Saturday, March 13, 2010

Easy & Fancy Salmon & Buckwheat Blini Hors d'Oeuvres

This is so delicious and so easy that I hope you try it. Little rosettes of Norwegian salmon top a dollop of sour cream egg salad on a tiny buckwheat pancake and a garnish of chives is all that comprise this hors d'oeuvre. You can make the pancakes (blinis) ahead of time and freeze for up to about one month.

Other toppings work well, too. No time for making the egg salad? Stir a bit of finely chopped fresh dill fronds and grated lemon rind into creme fraiche and use that instead, then garnish with pieces of the feathery dill fronds. Rinsed and drained tiny capers also make a great addition.

If you don't have the blinis, use crackers, but we love the creamy mouth feel of the salmon, egg salad, and soft blinis. Oh, and this is an affordable hors d'oeuvre because you stretch the salmon by slicing each piece in half AND you'll have lots of blinis left over to freeze for future parties, or heat them in the oven at 350 the next morning and serve them as "silver dollar" pancakes for breakfast.

Salmon & Buckwheat Blinis

Serves: 4 (2 pieces each) with more blinis left over
Difficulty: Super easy
Prep Time: About 30 minutes
Composition Time: About 10 minutes

For blinis:
2 tablespoons of buckwheat flour
3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup whole milk
1 large egg yolk
1 large egg white
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, divided in half

Combine dry ingredients and whisk together in a medium size bowl. In a measuring cup, stir together egg yolk and milk. In separate bowl, whisk egg white till stiff.
Stir together the dry and wet ingredients until moist, then stir in 3 tablespoons of the butter. Fold in the beaten egg white.

Heat a nonstick frying pan or griddle over medium high flame, brush with remaining butter and drop blini batter by tablespoons onto hot pan. Flip when golden on bottom side, as you would with pancakes, then remove to a cooling rack and repeat till you have used all the batter.

For Sour Cream Egg Salad:
1 large hard cooked egg, finely minced
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped chives
Salt to taste (TT)

Combine egg, sour cream, and one tablespoon chopped chives. Season with salt TT.

For salmon:
4 ounce package Norwegian salmon (nova lox)

Top each blini with a spoonful of egg salad. Take each thinly sliced piece of salmon and cut in half horizontally so each piece will give you two long strips. Starting at a short end, roll the salmon into a rose-shaped design and nestle upright into the egg salad. Garnish with chopped chives.

To hold:
Blinis, egg salad, and salmon slices can be prepared individually ahead of time. Composed blinis can be held, covered with plastic wrap, in the fridge for up to 4 hours.

Wine Pairing:
I love Acacia Pinot Noir from the Los Carneros AVA in California, and it is on sale right now at Lowes Foods for less than $14.00, which makes it very affordable for entertaining. For the Chardonnay lovers, Chateau Ste. Michelle is delicious with this hors d'oeuvre and can be found anywhere for around $13.00. Both of these wines are available at most fine grocery stores. Don't forget to ask your grocer or wine shop about discounts for quantities. Most offer 5% for half cases and 10% for full cases.

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