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2000s Recipes + Menus

Buckwheat Pancakes with Smoked Salmon

Makes18 to 20 hors d'oeuvres
  • Active time:25 min
  • Start to finish:25 min
March 2004
This version of blini—a tribute to the Russian communities throughout the New York metropolitan area—is fast because it does not require yeast. If buckwheat flour is unavailable, whole-wheat flour makes a good substitute.

For buckwheat pancakes

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted

For topping

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill or chives
  • 8 oz thinly sliced smoked salmon, cut into small pieces
  • Garnish:

    chopped fresh dill or chives

Make pancakes:

  • Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together yolks and milk in a small bowl, then whisk into dry ingredients. Beat egg whites in another large bowl with an electric mixer until they hold soft peaks, then fold into flour mixture. Add 3 tablespoons butter and fold until batter is smooth.
  • Lightly brush a 10- to 12-inch nonstick skillet with some of remaining butter, then heat over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Working in batches of 4, spoon about 1 1/2 tablespoons batter per pancake into skillet and cook until surface of pancakes bubbles, 1 to 2 minutes, then flip and cook 1 minute more. Transfer to a plate and keep warm, covered. Brush skillet with butter between batches.

Make topping:

  • Stir together all topping ingredients except salmon until combined, then dollop on pancakes and top with salmon.
  • Beat egg white with a clean whisk in another bowl until it just holds soft peaks. Fold into batter along with 2 tablespoons melted butter.
  • Brush a 12-inch nonstick skillet with some of remaining melted butter, then heat over medium heat until hot. Working in batches of 6 or 7, drop 1 level tablespoon batter per pancake into skillet and cook until bubbles appear on surface and undersides are golden, 45 seconds to 1 minute. Flip over and cook 1 minute more. Brush blini on both sides with some of remaining melted butter, then transfer to a plate and keep warm, covered with foil. Brush skillet with butter between batches.
Cooks’ note: You can substitute 2 ounces of caviar for the smoked salmon.

*Available at natural foods stores.
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