When I was a caterer, I served mountains of caviar at parties...and at my own soirées, too! More than once I was faced with what to do with a pound or so of leftover caviar. Obviously, the answer was to make a pile of blini and invite friends over for an indulgent meal. If you are lucky enough to have some caviar for your New Year's Eve celebration, try this authentic recipe made with buckwheat flour and sour cream. And remember, these are pancakes that should not be served hot. In fact, the heat would warm the cold caviar. So make them a few hours ahead of serving, but keep them at room temperature. With some sparkling wine to wash it all down, blini and caviar are a fine way to bring in the new year.
Blini and Caviar
Makes 40 blini, about 8 servings
The little pancakes are simple to make at home. You can serve them with caviar or smoked salmon.
• 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 2/3 cup buckwheat flour
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 1/4 cups whole milk
• 1/2 cup full-fat sour cream, plus more for serving
• 2 large eggs
• 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
•Vegetable oil, for cooking
• 2 ounces caviar, or more as needed
• Minced onion, minced hard-boiled egg yolk, and minced fresh chives, for serving
1. Sift the flour, buckwheat flour, and salt together into a medium bowl. Whisk the milk, sour cream, eggs, and butter together in another bowl. Add to the flour mixture and whisk just until smooth. Do not overmix.
2. Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat until a splash of water forms tiny bubbles that dance on the griddle surface. Lightly oil the griddle. Using a tablespoon for each, spoon the batter onto the griddle. Cook until the underside is golden brown, about 1 minute. Turn and cook until the other sides are browned, about 1 minute more. Transfer to a plate. (The blini can be prepared, cooled, covered, and stored at room temperature, for 8 hours before serving.)
3. Place the caviar in a small serving bowl and nestle in a larger bowl of ice. (Or, if you have a caviar server, use it.) Serve the blini with the caviar and the sour cream, onion, egg yolk, and chives.
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