From Russian Caravans with Love: Blinis with Smoked Salmon and Beetroot ‘Caviar’

Photo by Leisha Clancy

Sorry it has been a couple of weeks between posts but I’ve been very busy in the kitchen recently. I catered the launch of my lovely friend Shardee’s new tea company What’s that tea?  creating a mini tea degustation, matching foods to each tea tasting. All of the food was really well received so I wanted to share a few posts with you about the recipes.

Shardee’s launch collection includes a lovely mild Russian Caravan and so it seemed only natural to make blinis. These were actually surprisingly easy and all of the toppings could be made in advanced so I only had to cook the blinis on the day. I found the blinis actually kept well over night so I’m sure you could make them the night before too if you wanted and just bring them to room temperature before serving. I made about 55 with spare blinis left over so feel free to reduce quantities.

You will need:

  • 300g smoked salmon
  • 400 ml sour cream or creme fraiche
  • 2 medium beetroots
  • 2 tblsps good balsamic vinegar
  • 210 g buckwheat flour
  • 210g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 500 ml milk plus extra
  • 3 eggs
  • 1tsp yeast
  • 3tbsp butter

To make your blinis mixture especially fluffy, start the night before so that mixture has time to rise.

Separate the eggs and beat the egg whites until firm peaks form. Sift your flours together with the baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Warm the milk to blood temperature (don’t boil it) and add the yeast and mix well. Add the egg yolks and mix well before adding to the dry ingredients. Melt the butter and mix in to your other ingredients. Gently fold in the egg whites and rest the mixture for at least an hour before cooking or placing in the fridge to rise further overnight.

Cut your salmon into small portions and chill until you need it. Peel the beetroot and boil until tender.  Cool and dice finely. Dress the diced beetroot with the balsamic vinegar (I used a caramelized balsamic I get from the local markets) and chill.

When you are ready to cook heat a heavy non-stick pan on medium heat and dampen a paper towel with vegetable oil and rub around the pan to lightly grease. (You need to repeat this process after every couple of rounds of cooking.) You may need to use some extra milk to thin the mixture a bit, it should be a fairly runny batter, thinner than a cake batter but it will also be a bit elastic before of the yeast.  Place tbsp of mixture into you pan and cook a couple of minutes of each side until lightly golden. Repeat until you run out of mixture.

Take a cooled blini and top with a slice of salmon a teaspoon of sour cream and then a sprinkle of beetroot. I also dressed the plates with a sprinkling of micro herbs for colour.

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One thought on “From Russian Caravans with Love: Blinis with Smoked Salmon and Beetroot ‘Caviar’

  1. Pingback: What’s that Tea Launch: Menu Spotlight | What's that Tea?

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