Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Blini with Three Caviars (Page 39)

RECIPE #1267

  • Date: Sunday, April 24, 2011 -- 1pm
  • Location: East Lansing, MI
  • Kitchen: Our House
  • Fellow Chef: Emilee
  • Dining Companions: Brian, Sam, Matty, Teri, Terry, Helen, Charles, Clara, Georgina, Bob M, Kendra, Jubin, Watson, Mary, Corbett, Allison, and Mark W
  • Recipe Rating: B-

I hadn't made this recipe yet because it calls for three kinds of caviar (which is a little extreme, no?), but we had a big party on Easter/my birthday, and it seemed like just the occasion for such extravagance! To make the buckwheat pancakes, I proofed some yeast, then added buckwheat flour, sugar, heated milk, and butter. I let the mixture rise overnight in the fridge. (Note: The Book gives the option of letting it rise on the counter for 2 hours or overnight in the fridge. For logistical reasons I chose the latter. The Book also notes that the overnight option will produce tangier batter, and I can confirm that the pancakes were extremely tangy. If I were to make them again, I would let the batter rise on the counter instead -- my pancakes had too much tang!) I then added more warm milk, flour, salt, and egg yolk to the batter. I let it rise for an hour. I beat heavy cream until soft peaks formed, then folded the whipped cream into the batter. I beat egg whites to stiff peaks and folded them in as well. I cooked the blinis in a heavy skillet brushed with melted butter. Emilee helped me top them with sour cream and three different types of caviar (golden caviar, black caviar, and salmon roe). We had several vegetarians and people with fish allergies in attendance, so we also topped some of them with sour cream and chopped black olives. These blinis were met with mixed reviews. I thought the pancakes alone didn't have a very good flavor (too tangy/yeasty, as previously mentioned, and they tasted a bit like dirt), but when topped with the sour cream and caviar (or olives) the flavors balanced well and I kind of liked them. Emilee, on the other hand, almost puked on our family room floor after tasting one of these. To be fair, she is pregnant, so perhaps her stomach is a little off, but she maintains that it wasn't pregnancy related. She says the blini was just so disgusting that it was a struggle to keep it down. So, they weren't an overwhelming hit. Indeed, although some of them did get eaten, many of them remained untouched. I doubt I will be making this recipe again.

The recipe in the book calls for twice as much yeast (in proportion to other ingredients) as the recipe online, which is here.

Only 26 recipes left to go!

I am home, and so very, very happy to be home! Our trip was really wonderful, but five weeks was a long time to be gone, and by the end I was definitely feeling ready to go home. Plus, summer in Michigan is spectacularly beautiful. I can't get over how lush, and green, and gorgeous everything is right now. And the weather the last few days has been spectacular. I have lived in California, Boston, South Carolina, Southern Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan, and I can honestly say that I think summer in the upper Midwest is the nicest summer in the country. Yes, we suffer in the winter, but the summer is so fantastic! While walking to work yesterday I was just overcome with joy. I love summer. During the semester I always feel behind. I work long hours and never feel caught up. This school year was insanely busy and as soon as the school year ended we left for our trip. And the trip was fabulous, but it was logistically complicated and involved a lot of work obligations. I wouldn't call it a vacation. But now, back at home, I feel as though I can exhale. I am still working hard, but I also have time. I have time to work out. Time to cook. Time to sit around with my kitties. Time to see friends. Today was my friend Helen's birthday, and we went together to get facials to celebrate. I have time for a facial! And it feels amazing. For the first time in a long time, I feel genuinely relaxed. I love summer. And the fantastic thing about our schedule this summer is that we consolidated a lot of the travel. So we were gone for a long time, but now I don't have to get on another airplane for seven weeks! I can't even put into words how delighted I am about seven weeks of Michigan summer, in the comfort of my own home. I can't remember the last time I felt as happy as I do today. Ah, Michigan summer.


Karen said...


I've been reading "As Always, Julia" which is some of the letters between Julia Child and Avis DeVoto as "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" was being developed. She would send recipes to test to friends she called "good enough friends to be cold-blooded". Seems like you have a good friend in Emilee!

I am sorry these didn't work out - seems like something with caviar is supposed to be wonderful, huh?

Glad to hear you're home and happy! I remember one summer visiting my Grandma - it was over the 4th of July in Detroit and it was sooooooo hot!

Teena said...

I haven't read "As Always, Julia." It sounds interesting though!

I like caviar OK, but I have never actually made anything with caviar that I totally loved. I guess it just isn't my thing!

Karen said...

If you're a fan of Julia, you'd probably like the book.

I've never tried caviar to date - never been exposed to it....but I would be open to trying it. I know it's supposed to be a sort of 'high-end' food item.

Now, I did try escargot once upon a time a long time ago and I remember liking that...