hers is ALWAYS better) and I just make it differently.

I will do my best to give you both descriptions and you can try them and see what you come up with. Any way you slice it this is a great holiday dish that EVERYBODY loves!

4-6 potatoes - depending on size and size of dish you are using - cut into matchsticks - yukon gold works great
1 yellow onion - sliced into thin slices
1 tin of Abba Swedish anchovies (I have used others but my mom yelled at me when I told her this, she said it's completely WRONG if I do that...) - chop them up (you can get them at Ikea)
bit of salt (anchovies take care of that)
milk or cream (I have use rice milk too... it works but it doesn't come out as thick)

MY VERSION - preheat oven to 375 degrees
I use a mandolin on the potatoes and then chop into matchsticks (HUGE timesaver). I leave the skins on (easier) and put into a large bowl. Then I chop the onion into slivers add to bowl. Chop anchovies add to bowl, then I take a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper and mix it all together. Put it into a nice pan as you will be serving in this pan, and I take about 3/4 cup - 1 cup of milk just so that it coats the bottom of the pan. Then I put a couple of pieces of butter (maybe 2 tbsp) on top and cover with tin foil and put in oven. bake for 30 minutes and take off foil and cook until browned on top and it looks like it's done (maybe 15-20 minutes).

PEEL potatoes
cut carefully into matchsticks all the same EXACT size
put aside
very thinly slice onion and saute in butter until translucent
combine onion, potato
thinly slice anchovies REMEMBER ONLY ABBA
add to potato & onion
melt 2-3 tbsp of butter and add to mixture
add salt & pepper
put ingredients into dish and add 1 cup of heavy creme
cover with foil and bake for 3 minutes, uncover and bake for 15-20 minutes until brown.

Good luck and have fun!