Blini buffet

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As I’ve mentioned before, I set up a little blini station for the drinks party before Christmas, a concept I will definitely use again.

It was the first time ever I made blinis and although time-consuming (the batter need to rise twice and then you have the fry them all) it was so much fun and I love these little Russian pancakes.

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I also made some vegan pancakes and some glutenfree ones as well as vegan toppings (marinated beetroot with horseradish and aubergine caviar). The general toppings were very classic; gravadlax (cured salmon), creme fraiche, caviar (not the fancy kind) and chopped red onions.

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This was all set up on a table so people could help themselves in between canapés as well as in the beginning when I was busy greeting the guests.

Blinis, makes about 80-90 (at least)

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s recipe from the book The Hors D’oeuvres Handbook

2 tsp dry yeast

350 ml warm water

350 ml plain flour 

350 ml buckwheat flour

3 large eggs, separated into yolks and whites 

5 tbsp melted butter 

1 tsp salt

1 tsp caster sugar

350 ml warm milk

Mix yeast and water in a large mixing bowl. Place in a warm place until the mixture is creamy and foamy, about 10 minutes. 

Slowly add the flower to the mixture. Whisk to combine and remove any lumps. Cover the bowl with cling and put it in a warm place to rise, about 1 hour. 

In a separate bowl, combine the buckwheat flour, egg yolks, 4 tablespoons of the butter, salt, sugar and milk. Whisk to combine and remove lumps. Use a spatula to stir in the buckwheat mixture into the risen mixture. Combine well. Cover with cling and set in a warm place to rise by about half, and bubbly, about 1 hour. 

Beat the egg whites with a whisk until stiff but not dry. Fold gently into the batter. 

Heat a frying pan och blini pan over medium heat and brush with some of the butter. Pour 1 teaspoon of butter per blini into the pan; try to fit as many as your pan can fit, leaving space between them (I cooked four at the time). Cook until the bottom turns golden and bubbles appear on top, about 45 seconds. Flip and cook until golden and cooked through, about 30 seconds more. Repeat with the remaining batter.Stack the blinis as they’re ready.

They can be kept in the fridge for 1-2 days but are best freshly prepared. They do not freeze well. 

Serve with creme fraiche, lumpfish caviar, chopped red onions. 

Gravadlax

300 g salmon fillet

1 tbsp sea salt

1/2 tbsp caster sugar 

1 tbsp chopped fresh dill

Freeze the fish if fresh and defrost it (to remove any bacteria). Mix sugar, salt and dill and pat into the fish all over. Place in a shallow dish and cover with clingfilm. Place something heavy on top. Place in the fridge for 48 hours. 

Remove the liquid and pat the fish dry. Slice thinly and serve. 

Aubergine caviar 

Adapted from miscellaneous recipes (especially one by Gordon Ramsay) found on the web.

1 aubergine

1 garlic clove, sliced

olive oil

1 tsp dried rosemary

1 tsp dried thyme

Cut the aubergine in half lenghtwise and make cuts in a check pattern into the ‘flesh’. Place the garlic pieces in the cuts and pat the aubergine with oil. Add the dried herbs and put the aubergine back together and wrap the whole thing in tin foil. Bake in 200C oven until soft all the way through, approx 30-40 minutes. 

Remove the foil and scrape out the inside of the aubergine onto a chopping board. Chop t up with a knife, transfer to a bowl, season and add more oil if needed. Serve cold.

Marinated raw beetroots with grated horseradish

4-5 fresh beetroots

1/2 lemon, the juice

2-3 tsp mild olive oil

salt, white pepper

fresh horseradish

Peel the beetroots (use plastic gloves) and slice thinly with a mandolin or cheese slicer. Place in a bowl and add the lemon juice and oil, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and add grated horseradish before serving. 

Glutenfree pancakes

Adapted from Doves Farm’s recipe.

200 g glutenfritt mjöl från Doves Farm

2 eggs

1 tbsp sunflower oil

500 ml milk

Add flour and egg to a mixing bowl. Add the milk and whisk to combine. Leave to rest for a bit and whisk again before making the pancakes. Heat up some oil in a frying pan and pour in 1 tbsp batter per pancake. Fry until golden brown on the bottom, then flip and cook until golden on that side too. Repeat with the remaining batter. 

Vegan pancakes 

250 ml plain flour

2 tbsp baking powder 

1 pinch salt

250 ml soy milk

2 tbsp mild oil 

Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Add soy milk and oil and whisk to a smooth batter. Heat up a splash of oil in a frying pan, add a tbsp of the batter per pancake and fry until golden brown at the bottom. Flip and cook the other side until golden brown. 

Pre-Christmas drinks (and nibbles)

IMG_9132The month of December was busy to say the least. So much so that I didn’t have time to update you on the blog on what I was up to.

One Sunday I had a bunch of friends over for drinks and canapés, some Christmas themed, some not. Some of my friends have dietary requirements that I catered for and it was a bit of a challenge to cater for a vegan, a coeliac and pregnant ladies all at the same time, but I seemed to pull it off!

We started with prosecco (and alcohol free alternatives) and savoury canapés. One one table I had made a little blini buffet that my guests could help themselves to whenever they liked. That way I wasn’t too stressed sending out trays of canapés. At the blini station I had proper homemade blinis, glutenfree pancakes and vegan pancakes as well as lots of toppings (cured salmon, creme fraiche, caviar (not the fancy stuff), chopped onions, aubergine ‘caviar’ and marinated beetroot).

IMG_9141The first savoury canapé was these rolls with cream cheese, sunblush tomatoes and basil. So easy to make ahead of time.

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Next up was baked aubergine with saffron yoghurt and pomegranate seeds.

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Vegan truffled mushrooms on crostinis – recipe to follow later.

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And lastly, warming pots with Jansson’s temptation, a classic Swedish Christmas dish consisting of grated potatoes and onions, anchovies, cream and breadcrumbs on top. I love that all mu non-Swedish friends adore this. Most of my guests had two each!

IMG_9163In the transition from savoury to sweet I replaced the blini station with gingerbread (regular, vegan and gluten free ones) with Stilton, sweets, chewy chocolate cake (including a vegan and gluten free one that didn’t turn out very well). Jenny brought some vegan mince pies with filo pastry that were put out too, they were delicious! And of course, we had some homemade glögg (sweet mulled wine) with the gingerbread.

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Lastly I brought out rice pudding the way we eat it on Christmas Eve; cold and mixed with whipped cream. I served it with defrosted berries mixed with some icing sugar.

I had so much fun at this gathering, and I hope my friends did too! Preparing most of it ahead of time meant I could mingle and drink prosecco like every body else.