The New Year is fast approaching – in less than a couple of days in fact! And what a year it has been! I’m not sure about you, but I am terribly eager to be rid of ‘20 and to ring in a hopefully brighter year of ’21! “Out with the old and in with the new” has never sounded so exciting!
Despite the rocky year, I refuse to allow any virus to ruin my appetite! And so, as is tradition in my family, we celebrate and end the year with irresistible delicacies! Growing up, I lived with my family in a very dangerous area of Naples – to put it simply, we were not wealthy. However, my father always made it a point to NEVER be frugal when it came to food – particularly during the holidays! A Neapolitan holiday mealcould feed an entire army (our families are almost that big anyway) – we always had to make sure of that!
The base of this recipe is straightforward, but the choice of toppings is endless. You can keep it simple, or you can go all out with the finest fare on the market. As always, for the New Year, and to keep in line with my father’s very own words – I like to go all out!
When making blinis, or even crepes, I find that adding sparkling water, in this case – San Pellegrino – provides a fluffier and lighter result. In line with most common New Year’s resolutions, somehow, it feels as though the blinis are that much healthier and less heavy on the stomach. Or so I like to tell myself…
In addition to adding sparkling water, I use an Italian soft grain flour (farina di grano tenero), as well as finely chopped spring onion – which reminds me of a Chinese pancake (cong you bing- 葱油饼) I used to eat for breakfast while living in Shanghai almost a decade ago. Not only does spring onion pair very nicely with smoked salmon, but I always enjoy playing with elements from culinary experiences I’ve had during my travels abroad.
For the toppings, I use beautifully smoked Tasmanian salmon, as well as caviar, and finally blend my homemade milk kefir (a much healthier and more beneficial form of dairy product compared to yogurt) together with whipped cream, to create a milder form of sour cream – just to add a hint of tanginess to the canape.
Let’s get started!
NUMBER OF SERVINGS – 30 Blinis
INGREDIENTS – Blinis
240 ml San Pellegrino sparkling water
140 gms flour (Caputo tipe 1)
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs (whisked in a small bowl)
1 Tablespoon finely chopped chives/spring onion
pinch of salt
Bowl of oil – for greasing the pan
INGREDIENTS – Sour cream & Toppings
70 gms whipping cream
70 gms plain, unsweetened yogurt (or Kefir)
15 large slices of smoked salmon
Caviar – amount based on your preference
METHOD – Blinis1) Whisk flour and baking soda in a medium sized bowl until well incorporated.2) Slowly pour in the San Pellegrino sparkling water into the dry ingredients.3) Mix in the eggs, chopped spring onion and add a pinch of salt to taste.4) Heat a pan or skillet over low to medium heat, and using a paper towel or pastry brush, dip into the oil and spread evenly and lightly around the pan. The less oil you use, the smoother the surface of the blini you will have.5) Using a table spoon, carefully spoon the batter onto the heated pan/skillet – each blini uses 1 full tablespoon of batter. Depending on the size of the pan, add 2-3 spoonfulsof the batter at a time for faster results.6) Once tiny bubbles begin forming on the top of the batter (around 1 minute), gently use a spatula to flip the blinis over to the other side, allowing it to brown slightly (also around 1 minute).7) Remove to a plate and continue to cook the remaining blinis. Blinis are normally served slightly warm or at room temperature.
METHOD – Sour Cream1) Whip the whipping cream until fluffy, and then add in the yogurt.
PREPARING THE CANAPES1) Lay the blinis on a flat plate, and top them with a half a slice of smoked salmon (or one slice depending on the size), a dollop of sour cream and finally ½ to 1 tsp of caviar – depending on your cravings! I tend to go more with 1 tsp.
And with this, I say “Eat, Drink and be Merry”!!
A huge THANK YOU to those who have supported me all these years!!
May the New Year bless you with good health, great food and much happiness! Salute!!!