These Russian blini recipes will make you fall in love with pancakes all over again

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Think you know everything about blinis? You don’t know anything until you‘ve tried these tantalizing treats. Get cooking!

From Feb.12 to Feb.18 all frying pans will be occupied by blinis. During Maslenitsa the Russian pancakes are used to say farewell to winter. In the past each region had its own blini tradition. For example, in Central Russia buckwheat blinis were common while in St. Petersburg and Novgorod wheat blinis with smelt were very popular. Today these regional variations have basically been erased but you can still find a wide choice of blinis wherever you are in Russia. Or you can make them yourself.

Russia Beyond suggests making salted blinis from buckwheat or wheat flour according to the recipes of Valery Poryadin, head chef of Sochi’s Baran-Rapan restaurant. You won’t regret it.

Buckwheat blinis with porcini mushroom ragu and dill oil

Ingredients:

For the dough:

  • Milk - 500 g
  • Vegetable oil - 50 g
  • Sugar -  35 g
  • 6 eggs
  • Buckwheat flour - 150 g
  • Wheat flour - 150 g
  • Salt - 10 g
  • Water - 200 g
  • Buckwheat porridge - 50 g

For the mushroom ragu:

  • Porcini mushrooms - 70 g
  • Leeks - 20 g
  • Cream (33%) - 50 g
  • Mushroom broth - 40 g
  • Scallions - 4 g
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the leek sauce:

  • Leeks - 100 g
  • Shallots - 70 g
  • Milk - 100 g
  • Cream - 100 g

For the dill oil:

  • Dill - 100 g
  • Vegetable oil - 150 g

Preparation:

Dough: Add the sugar, eggs, salt, and two types of flour to the milk and pour boiled water over everything. Add the boiled buckwheat porridge. Mix into a homogenous dough. Add the vegetable oil, mix, and leave for 20 minutes.

Heat up a frying pan and grease it with the vegetable oil. Pour a thin layer of dough onto the pan. Fry the blinis on both sides until golden.

Mushroom ragu:  Chop the white part of the leeks and scallions and fry them with the mushrooms. Add the salt and pepper, pour in the cream and mushroom broth. Stir and simmer until the mixture thickens.

Leek sauce: Fry the leeks and shallots and pour in the milk and cream. Stew and simmer until half is evaporated, then strain. Cut the inner layers of the leeks into little cylinders and fry them on both sides.

Dill oil: Blanch the dill twigs, add the vegetable oil, and mix everything in a blender. Leave overnight in a refrigerator and in the morning strain through a sieve and cheesecloth.

Place the mushroom ragu onto a plate. Cut out circles from the blinis and use them to cover the mushroom ragu. Place the little leek cylinders nearby, pour the leek sauce and the dill oil on top.

Blinis with smoked salmon mousse and marinated cucumber

Ingredients:

  • Apples -70 g
  • Cucumbers - 70 g
  • Wild salmon caviar - 20 g
  • Smoked salmon - 70 g

For the dough:

  • Milk - 500 g
  • Vegetable oil - 50 g
  • Sugar - 35 g
  • 6 eggs
  • Wheat flour - 300 g
  • Salt - 10 g
  • Water - 200 g

Smoked salmon mousse:

  • Coldly smoked salmon -110 g
  • Milk - 60 g
  • Cream - 110 g
  • Gelatin - 4 g

Tarragon butter:

  • Tarragon leaves - 30 g
  • Sunflower oil - 30 g

Sour cream sauce:

  • Dill - 30 g
  • Sour cream - 40 g
  • Garlic - 5 g
  • Tarragon butter - 10 g

Preparation:

Dough: Add the sugar, eggs, salt, and two types of flour to the milk and pour boiled water over everything. Add the boiled buckwheat porridge. Mix into a homogenous dough. Add the vegetable oil, mix, and leave for 20 minutes.

Heat up a frying pan and grease it with vegetable oil. Pour a thin layer of dough onto the pan. Fry the blinis on both sides until golden.

Smoked salmon mousse: Prepare the gelatin. Place the salmon in the milk and cream and cook until it firms up a little. Add the gelatin. Mix everything in a blender until obtaining an airy mass.

Tarragon butter: Mix the tarragon leaves with the sunflower oil (1:1 ratio) in a blender and leave overnight in a refrigerator, then strain through a cheesecloth.

Sour cream sauce: Grate the garlic, finely chop the dill, add the sour cream and the tarragon butter - and mix.

Peel the apple and cucumber and cut into small cubes. Garnish the tarragon butter the cucumber and apple cubes.

Cut the smoked salmon into small cubes. Mix with the apple and cucumber tartar and garnish with the sour cream sauce.

Put the salmon, apple and cucumber tartar onto a plate. Place the blinis on top of the mixture, cover with the wild salmon caviar and mousse through a pastry bag.

Don't forget to read how to make a multi-layered ‘crepe cake’ that will astonish family and friends!

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