HAPPY NEW YEAR’S EVE LADIES!
It’s the holidays and that means throwing caution to the wind a bit and having something delicious – chocolate, cake, eggnog, wine and…… caviar and champagne!!!
I LOVE caviar. My friend Ell and I used to go to the Regent Beverly Wilshire and have caviar and champagne for dinner once in a while, just for fun. It was decadent, over-the-top and felt a bit naughty which made it all the more delicious. When in fact, it actually wasn’t a whole lot more expensive than a nice dinner out. If we had 2 appetizers, 2 entrees, and a bottle of wine, it would come out to about the same price as some caviar and a bottle of okay champagne. Now ladies, I am talking about dinner at a nice restaurant when I compare the costs – not the Olive Garden. AND, I am not out doing this every day – just once in a blue moon (or pink sunset).
I wanted to recreate this experience at home, and at a lower cost. I found some caviar at Whole Foods for $29.99 – not bad. And I found crème fraiche there and chives. The only way I like my caviar is with blinis. It’s okay with toast points, but there’s something about the blinis’ texture and flavor that just make the caviar sing. But no store had blinis so I set out on a quest to make them myself. How hard could it be? They’re really just little pancakes.
I made them and it was a grand success! The caviar was delicious and the blinis were perfect, if I do say so myself. Here is the recipe for the blinis. Make this for New Year’s for your friends or special someone or just for a decadent night, any day of the week. You deserve it!
YOU WILL NEED:
1/3 cup wheat flour (found it at Whole Foods)
¾ tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
½ tsp baking powder
½ cup half & half
¼ cup milk
2 tbsp. water
1 large egg
¼ pound clarified butter (I found it at Bristol Farms. You can order online. You can also make it at home from butter. Google it!)
Combine flours, salt and baking powder. In another bowl, whisk milk, half & half, egg and 1 tbsp. of the clarified butter (melted). Whisk in flour mixture. Add the 2 tbsp water if batter is too thick.
Heat 1 tbsp. clarified butter in sauté pan on high. Pour batter, one tbsp. at a time to make silver dollar size pancakes. Turn heat to medium-high. Cook one minute each side, until light brown but not crisp.
Repeat process till all blinis are made.
You can store these in the fridge for about 3 days or freeze them until you need them!
DID YOU KNOW?
Blini had a somewhat ritual significance for early Slavic peoples in pre-Christian times since they were a symbol of the sun, due to their round form. They were traditionally prepared at the end of winter to honor the rebirth of the new sun (Butter Week, or Maslenitsa). This tradition was adopted by the Orthodox church and is carried on to the present day. Blini are also served at wakes to commemorate the recently deceased.
Blini may be prepared and served in three basic ways.
- They may be eaten as they are. In this case, the batter may contain various add-ins, from grated potato or apple to raisins. These blini are quite common in Eastern Europe and are more solidly filled than the spongy pancakes usually eaten in North America.
- They may be smeared with butter, sour cream, jam, honey, or caviar (whitefish, salmon, or traditional sturgeon caviar, although the latter is not kosher and therefore not used in Jewish cuisine) and then they might be folded or rolled into a tube. In rolled form, they are similar to French crêpes. The caviar filling is popular during Russian-style cocktail parties.
- A filling such as jam, fruit, potato, cottage cheese or farmer cheese, cooked ground meat, cooked chicken, and even chopped mushrooms, bean sprouts, cabbage, and onions (for a Chinese eggroll-type blintz) is rolled or enveloped into a pre-fried blintz and then the blintz is lightly re-fried, sautéed, or baked. Such blintzes are also called nalysnyky (Ukrainian: налисники) or blinchiki (Russian: блинчики).
Buckwheat blini are part of traditional Russian cuisine. They are also widespread in Ukraine where they are known as hrechanyky (Ukrainian: гречаники), and Lithuania’s Dzūkija region, the only region in the country where buckwheat is grown, where they are called Grikių blynai.