Foodiva's Kitchen: French Fridays With Dorie - Wholewheat Blini with Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraîche

Friday, October 14, 2011

French Fridays With Dorie - Wholewheat Blini with Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraîche

A Zen blessing at mealtime:
"In this plate of food, I see the entire universe
supporting my existence."

It's official - I like my blinis with crisp, burnt edges. Well, it's either that or admitting that I really suck at cooking blinis. Or pancakes, for that matter. What I liked about this week's recipe on French Fridays with Dorie, Blini with Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraîche, is that it was easy to assemble, with very minimal cooking.



Having worked in Moscow years ago, I've had my share of authentic buckwheat blinis made and served on Russian soil. I knew how they were supposed to taste, however in this instance I didn't have buckwheat flour so substituted that with wholewheat flour instead. Not as dark or as nutty as buckwheat, but healthier than white flour, wholewheat is my flour of choice for many of my baked items lately. Maybe it's the guilty conscience kicking in... in any case, it made me feel better about eating a rather tall stack of blinis as a precursor to this post :-).

In front of the Kremlin just before the emergence the fashionable self (oh, those bangs!)...

Happy blini bubbles


The texture of my blinis was surprisingly light and lacked the density and chewability of buckwheat, they were softer and more pancakey but nobody at home took issue with that. In fact, everyone at home loved the "mini-pancakes" topped with salmon, crème fraîche and caviar. If I had served them up as blinis, weird and wary looks would've been thrown my way... Sometimes it just pays to shield your food-tasters from the whole truth!

Torch Ginger flowers

The salmon I bought already came with dill leaves sprinkled along the edges, so for the garnish I sliced up some fresh Torch Ginger flower petals thinly and perched them upright on top of the blinis. Not only did the pinkish-red color draw the eyes into the heart of the blini, its sweet floral fragrance with a hint of ginger and lemon flavors offered the essence of the tropics. Can your mind even comprehend the thought of a tropical Russian-French blini? No, neither could mine. But they tasted wonderful, nonetheless.


I had these as a refreshing snack with my afternoon tea, and then again the following morning for breakfast. Yes, as Doristas, we are allowed to be decadent like that. You can find the recipe for this in Dorie's cookbook, Around My French Table or online here. For other takes on this blini recipe, please visit the other members of my French Fridays cooking group here.


I really enjoyed listening to Richard Seymour talk about "How Beauty Feels", and although it's a bit long at just over 15 minutes, there are some gems in here I think worth being reminded about.

Have a beautiful weekend!

35 comments:

Lizzy said...

SO beautiful, Maya! I always love the special touches you add. And I had to laugh....I made salmon "roses," too :) Loved these!!!!

Tina said...

This is a special breakfast indeed! I have always wanted to try these but have yet to taste them. Your post is a reminder that I am missing out.
I have always enjoyed these inspirational videos- I am now hooked on the Ted.com website
Thanks for this lovely post!

Ei said...

We're having these for dinner tonight. I'm wary, but willing to give it a shot. I have a mental block about cold fish (except in sushi), which has kept me away from smoked salmon. I like your salmon flowers. Looks more appetizing than the flat slab I'd probably lay on my pancake if I hadn't seen this. lol

easyfoodsmith said...

Love your post and the pics :)

S.V. said...

These look so good.... I love smoked salmon. I would eat this for breakfast any day lol. I watched a really cool video on Ted.com about the birth of a word. It was such an interesting and amazing video. Love Ted.com.

Trix said...

I skipped this week as I am cutting back on wheat. Temporarily. It's an experiment ... long story. ANYWAY. These are absolutely adorable!! When I am back on the wheat train I'll definitely make some. Mmm, that torch ginger reminds me of a trip to Hawaii many years ago. Such a fragrant place. And lol about the 90s!!! I dyed my hair the most hideously unnatural shade of red ... and then jet black. My mom said I looked like a corpse, and she was right!

Cucina49 said...

These look like they should be in a restaurant! I agree with you on the chewy edges--much better texture!

Cheap Ethnic Eatz said...

Oh your blinis look so nice and of course I love your exotic flair added to it. And I ma jealous you have been to Moscow! Never heard of Torch Ginger...off to research.

Cher said...

Love the 90's bangs :-)
Love the blini love! Everything looks amazing, as always.

