As for toppings, I decided more is better. The result is not simply a tasty little pancake, but a tasty little pancake topped with smoked trout (or smoked salmon, if you prefer), plus the caviar of your choice (though I’m partial to the color and pop of salmon roe), plus yogurt flavored with horseradish and lemon, and finally, at the summit, sprigs of fresh dill.
You can serve these on a platter, already assembled, or allow your guests to build their own perfect bites by wrapping the blini in a cloth to keep them warm, and serving them alongside little bowls of the toppings. By the end of the night, you might end up with an Oscar of your own.
BLINI WITH SMOKED TROUT, CAVIAR AND HORSERADISH CREAM
Start to finish: 35 minutes
Makes 24 blini
3/4 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon bottled horseradish, drained
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
Pinch of sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter, melted (or vegetable oil)
3/4 cup flaked or chopped smoked trout or salmon
1/4 cup fresh dill sprigs or chopped fresh chives
2 ounces salmon roe (or the caviar of your choice)
Heat the oven to 200 F.
In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, horseradish, lemon rind and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together both flours, the baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. In another medium bowl, combine the buttermilk, egg and butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until barely combined (it is OK to see a few lumps). The batter will be thick.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat the skillet with cooking spray and add the batter by level tablespoon amounts. Do not crowd the pan.