Delicious , easy Blini is the pride of the Russian cuisine.If you’ve never thought of making blini, it’s time to start, because they are worth an effort!
Blini is an elegant addition to the canapés table at any sort of gathering. For the not yet acquainted, Blini are tiny, flat pancakes served with a spread or a sprinkling of savory garnishes. A lesser known fact about Blini is that they are really simple and easy to make at home. The process is very similar to making a regular pancake or crepe. This is created by either buttermilk or sour cream that adds body to the floury mixture. Here are a few tips on how to make and serve the best Blini your guests have ever tasted.
1. Mix the dry and wet ingredients together in separate bowls. Many recipes recommend that you do this, and the reason for this is that it spreads the baking powder evenly throughout the mixture. Baking powder has a bitter flavor, and if it is not distributed throughout the batter, the Blini will not have the lovely springy texture it is known for.
2. Some recipes recommend that you use heavy cream or sour cream in the mixture, but I prefer buttermilk because it adds a delicious, subtle tartness to the mixture. You can also use Greek yogurt or cream cheese to create this effect.
3. While Blinis is often made with white flour, buckwheat flour adds a tasty earthiness to the mixture with the added bonus of being healthier.
Now for the filling. There are so many different combinations that make for delicious Blini to serve as a canapé or a savory addition to the brunch table to prepare or for your guests to assemble. Here are a few of my favorites:
1. Cucumber crème fraîche and smoked salmon with cracked black pepper
To make cucumber crème fraiche, simply grate half a cucumber into crème fraiche and blend the ingredients together with a hand blender. Black pepper offers a tasty break from the soft, creamy flavor of crème fraiche and smoked salmon has a beautiful salty flavor that completes the flavor pallet.
2.Basil pesto and cream cheese Blini with ham
To make your own basil pesto, stock up on olive oil, pine nuts, basil and powdered Parmesan, blend the ingredients together gently so as not to loose the texture of the ingredients. The flavors settle as they rest so it’s worth making the pesto in advance. Spread liberally with cream cheese and a generous swirl of pesto, and place a curled slice of ham on top.
3.Beetroot and feta Blinis
This is a great vegetarian option. Use cooked beetroot (not pickled), sliced finely so as not to interrupt the smooth texture of the Blini and crumble the feta on top. Garnish with a sprig of coriander to add a pop of freshness to the Blinis.
Blinis is a delicious finger food and it is wonderfully versatile. Get creative with your toppings and enjoy the results!
HOW TO MAKE RUSSIAN BLINI FROM SCRATCH
- Homemade buttermilk- 2 cups or 500 ml
- All purpose flour-1 cup
- Eggs ( medium)- 2
- Sugar- 2 tbsp
- Salt- ½ tsp
- Baking powder- 1 tsp
- Vegetable oil- 3 tbsp
- Butter - as needed ( for greasing)
- In a large bowl mix eggs with the buttermilk.
- In another bowl combine flour with sugar, salt, baking powder. Mix well.
- Pour the flour - mixture into the bowl with egg- mixture. Add the vegetable oil. Blend until smooth. The consistency of the batter will be thicker than cream.
- Heat a medium non-stick pan over high heat. Grease generously with some butter.
- Using a measuring spoon ( ¼ cup) , pour the batter in the middle of the pan. Tilt the pan from side to side while pouring, forming a circle with the batter.
- When a blin ( pancake) looks porous , flip it with a thin spatula. It takes about 30 seconds per side.
- Transfer the blin to a plate.
- Repeat same with the remaining batter.
- Serve immediately with honey or sour cream.
You can stuff blini with any filling you like.
Equipment: a non-stick pan, a measuring spoon ( ¼ cup)