Tag archives for Carl Jan Granqvist

Plate of Sill

Photo: Per-Erik Berglund/imagebank.sweden.se


Marinated herring

Silltallrik or a “plate of sill” may be viewed as a miniature variation of the more grandiose Swedish “herring table.” Today it is a given element on all Christmas Smörgåsbord.
  • 4 presoaked herring filets
  • 150 ml (¾ cup) water
  • 5 tbs distilled white vinegar (12%)
  • 85 g (3 ¼ oz) sugar
  • 1 red onion
  • 10 whole allspice
  • 1 bay leaf

  1. To make this marinated herring dish, mix water, vinegar and sugar, boil for a few minutes in a saucepan and let the marinade cool.
  2. Cut the presoaked filets into pieces 2 cm (¾ in) wide, peel and slice the onion, and crush the allspice.
  3. Alternate pieces of herring with onion inside a jar, insert the bay leaf and pour the marinade on top.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours, preferably for a week.

Presoaked vinegar-marinated herring filets may assume many shapes. Herring with onions (löksill), with spices (kryddsill) and with mustard (senapsill) are classics, but in recent years it has become equally popular to flavor the herring with garlic, for example. The accessories are simple, because the herring is the obvious star of the show. Those who wish may add such flourishes as a piece of well-aged cheese, a bit of sour cream, a slice of coarse bread and/or a few freshly boiled potatoes.

Dill-cured salmon (gravlax)

Photo: Per-Erik Berglund/imagebank.sweden.se


Dill-cured salmon (gravlax)

Dill-cured salmon is always featured in the Swedish smörgåsbord and on the Swedish Christmas table, but to experience its fine flavor to the full, enjoy a few thin slices of gravlax unaccompanied by other dishes. It is perfect as an appetizer (starter) as well.
  • 750 g (26 oz) fresh salmon filet with skin on
  • 85 g (3 ¼ oz) sugar
  • 120 g (4 oz) salt
  • 8 tbs chopped dill
  • 1 tsp crushed white pepper

  1. Scale the salmon and remove the small bones, but leave the skin on.
  2. Make a few cuts in the skin so the marinade will penetrate from below.
  3. Mix salt, sugar, pepper and sprinkle it beneath and on top of the salmon filet along with plenty of dill.
  4. Place a weighted cutting board on top of the salmon filet and let it marinate at room temperature for 2–4 hours. Then refrigerate for 24−48 hours, turning the salmon filet a few times.
  5. Rinse the salmon in cold water. Cut into thin slices without getting too close to the skin, so the dark salmon is included.

Jansson’s temptation

Photo: Per-Erik Berglund/imagebank.sweden.se


Jansson’s temptation

Janssons frestelse or Jansson’s temptation − a creamy potato and anchovy casserole − is said to have been named for Pelle Janzon, a food-loving Swedish opera singer of the early 20th century. In any case, the recipe was published for the first time in 1940, and this rich casserole quickly became a classic of the Swedish Christmas dinner table. But Jansson’s temptation can just as easily be eaten at any time of year. It is quite remarkable that something as simple as potatoes, onions, anchovies and cream can taste so heavenly.
  • 1.2 kg (2½ lb) potatoes
  • 400 g (14 oz) onions
  • 375 g (13 oz) spice-cured sprat filets
  • 600 ml (3 cups) heavy whipping cream
  • salt, white pepper
  • breadcrumbs
  • butter

  1. Peel the potatoes and cut them into strips.
  2. Peel and cut the onions into thin slices, sautéing them gently in a little butter without browning.
  3. Grease an ovenproof baking dish and cover the bottom with a layer of potatoes, then add half the onions and half the sprat (“anchovy”) filets. Another layer of potatoes, then the rest of the onion and sprats. Finish with a layer of potatoes.
  4. Flatten the surface, apply a few turns of pepper fresh from the mill and sprinkle on a little salt.
  5. Pour the cream on until it is almost visible through the potatoes. Place a few pats of butter on top and, if desired, sprinkle with some breadcrumbs.
  6. Bake in the oven (250°C/475°F) for about an hour.

Swedish meatballs

Photo: Per-Erik Berglund/imagebank.sweden.se


Swedish meatballs
4-6 servings

The content of the Swedish meatball may vary, depending on where in the country it is made. In southern Sweden many people prefer their ground meat with a little more fat, but the further north you go, the less pork you will find in the meatball mixture. However, bread or rusk crumbs allowed to swell in milk are as important as the lingonberries on the side. They give Swedish meatballs their special soft consistency. This is the traditional recipe for meatballs, but for Christmas you can spice your meatballs with ginger, nutmeg and clove.
  • 500 g (18 oz) ground (minced) beef/pork mixture
  • 250 ml (1¼ cup) milk
  • 75 g (¾ cup) white breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 onion
  • salt, white pepper
  • ground allspice

  1. Finely dice the onion and sauté gently in a little butter without browning. Soak the breadcrumbs in milk.
  2. Blend the ground meat, preferably in a food processor, with the onion, egg, milk/breadcrumb mixture and the spices to the proper consistency and taste. Add a little water if the mixture feels too firm.
  3. Check the taste by test-frying one meatball. Then shape small meatballs with the aid of two spoons and place on water-rinsed plates.
  4. Brown a generous pat of butter in a frying pan, and when it “goes quiet” place the meatballs in the pan and let them brown on all sides. Shake the frying pan often.
  5. Serve with potato purée or boiled potatoes and raw stirred lingonberries.


Photo: Miriam Preis/imagebank.sweden.se



Gingersnaps are customarily cut in the shape of little men and women, pigs or hearts, and are often decorated with frosting. It is not uncommon for children to help build little houses out of gingersnap dough to celebrate Christmas.
  • 200 g (7 oz) brown sugar
  • 200 g (7 oz) white sugar
  • 200 g (7 oz) dark corn syrup
  • 150 ml (¾ cup) water
  • 300 g (10 oz) butter
  • 2 tbs ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbs ground ginger
  • 2 tbs ground cloves
  • 1 tbs baking soda
  • 0.9–1 kg (2−2¼ lb) flour

  1. To make gingersnaps, heat the brown sugar, white sugar, corn syrup and water in a pot.
  2. Add the butter and let it melt.
  3. Stir and let cool slightly, then blend in the spices and baking soda. Then mix in the flour to a smooth consistency.
  4. Sprinkle a little flour on top and put the dough out to cool, preferably overnight.
  5. Take the dough and knead it smooth on a baking table, adding more flour if desired.
  6. Roll it thin and cut into shapes, using the desired cookie cutters.
  7. Bake in the oven (180 degrees C/350 degrees F) for 8–10 minutes.
  8. Let the gingersnaps cool on the baking sheet.