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Herbed Blinis with Wild Alaskan Salmon and Lemon-Caper Creme Fraiche

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A few weeks ago I was approached by reps for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, asking if I was willing to be their representative at the International Food Blogging Conference. I would need to create a recipe using their Cook it Frozen technique (which I already knew I LOVED having prepared their seafood with this technique in the past) which would then be prepared by a local LA caterer and served at Friday night’s dinner, at which I would be required to be present.

I accepted, of course, and this appetizer is the result. It was challenging to come up with an appetizer that you could pick up with one hand using either wild salmon, halibut or cod, but I think I pulled it off. I had a couple of {what I thought were} great ideas along the way: curried fish served in roasted baby potato cups being another favorite (and it’s thisclose to being good enough with a few more tweaks). But I ultimately chose this one on the likelihood that it will appeal to the masses more that a curry might.

I’m really looking forward to heading to Santa Monica later this week to meet the ASMI folks! I’m also getting the chance to have drinks with my agent, Tim Kessler, for the first time since I was signed, plus the chance to hang out with some old friends. Not to mention the opportunity  to attend IFBC and hopefully come away with some inspiration! And I really don’t need to mention that if all I got to do was sit on the beach for four days I wouldn’t need one more thing to make me happy!

Here’s my recipe – I hope you try it and enjoy it! It’s quite easy and would be an impressive dish at your next dinner party. Cheers!
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Herbed Blinis with Wild Alaskan Salmon & Lemon-Caper Creme Fraiche

The beauty of this elegant appetizer is that the creme fraiche and blinis can be made ahead and your fish quickly roasted using the Cook-It-Frozen technique (below).

Lemon-Caper Creme Fraiche

  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche (can use sour cream if creme fraiche is not available)
  • zest and juice of one lemon
  • 2 T. each very finely chopped parsley and dill
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Mix all ingredients together. Chill for at least two hours to allow flavors to blend.

Herbed Blinis

  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 chives, diced
  • 5 green onions, diced

Beat eggs in large bowl; stir in buttermilk and milk. Add flour and salt, stir well. Mix in herbs just until combined. Let batter rest while you prepare the fish.

Wild Alaskan Salmon

  • 4 wild alaskan salmon filets, frozen
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil, for brushing

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Farenheit. Remove salmon from packaging. Run each filet under cold water to remove any ice on outside of filet (about 10 seconds or so) and thoroughly pat dry. Spray sheet pan with oil and place filets on pan. Place filets in oven and roast for 4 minutes. Remove from oven , brush with olive oil and season liberally with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Return to oven and roast for another 5-8 minutes or until cooked through.

Make the blinis: preheat large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Coat surface with butter, then add a scant 1 Tablespoon of blini batter to skillet, as many times as skillet space allows. Cook until a few bubbles appear and the edges of blini begin to look cooked (should be golden brown on bottom). Flip blinis and cook other side until lightly browned and cooked through.

ASSEMBLE: Place a bite-sized (or slightly larger) amount of salmon on each blini. Top with a teaspoon of creme fraiche. Garnish with fresh dill.
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Kristy Bernardo
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