Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Janson's Temptation: Creamy Potatoes, Onions, Anvchovies

You may or may not want to serve with the corned beef and cabbage of yesterday's post in which a potato dish was promised. But if you're looking for a potato entry to stand alone, here's one that's exceptional. It's been around long enough that it's originator was unknown even to Craig Claiborne, in what I think was his 1961 edition of The New York Times Cookbook. At least, it's been in my library so long that the cover and everything relating to publication date has long given way to a sheath of bound- together pages most of which are soiled by remnants of sauces from a generation ago. Through the stains, here's what Craig Claiborne had to say about the true original source:

"Who was Janson, what was he? This anchovy and potato dish of Swedish origin bears his name."


5 medium potatoes, cut into thin strips

2 yellow onions, sliced thin

10 anchovies or 20 anchovy filets

1/4 cup butter

1 1/2 cup cream

Preheat the oven to moderate (325 degrees fahrenheit). In a buttered baking dish, place a layer of half the potatoes. Add a layer of onions, the anchovies, then the remaining potatoes. Dot with butter and the anchovy juice. Bake ten minutes. Add half the cream and cook ten minutes linger. Add the remaining cream and bake forty minutes longer.

From The New York Times Cookbook, by Craig Claiborne, New York, 1961 Edition