Blinis look surprisingly much like the Norwegian “lapp” or “svele”, but these buttery, elegant cousins take it to a whole ´nother level when topped with lovely Norwegian smoked salmon, salmon roe tasting of the ocean, velvety sour cream – freshened up by the sharpness of the red onion, the lemon and the dill! Accompanied by excellent Champagne, of course… It is the perfect dazzling, bite-size hors d´oeuvre to serve your guests as they arrive at your party. Or you can make them a bit bigger (and a little less risky) and serve on a plate with cutlery as an appetizer. Either way; delicious!
Ok, so I admit the dill had seen better days. But we were up in the mountains when I made these, and therefore so happy I found dill that I didn´t realize the dill was a bit sad.
Blinis are Russian pancakes, traditionally made with buckwheat and yeast as a rising agent. Buckwheat (a plant not related to wheat at all, but rhubarb!), as it turns out, was another ingredient that was hard to find 1000 meters above sea level amidst all that lovely snow. But, as I had my mind firmly set on making blinis I got to researching. Turns out even Russians cheat a bit and either mix in regular wheat flour (half and half) or even substitute all the buckwheat with flour. So that´s just what I did. If you use buckwheat, however, the blinis are gluten free.
- 1 1/4 cup of milk
- 0.5 oz yeast
- a pinch of salt
- 1 1/4 cup of flour (buckwheat, regular wheat flour, or 50/50)
- 2 eggs
Toppings (I have written some measurements here, but I just eyeballed it):
- Chopped smoked salmon (ca. 1/3 lb)
- Salmon roe / Swedish caviar / Capelin roe / Lump fish roe / caviar (either one would be delicious – ca. 1/3 lb)
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- Sour cream or creme fraiche (a little less than a cup)
- 3 dl melk (helmelk)
- 15 g gjær
- en klype salt
- 3 dl mel (bokhvete, hvetemel eller 50/50 – jeg brukte hvetemel)
- 2 egg
- Finhakket røykelaks (ca. 150 g)
- Lakserogn / løyrom / lodderogn / limfjordkaviar / russisk kaviar (alle disse funker flott! Ca. 150 g)
- 1 rød løk, finhakket
- Seterrømme eller creme fraiche (ca. 2 dl)
This is seriously the weirdest way I have ever made batter, not hard, just weird. Definitely worth a try!
Start by warming the milk to body temperature. Dissolve the yeast in a little of the milk, before adding the rest of the milk.
Now add the flour and the salt and mix to an even batter.
Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and add the yolks to the batter. Keep the egg whites for later. I normally use my hands when separating eggs, much better than buying some weird little tool that will clutter your kitchen if you ask me.
Cover and leave to rise for 45 minutes (or longer).
Melt the butter and let cool to room temperature. Whip the egg whites until they are stiff.
Carefully “tuck” the butter into the batter, then the whipped egg whites.
Now, tell me that´s not weird! Truthfully I got a bit worried when the egg whites looked like a bunch of tiny marshmallows bobbing around in my batter.
But apparently there was no reason to stress. Melt some butter in a medium hot pan and pour in a little bit of batter. Start by doing one at a time, that way you can practice a bit – both when it comes to size and how long to leave in the pan.
When the whole blini is basically bubbling, and the underside is starting to brown nicely it is time to flip it.
Now it is time to top off these babies with all that good stuff. Blinis should definitely be served right off the pan.
Happy New Year, Karen 🙂