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

So pretty! I love your presentation!

Michelle said...

These are so beautiful and they look delicious! What a fun appetizer!

Adrian (Food Rehab) said...

Such pretty presentation! And yes, I'm with you, the crisp edges are the best bit. Since I was a kid, I'd eat around the edges first and dip them in butter! LOL

Dzoli said...

Blini aought to be mostf famous Russian food.Love your story:))

Ann said...

What a beautiful presentation! I love the addition of the ginger flower petals. I also like the pic of you at the kremlin.....but I don't miss film cameras - digital are SO much more fun!

oneexpatslife said...

Gorgeous presentation, as always. I love that you added a little Asian-Fusion touch.

yummychunklet said...

I loved the crisp burnt edges on my blini as well! Your photo view from overhead makes the blini look like cups!

Ei said...

My cookie press came yesterday! It's so pretty (and I love the red bag you sent it in). Hmmm...now, what can I bake? Thanks!

Sandra said...

You look so cute...and those photos of your dish today are delicious!!! Awesome presentation!!!

Kris' Kitchen said...

Beautiful post because of beautiful food...and I think you look great! My kids tell me I"m stuck in the 80s so the 90s is great improvement. Your ginger flowers are lovely. And...I purposely overcook my pancakes...get out the cast iron grill pan and get it really hot and caramelize the batter sugars and YUM, so good. I would like your blini.

Pachecopatty said...

Lovely blinis, they look perfect to me! I have to try these, please pass the creme fraiche;-)

ApronThyme said...

My first visit to your blog- beautiful photos, great blinis!

Von said...

I've never had blinis before, but I like my pancakes with crisp edges too!! :D These look so cute- and tasty too! I've heard of torch ginger, but this is the first time I've actually seen a picture of it- it's so pretty!

Adriana said...

Oh, I had the 90s bangs too... I bought recently a ginger seedling and I can't wait for it to grow. To think that there are so many of them at my parents house and I never though of nibbling off the flowers.

Kathy said...

I think if you cook blinis or pancakes in butter and the pan is hot you get those browned edges. I love them that way! Yours look absolutely perfect...love the torch ginger! I have never heard of torch ginger...very cool!

Lizzy said...

I did have to toss my first few blini, but after that it was smooth sailing. Maybe using a non-stick pan helped, but I really have no idea. I think yours look fine and the salmon looks nothing like a yoga mat...LOL...but your comment got me back here to check them out again :)

Have a lovely weekend, Maya!

Kate@Diethood said...

I love blinis so I was really happy about this assignment, but I've never had an authentic Russian blini... I'm jealous! ;)
As always, your presentation is ah-mazing!!

Lilly said...

I’ve been in Moscow like 3 years ago! That building is amazing! Just as your blinies. They look great!
I love your flowers. They are so pretty and edible too? Wow!

Frankly Entertaining said...

Holy food styling Batman!!

Jenny (VintageSugarcube) said...

I'm swooning over the Russian/Asian fusion. I'm beyond curious about the Torch Ginger flowers. Sounds like some kind of wonderful. And you are all kinds of cuteness in Russian. Can't wait to here stories. :)

Arudhi said...

Hello! I`m your new follower :) I have zero knowledge about Russian food and this is certainly my first time knowing about blinis. The stacks of them with the torch ginger do look wonderful!

Ashley@Bakerbynature said...

I think your bangs are adorable - I'm a huge bang fan. You did a great job on this French Friday dish, I want to make it now.

foodie @ Tasting Spot said...

i really like your food pictures and want to invite you to try out tastingspot.com. it's for anyone that just wants another place to submit photos and share it will other foodies. It’s still in beta version, but would love for you to start adding some photos and help get it going.

Reem | Simply Reem said...

Beautiful!!!!
What a lovely presentation...
Great job girl and yes I love your bangs....

Cakelaw said...

The presentation of your blinis is superb! Torch ginger is an object of beauty.

onewetfoot.com said...

Fantastic presentation! I love that you added a little tropical flair to the dish, too.

I know what you mean about the guilty conscience regarding flour - I'm trying to move away from using plain white or brown rice flour when I'm baking gluten-free for my partner. It's so hard to make something with a decent amount of fibre unless you add other whole grain flours into the mix.

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