Cookbook Profile

Cocktail Blini

Makes 24


Cocktail Blini Blini are the one Russian dish that has migrated around the world to smart restaurants and parties everywhere. They could have been specially designed as finger food in fact-each blin is about 1 to 1-1/2 inches in diameter, a perfect one-bite snack (or two bites if you're being dainty!) You can buy cocktail blini in many supermarkets and delicatessens, but usually they're not made authentically with buckwheat flour. Be different!

1 cup buckwheat flour
   or half and half with all-purpose flour
1 package active dried yeast (1/4 oz.)
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg separated
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup lukewarm milk
1 tablespoon butter for sautéing

To serve:
Crème frâiche or sour cream
Small pots of caviar and/or salmon keta
Herbs, such as snipped chives and dill sprigs
About 4 pieces smoked salmon, finely sliced


Mix the flour, yeast and salt in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Beat the egg yolk with the sugar and 3/4 cup warm water and add to well. Mix well, then cover with a damp cloth and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

Beat in the milk to make a thick, creamy batter. Cover again and leave for 1 hour until small bubbles appear on the surface.

Beat the egg white to soft peak stage, then fold it into the batter.

Heat a heavy-bottom skillet or crêpe pan and brush with butter. Drop in about 1 teaspoon of batter to make a pancake about 1 inch indiameter. Cook until the surface bubbles, about 2-3 minutes, then flip the blini over with a spatula and cook the second side for 2 minutes.

Put a plate in the oven to keep warm while you cook the remaining blini. Don't put the blini on top of each other. Serve them warm.

To serve, top with a spoonful of crème frâiche or sour cream, some snipped chives or dill sprigs, and a small pile of caviar or keta or a curl of smoked salmon.

Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Reheat in the oven at 400 degrees for about 5 minutes.

Buy the Book!


Finger Food
By Elsa Petersen-Schepelern
Time-Life Books
Hardback, $19.95
ISBN: 0-7370-2022-9
Recipe Reprinted by permission.


Finger Food



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This page created November 1999