What’s your favourite thing about Christmas?
Spending time with the family? Or perhaps the presents? Maybe its the time off work? Maybe it’s the fact that it’s totally acceptable to drink champagne all day?
No no. I’m just messing around. I know it’s the food. Obviously.
But probably more than the traditional Christmas supper, what I love the most are the canapes.
Yes I know I’m biased because I am a chef and a large part of my job is making canapés. But there in lies the dilemma. My job is to make canapés. It is not necessarily to eat them. Mores the pity.
I mean obviously I have to taste them. Just one to check the flavour balance. Then another to check that the first one tasting incredible wasn’t just a fluke. And then one final one just to monitor the little tweak I just made. So you see I barely get to eat any of them…
For me Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without lashings of smoked salmon and blinis. Canapes I actually get to eat. I love blinis. They are light, can be easily made gluten free and they are easier to make than you think. So when January rolls round I normally go into a little stage of mourning for the 12 months I am going to be smoked-salmon-blini-less.
Normally. Yes I say that because no longer are blinis to made only in miniature and popped into your mouth in one bite. No way.
As I cooked my way to Christmas, doing more canape parties then you would have believed possible, it occurred to me. Blinis are so great we should eat more of them. They are also fab with lots of other things apart from smoked salmon. In essence they are the perfect base. Wouldn’t they make the most amazing alternative to a pizza? The answer is yes. They do.
These giant blinis are super easy to whip up. You can make them in advance and then serve at room temperature, or just pop onto a baking sheet and warm through in the oven for about 4 minutes. Easy peasy.
- 1 cup buckwheat flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp salt
- ¾ cup milk + 2 tablespoons milk - I used almond milk.
- 2 eggs
- a little olive oil for frying
- Separate your egg.
- Then pop the yolks in a bowl with all the other ingredients and give it a good stir.
- Then, in a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites. I am normally obsessive about using electric whisks, but this only takes about a minute and is really not worth the hassle of getting out the electric whisk. I promise it's easy.
- When the egg whites are fluffy and white, which should take about 1 minute, add them to the other mixture. Immediately you will see that the mixture becomes lighter and lovelier.
- Now take a small non-stick frying pan. I have one that I use for making pancakes which it is 8 inches and it's ideal for these blinis too.
- Drizzle a little olive oil in the pan and then when it's hot, pour in half the batter.
- Spread it around much like you would for making pancakes.
- Leave to cook for a minute or so, until the blini starts to set around the edges and the underside is golden brown. Then flip it over.
- I have a big giant spatula which is perfect for giant blini flipping. If you don't have one of these and there is no reason you should! Slide onto a plate, then carefully flip back into the pan and cook for a further 1-2 mins until golden. Repeat with the remaining mixture. Leave the blinis to cool on a wire rack
- If not using straight away, then place on a plate, separated by a layer of baking parchment and covered with cling film. The blinis will keep like this for 24 hrs. They also freeze wonderfully. Just leave them to defrost in the fridge overnight and they will be ready for you!
- 180g smoked salmon
- 2 tablespoons creme fraiche, nut cheese, or even cream cheese if you are that way inclined
- 1 tablespoons of horseradish sauce or 1 teaspoon of freshly grated horseradish
- sprinkle of capers
- handful of rocket
- 1 raw beetroot, peeled
- ½ lemon
- salt and pepper
- Simply spread on the creme fraiche and horseradish
- Then lay on the smoked salmon.
- Use a speed peeler to peel the beetroot into lovely little slivers. Add the rocket, and sprinkle over the capers.
- Add the zest from ½ lemon and then gently squeeze over the juice
- Add a good sprinkle of Maldon salt and a grind of pepper.
- Simple, healthy and delicious alternative to pizza!
- Cut into wedges and enjoy! Feel free to play around with the toppings.
Don’t forget to tag me in your photos @madebymargie. I love seeing your creations! x