What exactly is a “blini”? According to wikipedia, these little guys were traditionally made with yeast, diluted with water or milk, then baked. However, it is now almost universally prepared by pan-frying it. Upon skimming various recipes for blinis, I have come to the conclusion that it is simply just a fancy word for pancakes. They would be great served as finger foods at a party, or as a side dish to a lighter meal.
You may prepare these blinis with good ol’ AP flour, whole wheat flour, or even buckwheat flour if you’re following a gluten free diet. I decided to use cornmeal (made un-gluten freed by adding a touch of AP flour), then spiced it up with some finely diced jalapeno. Many people would top it off with creme freche or sour cream, but I decided to substitute 2% greek yogurt as a healthier option.
3/4 cup cornmeal
2 Tablespoons AP flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup milk (I used vanilla soymilk to add a touch of sweetness)
2 Tablespoons butter, melted (don’t use margarine, please.)
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
3/4 cup greek yogurt (I used 2% for a richer flavor, fat free may also be used)
Chives or dill (optional)
1. Combine cornmeal, flour, salt and baking powder
2. Add milk, butter, and egg. Mix well.
3. Add the diced jalapeno peppers
4. Spray cooking pan with nonstick spray, and set to medium high heat
5. Meanwhile, finely chop the chives or dill and add to greek yogurt. Set aside.
6. Drop the blini batter into the pan, 1 tablespoon at a time, and gently spread it into circles
7. When it begins to bubble (about 1-2 minutes), flip over
8. Remove after another minute.
9. Top blinis with smoked salmon, dollop of greek yogurt, and garnish with chives or dill (optional).
Makes about 15 blinis