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Gary Danko

from SFGate

Gary Danko's blinis - why they are so wonderful

Even the classics seem to have a twist that sets them apart, whether it's glazed oysters with Osetra caviar, salsify and lettuce cream, or horseradish-crusted salmon with dilled cucumbers and mustard sauce. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 tablespoon sugar 1/2 tablespoon active dry yeast 1 cup + 2 tablespoons lukewarm milk, about 98° 1/2 cup buckwheat flour 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 large egg, separated2 tablespoons cold heavy cream 1/4 cup clarified butter or 2 tablespoons clarified butter + 2 tablespoons canola, rice bran or vegetable oilGarnishes-- Creme fraiche-- Smoked salmon or smoked sturgeon-- Chives, cut into 1/2-inch pieces-- Caviar (optional)For the batter: Add heavy cream to the now-empty egg white bowl and whip it to soft peaks; scrape it onto the egg white and gently fold everything together. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for 1 hour or so. Pour clarified butter or butter/oil mixture into a small non-stick skillet, just enough to form a thin film. Remove to a paper towel to drain briefly, then serve hot with a dollop of creme fraiche, smoked salmon or smoked sturgeon, and 2 chive pieces. Per blini: 180 calories, 5 g protein, 30 g carbohydrate, 4 g fat (2 g saturated), 22 mg cholesterol, 132 mg sodium, 1 g fiber.