A few days ago, Meeta posted about the latest Monthly Mingle challenge, kindly hosted by Journey Kitchen, which is all about yeasted doughs. Now I hope a yeasted batter is okay, too… because I really fell in love with the
Buttermilk Yeasted Blini
What struck me most about the recipe is that it uses two raising agents – not only yeast, but also egg whites, which provide a fluffy, airy texture in addition to the yeasty yummyness.
Begin an hour or so in advance.
125 g all-purpose flour
40 g buckwheat flour
5 g dried (instant) yeast
175 ml tepid milk
2 eggs, separated
150 ml buttermilk
2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
ghee, or clarified butter
Sift both flours into a large bowl, add yeast and a pinch of salt, stir to combine and form a well in the centre. Warm milk in a small saucepan over low heat until lukewarm (or use the microwave), remove from heat, whisk in yolks, then add to flours and stir to combine. Add buttermilk and parsley, stir until a batter forms. Cover and set aside to prove (1 hour). Whisk eggwhite and a pinch of salt in a separate bowl until soft peaks form, gently fold through buttermilk mixture,
Heat a dab of ghee in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat, add tablespoons of blini mixture and cook until bubbles form (2-3 minutes), turn, cook until golden (30 seconds), then remove from pan. Wipe out pan with absorbent paper and repeat with a little more ghee and batter.
Now, no one can live on blini alone, and while a spoon of sour cream and trout or salmon roe make a great topping, I opted for home-cured salmon.
100 g coarse sea salt
100 g sugar
100 ml Gin (I used Tanqueray)
finely grated rind of 3 organic lemons, divided use — plus lemon wedges to serve (use the lemons you just zested)
1 side of fresh salmon, about 1 kg, pin-boned, skin on
2 handfuls each mint and flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Combine salt, sugar, gin and the rind of 2 lemons in a bowl, stir to combine. You will have a slurry slushy blend with a distinct gin-and-lemon smell. Place a piece of plastic wrap longer than the salmon fillet on a work bench and scatter a little salt mixture over the plastic. (I layered this in a rectangular pyrex casserole dish, still using the cling film). Lay salmon on top, pat remaining mixture onto flesh. Wrap and refrigerate, turning once, until lightly cured (overnight, and up to 15 hours). Wipe off salt mixture and liquid with absorbent paper, scatter over chopped herbs and remaining lemon rind, pat well into flesh, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until required.
Slice thinly and serve on baguette or with blini, and drizzle with a little lemon juice.
Note: you can cure the salmon for 36 to 48 hours, which is just fine and results in a slightly firmer flesh.
Both recipes will serve 6-8 people as an appetizer or party food. Have some ice-cold gin or vodka ready to serve with the blini and salmon