A festive, flavorful appetizer, ideal for special occasions. The recipe, by cookbook author Sophie Dahl, ran in Food And Wine magazine, March 2010.
2 T snipped chives, plus more for garnish
2 ounces sharp shredded Cheddar cheese
3/4 c buckwheat flour (found at health food stores or Amazon.com)
4 – 5 ounces sliced smoked salmon, cut into thin strips
2 large egg whites
2/3 c milk
1 t baking powder
1/4 c sour cream
1 t dry mustard powder
Fresh dill for garnish, if desired
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
In a medium bowl, whisk the buckwheat flour, baking powder and dry mustard. Whisk in the milk until smooth. Add the 1 1/2 tablespoons of chives and the cheddar cheese and season the batter with salt and pepper.
In another bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until firm peaks form. Whisk one-fourth of the whites into the batter. Fold in the remaining whites.
Heat a griddle over moderate heat until very hot and spray with vegetable oil spray.
Spoon 1 Tablespoon mounds of batter onto the griddle and cook until bubbles form around the edges of the blini, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook the blini for about 30 seconds longer.
Transfer the blini to a platter and top with the smoked salmon and a dollop of sour cream. Garnish the blini with chives and fresh dill sprigs. Serve right away.
Light, crisp wines, such as Sauvignon Blanc from California or Verdejo from Spain would work well with the salmon.