Blue Corn Blini
These feathery light pancakes are not only the best blini, but the best combination of spicy sauce and salty smoked salmon. This could be a casual supper or a brunch dish as well as an appetizer. The sauce is even better made a day ahead, allowing the flavors to meld. The blini batter can be made a few hours in advance; however, they should be fried just before serving.
- Blue Corn Blini
- Milk - 3/8 cup (heated to 110 F)
- Active Dried Yeast - 1 tablespoon (1 package)
- Sugar - 2 teaspoons
- All-Purpose Flour - 1/4 cup, unbleached
- Blue Cornmeal - 1/4 cup (alt. yellow cornmeal)
- Egg Yolk - 1
- Unsalted Butter - 6 tablespoons, at room temperature
- Egg Whites - 2
- Cream of Tartar - 1/4 teaspoon
- Sour Cream - 3/4 cup
- Mild Goat Cheese - 1/4 cup, softened to room temperature and crumbled
- Jalapeno Chili - 1, roasted, peeled, seeded, and minced
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- Freshly ground white pepper - 1/4 teaspoon
- Red Bell Pepper - 1/4 cup, roasted, peeled, seeded, and finely diced
- Red Onion - 1/4 cup, roasted, peeled, seeded, and finely diced
- Cilantro - 2 tablespoons, chopped, fresh
- Chives - 2 tablespoons, chopped, fresh
- Smoked Salmon - 1/2 pound, thinly sliced
To make the blini: In a medium bowl, combine the milk, yeast, and sugar. Stir the mixture well and allow it to develop at room temperature until foamy, about 10 to 15 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cornmeal, mixing until no lumps remain. Set aside.
Whip the egg yolk and 2 tablespoons of the butter together with an electric beater until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the yeast mixture and continue to beat until the batter does not cling to the beaters, about 10 minutes.
In another clean bowl and with clean beaters,, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat on high speed until the egg whites are stiff and hold a firm peak. Fold the egg whites gently into the batter and set the batter aside at room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 150 F. Divide the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter into equal parts. Melt one piece in a 6-inch skillet over medium-high heat. When the foam begins to subside, add one-fourth of the batter and fry the blini until the edges are firm and the bottom is golden, about 2 minutes. Turn and cook for 2 more minutes. Transfer the blini to a plate with a spatula and keep warm in the oven while making the remaining blini.
To make the sauce: In a small bowl, mix the sour cream, goat cheese, jalapeno chili, lime juice, and white pepper. Refrigerate the sauce until ready to serve.
To serve: Place a blini on each warmed plate. Sprinkle each blini with the peppers, onion, cilantro, and chives. Form the smoked salmon into 4 rose-shaped cups by rolling it into spirals and placing one in the center of each blini. Fill the cups with sour cream.