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!