A few years ago, a friend of Ina's in Paris threw a party, but there was a problem. While he'd taken care of the drinks, the food slipped his mind. Ina stepped in with these crowd-pleasing blini topped with smoked salmon and crème fraîche. It was a brilliant save, brightened even further with some bubbly.
Servings: Serves 6–8 (about 24 blini)
Ingredients 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter1/3 cup buckwheat flour2/3 cup all-purpose flour1/2 teaspoon baking powder1/2 teaspoon kosher salt1 extra-large egg3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk1/2 pound smoked salmon , thinly sliced1/4 cup creme fraicheFresh dill , for garnishSalmon caviar (roe), for garnish
In a small saucepan, clarify butter by simmering over low heat. Set aside, allowing milk solids to sink to bottom. Pour off clear yellow liquid and reserve; discard white sediment.
Whisk together flours, baking powder, salt, egg, milk and 1 tablespoon clarified butter until smooth. Heat 2 tablespoons clarified butter in a small skillet and drop batter in 1 tablespoon at a time. Cook on medium-low heat until bubbles form on top side of blini, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook until brown. Repeat with remaining batter.
Place 1 piece of smoked salmon on top of each of the blini. Add a dollop of crème fraîche, a dill sprig and a sprinkling of salmon caviar, if desired. Serve immediately.