Blinis are one of the most traditional accompaniments for this lovely fish that you can find but making them just that little bit bigger gives this smoked salmon starter a modern twist. Paired with a light crème fraîche and a little caviar this gorgeous salmon recipe is so simple, yet so impressive.
You can make up the pancakes ahead of time so that you have no cooking or prep when it comes time to eat - you just have to assemble all the elements and serve.
- 6-12 slices smoked salmon (depending on the size of the slices)
- 3tbsp crème fraîche
- 6tsp caviar (we use Arënkha or Avruga faux caviar, from fishmongers)
- chives and lemon wedges, to serve
- For the blinis (you can make these on Christmas Eve, keep in the fridge, then warm in the microwave)
- 1 large free-range egg, separated
- 40g (1½oz) self-raising flour
- 60ml (2½fl oz) milk
- butter, for frying
Make the blinis. Put the egg white in a squeaky clean bowl. Mix the yolk with the flour, milk and a large pinch of salt. Whip the egg white until it forms stiff peaks, then gently fold into the yolk mix, being careful not to knock the air out.
Heat a frying pan with a little butter and when hot, drop in a small ladleful of mix, tipping the pan so you have an even circle 10cm (4in) big. Cook until the bottom is golden brown, then flip and cook the other side. Transfer to a plate and repeat until all the mix has been used up.
To serve, place a blini on each plate, and arrange the salmon in a rose shape on top. Spoon on a dollop of crème fraîche and top with a little caviar and 2 chive slices. Serve with lemon wedges on the side and a grinding of black pepper.