Sunday, August 5, 2012

Blini with Caviar

I had the hardest time finding buckwheat flour.  Finally, I found it at Sprouts in the gluten-free aisle.  With the word "wheat" in the name, I had assumed it contained gluten.  It isn't wheat.  Turns out, it's even KLP if you do not observe the kitnyot.

I first heard of blini in a teen novel called Samantha on Stage by Susan C Farrar.  The title character goes to her Russian friend's house for lunch and they have them with sour cream.  Years later, I realized the Bible has an elegant hors d'oeuvre version with caviar.  The version in the cookbook's photo uses black caviar, which lends a more striking contrast than the white caviar I bought.  That's what I get for going to the regular market instead of Surfas, Whole Foods, or Bristol Farms.

While these savory-tending pancakes are most often used as appetizers (and make great wraps for grilled veggies), a little jam or applesauce with the sour cream can turn them into a breakfast item.

1/2 C buckwheat flour
1/4 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 C milk
1 egg
1 C sour cream
1 Tb butter, melted
vegetable oil
1 2-oz jar black or red caviar

1.  In a small bowl, combine both flours, sugar, baking soda, and salt.  Stir in milk, egg, and 2 Tb sour cream until batter is smooth.  Add melted butter and stir until blended.

2.  Heat 10" skillet over medium and lightly brush with oil.  Use 1 tsp of batter per pancake, so they become a one-bite hors d'oeuvre.  You should be able to get at least 7 or 8 in the pan at once.  Cook until tops are slightly set and undersides are golden.  Flip pancakes and cook until firm.  Place on a single layer on a warm serving platter; cover and keep warm until all pancakes are cooked.

3.  Re-oil skillet if necessary and continue until all batter is used.

4.  Spoon remaining sour cream into a pastry bag fitted with a medium rosette tip.  Pipe a dot of sour cream onto each pancake.  Top each dot with a tiny bit of the caviar.  (To quote Meg Ryan in You've Got Mail, "That caviar is a garnish!")  Serve warm.

Makes about 48 blini, or 24 servings

Difficulty rating :)

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