Despite my efforts to create original recipes, the most popular post on this blog remains Blini and Oladi, Russian Pancakes. Not exactly the most innovative dish, one must admit. But I guess I’ve got to give the people what they want, so here’s another idea to cash in on the blini’s success: blini with smoked salmon! Well, sort of…
This is a good example of one of the things I’m trying to do on Food Perestroika: reinvent Russian classics. All the required ingredients are here: eggs, wheat, milk, hard cider (which is something I like to use in pancake batter), butter, crème fraîche, salmon, lemon juice, even chives and onion. But the actual blini are nowhere to be seen — my recipe is “inside out”. The smoked salmon wraps a mixture of cooked farro (that’s wheat to you), and the eggs, instead of being mixed into a batter, are poached at low temperature. The lemon juice goes into an egg white hollandaise, courtesy of Chef Steps again (my recent zur belish recipe used the yolks, now here’s something to do with the whites). The chives and salmon roe are traditional pairings with salmon, and hey, they look pretty!
Yields slightly over 4 servings
80 g farro
15 g butter
40 g peeled cippolini onions, small dice
80 g hard cider
40 g chicken stock
80 g milk
55 g crème fraîche
2.5 g chives
- Soak the farro in cold water for 25 minutes, then drain and reserve.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, then sauté the onions until translucent. Add the farro and the hard cider, and cook for a couple minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chicken stock, simmer for 5 minutes, then cover the saucepan, and cook over low heat for another 20 minutes. Add the milk, season with salt [moderately, since the smoked salmon is already salty], and cook for 10 more minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes.
- Mix in the crème fraîche and chives, and reserve.
Egg white hollandaise
Yields slightly over 4 servings
65 g Champagne vinegar
30 g peeled cippolini onions, thinly sliced
110 g egg whites
50 g butter, sliced
40 g milk
4 g salt
12 g lemon juice
1 g xanthan gum
- Combine the vinegar and onions in a small saucepan, and reduce by half over high heat.
- Strain the vinegar reduction, and weigh 25 g of the liquid, discarding the rest.
- Place the vinegar reduction, egg whites, butter, milk, salt, and lemon juice in a sous-vide pouch. Cook in a 75 C / 167 F water bath for 25 minutes.
- Transfer the contents of the pouch to a blender, add the xanthan gum, and blend on medium speed for 1 minute.
- Transfer to a 1-liter siphon, and charge with two cartridges of N2O. Shake several times, then reserve in a 65 C / 150 F water bath until serving.
Yields 4 servings
4 large eggs (50 g each), cold
- Cook the eggs in their shells in a 75 C / 167 F water bath for 13 minutes.
- Take the eggs out of the water, and proceed with assembly immediately.
Yields about 4 servings
220 g smoked salmon, thinly sliced
50 g salmon roe
egg white hollandaise
- Reheat the cooked farro in a small saucepan over low heat.
- On each plate, arrange one or more slices of salmon to form a 15 cm disc. Spoon some cooked farro in the middle, then wrap the salmon into a log shape, placed in the center of the plate. Pour a dollop of hollandaise sauce out of the siphon at one end of the salmon “blini”, and spoon some salmon roe on top. Break a poached egg on the side, leaving the shell on the plate, and cut the egg yolk with a knife. Sprinkle with chives, then serve immediately.