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Buckwheat Blinis

By In The Kitchen with Stefano Faita 

Topped with smoked salmon or caviar, these mini Russian pancakes are an impressive appetizer for cocktail parties.


Buckwheat Blinis”

– 3/4 cup warm milk
– 1 tsp. sugar
– 1 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
– 2 tbsp. melted butter
– 3/4 cup all purpose flour
– 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
– Pinch salt
– 1/2 tsp. baking powder
– 2 eggs, separated
– Vegetable oil, as needed

Smoked Salmon Blinis:

– About 1/2 cup cream cheese
– 12 slices smoked salmon
– 1/2 small red onion, minced
– 2 tbsp. chopped dill

Egg and Caviar Blinis:

– About 1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
– 1/4 cup caviar
– 2 to 3 hard cooked eggs, cut into wedges
– 2 tbsp. chopped chives


Buckwheat Blinis:

Combine milk, sugar and yeast in a medium bowl. Stir until blended. Let mixture stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in cooled melted butter.

In another bowl, combine all-purpose flour, buckwheat flour, salt and baking powder. Make a well in the centre and stir in milk mixture until blended. Whisk egg yolks and stir in just until incorporated. If batter seems too thick, thin with a little milk. Do not stir the batter vigorously. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Whisk egg whites until soft peaks. Gently fold into blini batter.

Heat a large non-stick pan or griddle over medium to medium low heat. Using a paper towel, lightly coat pan with vegetable oil. For each blini, using 2 spoons, spoon 1 heaping tbsp. of the batter into the pan. Cook until bubbles start to form on top, about 1 to 2 minutes. Flip and cook until golden brown on the bottom and centre is no longer doughy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Makes about 24 blinis.

Smoked Salmon Blinis:

To make the salmon roses: Lay slice of smoked salmon on work surface. Roll up and then curl out the edges to form a rose. Set aside.

Add a dollop of cream cheese to 12 blinis. Top each with a smoked salmon rose, a sprinkle of red onion and chopped dill. Makes 12 Smoked Salmon Blinis.

Egg and Caviar Blinis:

Add a dollop of crème fraîche or sour cream to 12 blinis. Top each with hard-cooked egg wedge, a little caviar and a sprinkle of chopped chives. Makes 12 Egg and Caviar Blinis.

Yield: About 24 blinis

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