It is a funny time of year for me. I get lost somewhere between Christmas Eve and January 3rd. Food becomes central yes, but in a picky muddled up kind of way, leftovers are prolific, days and mealtimes become mixed up with each other. I don’t know if I posted a bread recipe for you my lovely readers but I did bake so I am posting for you now even though I ought to be cooking dinner!
This year we decided against having a turkey for lunch on Christmas Day and opted for a roast ham. I had bought a large packet of smoked salmon because my plan was for a Scandinavian style lunch but in the mad rush I did not buy the things I needed. So we had a slight mish-mash of food.
When I came to preparing the salmon I checked the fridge. No cucumber, 4 cherry tomatoes, no mustard, lemons, sour cream….which meant no Salmon Gradvilax for the table. I had to think fast. I decided on blinis with a garlic-horseradish mayonnaise to go with the smoked salmon. It was fab!
Blinis are little yeasted pancakes, traditionally from Russia, and made from buckwheat flour and served with caviar. (I simply used plain flour, and obviously we had no caviar) I’ve never made them before but have bought packets of them – perfect large penny shaped pancakes, slightly firm and a little rubbery in texture. These turned out beautifully soft and very like pancakes really. They were lovely and worth the effort. My family suggested I just made pancakes another time but I would make these again and serve them with a range of toppings as canapes. The difference is all in the distinctive taste. Definitely different and totally delicious!
- 200ml milk
- ½ tsp golden caster sugar
- 25g butter, plus extra for frying
- 100g strong white flour
- 75g buckwheat flour
- 1 tsp fast-action dried yeast
- 2 large eggs, separated
Gently warm the milk in a saucepan until it is just steaming, then remove from the heat and stir in the sugar and butter, swirling until the butter melts. Tip the flours and yeast into a bowl and season with 1/4 tsp salt. Make a well in the middle and pour in the milk mixture and the egg yolks. Whisk until you have a smooth batter, then cover with cling film and set aside for 1 hour.
Check the blini batter – it should be bubbly on the surface. Tip the egg whites into a bowl and whisk until they hold soft peaks. Add to the blini batter and gently fold together, trying to keep as much air in the mixture as possible.
Get a wire rack or two ready to cool the blinis (this will prevent them from going soggy when cooling). Heat a knob of butter and a drizzle of oil in a large pan (if you have two pans, this will speed things up). When the butter is foaming, spoon tablespoons of the batter into the pan, leaving space between each one as they will spread a little. Cook over a medium heat until bubbles pop on the surface and the undersides are golden brown. Flip over and cook for 1-2 mins more, then transfer to the rack to cool. Wipe out the pan and continue cooking the remaining blinis in the same way.