blini with smoked salmon and caviar

I was VERY excited when the October recipe list for French Fridays with Dorie was announced. It is easily the most interesting group of recipes we have cooked yet, and not because I expect them all to be great, but because they are, without exception, recipes which I have never cooked before.

This week’s recipe, Buckwheat Blini with Smoked Salmon and Creme Fraiche fell wide outside my comfort zone for several reasons. First, I have only encountered blini & caviar a few times before in my life, generally served up on silver trays at schmancy cocktail parties. Second, I do not like dill or smoked salmon (or really smoky flavored products of any kind), and while I don’t dislike caviar, I generally don’t like it enough to justify the price tag.

I spent a bit of time early in the month trying to figure out how to incorporate this recipe into a meal before finally embracing the fact that blini require no accompaniment except for a glass of something bubbly. And since I wasn’t really in the mood to throw a fancy cocktail party this week, we decided to treat ourselves to an elegant Sunday brunch. My rationalization is that the base ingredients here, pancakes & lox, while not often seen on the same plate, are hardly strangers at the breakfast table. So why not?

I made only one small substitution here, chives instead of dill. I thought about switching out the smoked salmon too, but my husband loves it and so rarely gets to enjoy it at home. As we were getting all of the ingredients ready to be assembled I tasted each of them separately: the caviar was good (so long as I didn’t think about the price), the smoked salmon was still yucky, and the blini were way too yeasty for my tastes. Not at all a good start to the meal.

But then, once assembled into a cute little bite sized package, it was actually, dare I say it, good! Somehow all of the flavors just melded together perfectly, even the salmon. Granted, I added a mini piece of salmon to each blini, but still, saying that I liked something with smoked ANYTHING is big for me. I must say that my husband and I felt quite elegant as we read our papers and enjoyed our blini and champagne.

Granted, this is not a recipe which I see us making again anytime soon, but I am happy that I stepped outside my comfort zone and gave it a try. And who knows, maybe some day in the future if we feel the need to throw a fancy party we’ll break this recipe out and wow our guests.

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21 Responses to blini with smoked salmon and caviar

  1. If I ate smoked salmon and caviar, I would be in heaven here – yours llook so good ! Beautiful blinis too! I went off on a bit of atangent this week!

  2. anja jansen says:

    They look great and I love the size of the blini. You can eat them as fingerfood. Great idea.
    And the weather in Frankfurt is probably the same as in Holland, so hopefully for you also a great sunny day today.

    • The sun is indeed out in Frankfurt today! According to the weatherman it will stay sunny all weekend so I will definitely be taking advantage of that.

  3. Cher says:

    I switched out the dill for chives as well – it just seemed to make sense…
    This dish definitely has the “oo la la” factor built in. I want to raise my pinky finger just looking at your pictures 🙂

  4. Pretty decadent! You’re one of the first I’ve seen to use caviar as well!

  5. Eileen says:

    Yours looks so cute!!! I hated this recipe, but I’d try those! lol I’ve never had caviar. I was already spending $11 on smoked salmon, I gave the caviar a pass. It sure looks pretty on yours, though. I like how little salmon you used. I’d probably like that better than my big old slabs. Ugh!

    • Thank you! It was definitely one of (or possibly THE) most expensive brunch we’ve ever had, but we enjoyed it. It’s fun to splurge every once in a while.

  6. Alice says:

    yay!!! it sounds like you had yourself a fancy brunch anyways! 🙂 I wanted to find roe or caviar and we couldnt find any so I will have to make this again just for the roe….

  7. SoupAddict says:

    Great idea, serving it for brunch! Yours looked so pretty with the caviar. 🙂

  8. I’m glad you enjoyed these, even with your trepidations. Sounds like a wonderful Sunday morning, indeed!

  9. Those look like the perfect size, and I’m with you on the dill – I went with chives.

  10. Liz says:

    Oh, I’m so glad you liked these after all!!! And I hope you dropped the line, “oh, we had blini and champagne for brunch, ” a few times this week 😉

  11. Kathy says:

    I so enjoyed these and I didn’t even have a glass of champagne! Sounds like you had a perfect morning! Don’t you love French Fridays? Always trying something new! Have a great weekend!

  12. Krissy says:

    It is nice to have a recipe that will work when you do want to have your elegant dinner party and need a special appetizer. And…good for you to step out of your comfort zone and to find a new food to enjoy. And…your write up is great and with all your lovely photos…nice work. Enjoyed reading your experience.

  13. Your blini look so dainty. I couldn’t make mine that small because I would have been standing at the griddle for an hour, and I don’t have that kind of patience!

  14. Betsy says:

    I wish I’d thought of having bubbly with my blinis. Perfect combination!
    I agree with you, Rose, that part of the whole experience of FFwD is trying things we might not try on our own. Somehow knowing that others are trying the same thing is encouraging and inspiring. Glad that it was a success for you.

  15. Cakelaw says:

    So glad you tried these and liked them – they certainly look fab.

  16. Karen says:

    I’m so glad you persevered and gave these a try! They look beautiful on your elegant platter.

  17. Teresa says:

    Your blini make me wish I’d splurged on some caviar (and some bubbly). What a wonderful, decadent brunch!

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