Blini with Smoked Salmon

I have to admit, I’m obsessed with the Two Fat Ladies. (I own all four seasons on DVD.) It was a popular cooking show in the late 90’s that featured Clarissa Dickson Wright and Jennifer Paterson gallivanting throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland cooking for village locals. Let’s just say they had big personalities, spoke their minds and unashamedly cooked with little concern for calorie counting.

When you look past the cream and butter ladened recipes, their cooking philosophies were deeply rooted in buying fresh and local. They discussed sustainability before many of the hipsters of today were even born. Not to mention, I can’t help but giggle at their spontaneous singing and side antics.

While preparing for a holiday entertaining themed cooking demo in early December, I had an episode where the ladies are preparing a cocktail party for the Portuguese Embassy playing in the background. Clarissa started making blinis with cream and caviar. And I decided it was a perfect idea for my demo.

Caviar was a little out of my price range and the market where the demo would take place didn’t sell buckwheat flour. So I turned to Ina Garten, an equally butter-friendly celebrity, for recipe inspiration and substituted the buckwheat for whole wheat.

If smoked salmon isn’t your cup of tea, consider alternative topping ideas like your favorite jelly flavor, Nutella or even a spoonful of caramelized onions.

Blini with Smoked Salmon
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
Recipe Type: Appetizers
Serves: 6-8 people
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbl. unsalted butter, clarified
  • 1/2 pound smoked salmon, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
  • Fresh chives, snipped, for garnish
  1. Combine both flours, baking power, and salt in a small mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, and the clarified butter. Then whisk into the flour mixture.
  2. Coat a medium sauté pan with cooking spray and drop the batter into the hot skillet, one tablespoon at a time. Cook over medium-low heat until bubbles form on the top of the blini, about two minutes. Flip and cook for one more minute, or until brown. Repeat with the remaining batter. (I clean the hot pan with a dry paper towel between batches.) Keep the blini warm in the oven.
  3. To serve, top the blini with a piece of smoked salmon. Add a dollop of crème fraiche.
Author's Note
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa


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