personal comfort food #4

comfort for jón, lambs and hens 

breaded ‘lamb’-chops with fried onions, potatoes, peas & jam


Jón / 69

enjoys cooking:
“4/5 - worked as a chef for a few years, when younger, now I really enjoy cooking at home!  ”
preferred textures/flavour:
“mild flavours, crunchy textures, I like food to be fried and grilled instead of boiled”
diet in three words:
“fish / vegetables / meat”
ultimate comfort food:
“breaded lamb-chops, with butterfried onions, boiled potatoes, peas and jam”
why this meal:
“it’s a nostalgic meal, something I grew up eating, also it’s very indulgent!”
essential elements of the meal:
“the lamb-chops need to have a nice and crunchy exterior, with a breadcrumb coating, the onion should be nice and soft, the potatoes should be boiled and peeled, and it should have the canned ‘ORA’-brand green peas and rhubarb jam on the side”


A co-designed recipe with Jón (my granddad), showing care through a compassionate act of cooking together, forming a new version of breaded lamb-chops, with lamb and egg free, comfort-for-all ingredients.

Establishing the essential comfort elements of the meal, and letting this guide us in the process. We had to cook apart with digital tools, due to us being in different countries. The goal was to recreate the feeling of comfort in cooking and eating the meal, minimizing harm to the planet and it’s beings in the process.


- 4 portobello mushrooms:
- 500g Potatoes
- 2 large yellow onions
/ ‘egg’-coating :
- 3/4 dl flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 dl water
/ breading:
- 3 dl breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp salt
/ sides:
- 1 can of preserved green peas
- rhubarb jam or other tangy jam


Remove the stems from the mushrooms, place them on a baking sheet with the top facing up. Place it in the oven on 190’c and bake for 20 minutes.

In the meantime add the potatoes to a pot with water and a good pinch of salt, place the pot on high heat and let them boil. When the potatoes are cooked through drain them and rinse them with some cold water. When they are cold enough to touch you can peel them with a small knife by scraping of the skins.  

U: So you said you wanted a lot of onion, is it enough with three onions? J: No I think two of them should be enough! U: Ok, we could also add the mushroom stems we cut off and fry them with the onions, so we don’t throw them out, how does that sound? J: Yes, that sounds good.”

Now you can also prepare the onions, slice them in strips and set aside for later.

Take the mushrooms out of the oven, and press them to get rid of some of the juices. We want to try to dry out the mushrooms in the oven and make them more compressed. Place them in the oven again for another 20 minutes.

J: I have never thought to dry out mushrooms like this in the oven. U: Right I think mushrooms can become so much tastier if you cook them for a long time, the texture  becomes more meaty and less spongy.”

Now make the ‘egg’ coating by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl, check the consistency and adjust it with more water or more flour if needed. The texture should be like runny yogurt - thick enough to stick to the mushrooms, but thin enough to be able to dip the mushrooms in. In another bowl prepare the breadcrumbs with a bit of salt and in the third bowl place some plain flour.
J: What about the onions? U: Yes, how do you usually do this, do you fry the onions before you fry the lamb-chops? J: Yes, I think it’s best to fry the onions now and then we can put them aside while we fry the mushrooms. U: Sounds good!”
Add the onions to a large pan with some vegan butter, on medium heat, stir occasionally. Take out the mushrooms and press them again, pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels and set them aside to cool down a little bit. When the onions have browned slightly and are nice and soft, take them out of the pan and set them aside.

U: Now lets dip the mushroom in the flour mixture and from there into the ‘egg’ coating… J: But don’t yo think its better to coat all the mushrooms in flour first, then you don’t have to move back and forth between the wet and dry mixture and have your fingers look like a troll! U: Haha yes, that makes sense, it’s less messy that way!”
When the mushrooms have cooled down slightly it’s time to coat them. Prepare the pan you used for the onions by placing it on medium-high with a mix of vegan butter and some vegetable oil. Coat each mushroom in plain flour on both sides, next dip them into the ‘egg’ mixture so it is fully coated and then place directly into the breadcrumbs.

When all the mushrooms have been coated place them in the hot pan, and shallow fry them for 4-6 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crispy. When the mushrooms are almost ready add the onions back into the pan to warm them through.
U: I went to a few stores here to look for rhubarb jam, but It doesn’t seem like it exists in Sweden. I bought some rasberry jam instead! J: I am sure that is just as good!”

Plate up the mushroom-‘chops’ with a good amount of the buttery onions and the peeled potatoes, with some green peas straight from the can and a spoonful of the jam. Enjoy! 

E: (my grandmom) This is really nice, I think this might be something we will keep cooking! U: That’s nice to hear! What do you think about the texture in comparison to the original lamb-chop? E: I don’t think it’s any worse. J: Yeah it’s different, I mean this is another meal, but it’s a really good meal!  U: Exactly, it will never be exactly the same.. J: No and there is also no need for it to be exactly the same, this is a good alternative!”

jón’s mushroom-chops / una’s mushroom-chops

“U: How is it with this meal, it’s a bit of an Icelandic classic, is it something you both grew up with? J: Yes this is something I ate when I was a kid. E: Yes and I also got this quite often at work, but we very rarely cook this at home, almost never. J: It’s really a nostalgic meal!”
U: What did you think about cooking like this through a video call? J: I think it was fun, and you tought me something new about drying the mushrooms, and using a flour mixture instead of the egg, that was really clever!”

“U: Do you think it meets the general comfort requirement of the original meal? J: Yes, pretty much.. E: I think it is just as good! U: Ok, the purpose is not to make something identical but to make something that delivers a similar experience! J: Yes, I think a large part of the experience with the original meal has to do with the fried onions, and they are just the same in this version, that is really what brings the flavour! Also the meat is just a thin slice inside the coating, it is not so much about the meat but more about the crispy exterior, so it is just as nice with the mushroom! The look of the meal is also important and here it is almost identical to the original so that is a nice experience - the only thing that is missing is the bone in the lamb meat..
U: Thank you for doing this with me, I thought it was very nice! J: Of course, thank you!”