1.1 Blinis

Russian Blinis

  • Mix 2 eggs with 1 tablespoon of white sugar and 3 cups of milk. Add 1/3 teaspoon of salt, half a cup of flour and whisk thoroughly. The flour can be sifted to remove lumpy particles.
  • Heat the frying pan. Lightly oil the pan or spray with cooking spray. Pour about 2 tablespoons of batter, or as much as desired, into the pan. Tilt the pan to spread the batter out evenly. When the edges look crisp and the centre appears dry, slide a spatula carefully under the blin and flip it. Cook for about 1 more minute on the other side, or until lightly browned. Gently move the blin onto a place. Place a little butter on top, and continue to stack the blini on top of each other.
  • To serve, spread with desired filling and roll into a tube or fold the blin twice in half to make a triangle. Blini can be served with butter, sour cream, black or red caviar, as well as fillet of sturgeon or salmon.

This recipe arrived a few months ago on a postcard from Russia. I’d made blinis before, with Katherine, small fluffy ones we ate with smoked salmon and gherkins at my parents kitchen table. They were much thicker though, not like this recipe which called for 3 cups of milk to 1/2 a cup of flour..

My decadent Garnethill penthouse is a mere leisurely stroll away from the Maryhill Road Lidl, which meant I got all the blini ingredients and toppings as well as four huge bottles of lager for under ten buck. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it Marks & Spencer two dine for a tenner. Unimaginative.

The postcard had some quite good serving suggestions along the lines of sturgeon and caviar; in the absence of these items in Lidl I settled for peppered mackerel, creme fraiche, cornichons and some slightly unnecessary smoked sausage for the savoury course, and a jar of cherry jam for the dessert round of blini.

The recipe itself: probably quite good if you don’t follow my lead and triple the quantity of flour because the batter looked a bit peely-wally. They look like crepes in the picture – I roundly ignored this evidence and thickened the mix up to the detriment of the blinis. They turned out too thick and stodgy, not like those tasty ones you get in the Russian restaurant in the Trongate where they roll them up like enchiladas and bake them..

The card says to butter each one while piling them up – not sure if this is to stop them sticking but even with a thin scraping of butter between each shift of blinis they ended up incredibly buttery and quite decadent-tasting as a result. 

Nicest filling: peppered mackerel & cornichons

Worst filling: Cherry jam (cheap jam + overly buttery pancake was a bit of a sickly combo even for the most sweet-toothed pig of a diner e.g myself).

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