My very lovely and utterly delightful friend Val went off to university a year before me. A year later I moved to the same university town and spent a lot of time hanging out at her flat.
Val, who remember is lovely and delightful, wasn’t particularly accomplished at cooking. Her favourite meal, which was also her only meal, was mock waitbait patties. Real whitebait patties are a kiwi delicacy. Mock whitebait patties substitute grated potatoes. It’s nice, but not the same at all.
The flat, like most New Zealand university share houses, had a weekly cooking and cleaning roster. Val made mock whitebait patties every week.
So I thought of her and her disgruntled housemates, who weren’t overly fond of mock whitebait patties after the first month, when I discovered this reciepe.
Jansson was a Swede and a religious fanatic.
Pause to picture that. Do the accent. Okay, now let’s move on.
The legend goes that this dish was so delish that Jansson renounced his vow to give up earthly pleasures.
So this is what we had for dinner last night, with some little veal tbones and steamed green beans.
50g tin oritiz anchovies
4 medium potatoes (good all rounders will do)
2 large onions
1 slice day old bread, blitzed to crumbs
Measure the oil from the anchovies into a fry pan – you’ll need about 2 tbpns. If there isn’t enough then top it up with olive oil. On a low heat cook the onions until soft, but not brown. If you’ve got an anchovy phobic husband like me then chop the anchovies and add them with the onions – this cooks them down and they disappear into the onions. If you’ve got anchovy fans dining then add them later.
Grate the potatoes or use a mandolin to make julienne (looks better, more fun). Mix in the onions, anchovies and pepper and fill an oiled baking dish.
Pour over the cream and milk, top with breadcrumbs and drizzle with olive oil
Bake at 180 celcious for an hour until golden, bubbling.
Serve with another earthly pleasure like a very sinful, silky pinot noir.