Tag Archives: Swedish

Pytt i Panna – Swedish Ways With Leftovers

Pytt I Panna

Leftover? Not Any More

Happy New Year to you all, I wish that you’ll get what you need this year.

I rang in the New Year with friends old and new, and some fantastic food made for me by my friend who writes the Morning Claret. As you might expect, this was accompanied by some excellent wines.

I usually start the year with a few resolutions. As the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and I didn’t have the best year in terms of regular blogging last year, I decided that this year, I would settle for simply committing to at least one blog post a week for the next 52 weeks. I already have a few that I want to share with you, and I have some great ideas for recipes that I am going to be testing for you in the near future.

If I get this done this year (with some much improved photography this year, thanks to my new camera the Big Guy bought me), then I will consider this a resolution well met. However, if you made any resolutions, I’d love to hear about some of yours.

Regular readers will know how much I love leftovers. To me they are ingredients to make delicious new dishes from. Pretty much everything can go to making new edible things. I use scraps in my stock, make trifle when life hands me leftover panetone, and even make ice cream from leftover mincemeat (which I think is an idea I got from Nigel Slater, so I won’t be blogging about that). If all other inspiration fails, there is always soup, which is often the best when you tinker about to use up the contents of your fridge.

There is always one dish that you can rely on to use up all the bits and bobs left over from a large meal. For Brits, it is Bubble and Squeak. The Chinese might fall back on a fried rice dish. If you are Swedish, you make Pytt i Panna – literally translated as “pieces in the pan”.

Since many of their meals rely on meat, vegetables and potatoes, this staple is as versatile as bubble and squeak. If you can fry it, it will go in. You can use up leftover cooked veg, or you can use up those sad old specimens that you’d intended to make something with, or the knobbly ones from the veg box that you have run out of inspiration for. You can also use a mix of both, if that is what you have. I would personally not recommend that you use tomatoes in this dish, but they would be rather good, well-grilled and served on the side.You should always have the onion for real pytt i panna, sweating it until it starts to colour, the caramelised bits are what makes this dish so good.

This time, I used up the last of the Christmas ham, made from a wild boar, again because that is what I had. I’ve also made this with beef, pork, leftover sausages, chicken, and a pretty excellent vegetarian version with a nut roast I’d made. I’m sure it would be equally good with turkey, and especially with goose, if that was your Christmas dinner of choice – especially cooked up with the rest of the bits and pieces in some of the lovely goose fat.

As you can probably tell from the description above, the following recipe does not need to be adhered to strictly, it is more of a guideline, based on what I had available on the day. The only two essential ingredients are the potato (sweet potato also works here, as would Jerusalem artichoke and celariac), and the onion, and you must allow both of them to colour, but apart from that just put pieces in a pan, as the name suggests.

This dish is lovely with a fried or poached egg on top. I had it with a side of slow-cooked red cabbage, which was also great.

I hope you made the most of your Christmas leftovers, let me know what you did in the comments.

Recipe: Pytt i Panna


5 medium potatoes or leftover boiled potatoes
About a quarter of a cauliflower that was past its best
2 onions, roughly chopped Leftover Christmas ham – I had about 150 g
1 tbsp cooking oil
Knob of butter
Salt and pepper to taste
A small bunch of dill that needed using up


Dice everything into roughly 1 cm sized pieces. Break the cauliflower into small florets and dice the stalks.

If you are using raw potatoes, parboil them until they just allow a knife tip. Blanche the cauliflower in a separate bowl, and drain after 3-4 minutes.

In a large frying pan, cook the onions in the oil until they are starting to colour. Add the potatoes, again, cooking until they have some colour all over.

Add the knob of butter, ham and the cauliflower to the pan, then cook through. If the cauliflower also takes on a little colour,  so much the better.

Season well, and sprinkle with dill before serving.



Filed under Feast

I Don’t Know Who Jansson Was, But This Sure Is Tempting

Jansson's Frestelse

Jansson’s Frestelse

The weather is changeable again, and is blowing hot and cold. You can expect to see a much more eclectic mix on the blog of salads and more autumnal fare, while we wait for the season to make its mind up.

It has also shown me that the lighting in my living room lends my photographs an odd yellow tinge, now that it is getting darker earlier. Until I can be organised enough to make all my food in the day, I am going to have to try not to take photos in here.

Yesterday was a cooler day, and thoughts turned to comfort food for other reasons too. I have been thinking pretty hard about potatoes and cream. This means one thing, a traditional Swedish dish, called Jansson’s Frestelse, or Jansson’s Temptation. This is a lovely gratin of potato and cream, with the surprising, but brilliant addition of a little anchovy.

Swedes actually call a sweet preserved sprat ‘ansjovis’, so the Temptation will be slightly different. I haven’t found them outside of Sweden, so I use ordinary common or garden anchovy, preserved in oil.  And actually, the salty little things add a really unctuous quality, I think they are worth it.

You can make the gratin vegetarian by omitting the anchovy, but only do this for the vegetarians in your life. If you are one of these people who insist thy don’t like anchovy, and will remove them from pizza, I promise you will not notice them, as they will melt into the dish, but they add so much in the way of flavour.

I road tested this once, at one of the International dinners. I made two versions of the dish, one with anchovies and one without. The one with went quickly; we were eating the one without for the next few days.

I served it with some garden beans, and a lamb chop that had been rubbed with  Ras el Hanout, and pan fried to medium rare. It was an amazing meal, for little effort.

This is a very simple dish, and so good in colder weather. It is also an amazing alternative to mash. Give it a try.

Recipe: Jansson’s Frestelse (Temptation)


800 g waxy potatoes

1 onion

150 ml cream

150 ml milk

8-10 anchovy fillets

1/2 tbsp anchovy oil

Salt and pepper

Some breadcrumbs for scattering (optional)


Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Cut the potato into thin matchsticks. It is easiest to use a mandoline, or you can get an attachment for some food processors. If you have neither, cut the matchsticks with a knife. This will give a larger surface area, and produce brilliant crunchy and soft textures, which improves the dish, so do take the time, even though it is a pain. This should be the spur for you to buy a mandoline. They aren’t all that expensive, and this is the second recipe in a week in which I’ve used one. As long as you keep your fingers clear, they are great, and this is coming from the woman who hates gadgets!

Slice the onion into thin half moons, and chop up the anchovy fillets.

Butter an oven proof dish, or roasting tin. Then you need to layer the dish. Start with a thin layer of onion, and season with salt and pepper. Next add a thick layer of potato, then a little anchovy. Continue to layer up in this order, but make sure that you finish with a layer of potato. Give it one last season with some salt and pepper.

Mix the cream, milk and anchovy oil in a jug. Pour half over the potato in the baking dish, and sprinkle over the breadcrumbs, if you are using some. They should be scant, they don’t need to cover the dish.

Put it in the oven for half an hour, then add the rest of the cream and  oil. Cook for a further 15 minutes, until the top is crunchy, and the potatoes are cooked through.

This is great the first day, and amazing reheated for leftovers. If you have enough left to reheat, you might want to cover it with some foil as it heats up, so that the lovely crust doesn’t burn.


Filed under Feast