French Fridays with Dorie: Buckwheat blini with caramelized shallots, witled arugula and crème fraîche

Ok so I cheated a little with this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe. It was supposed to be buckwheat blinis with smoked salmon and crème fraîche but anyone who knows me will know that smoked salmon is one of the foods I simply cannot eat (just a dislike, not an allergy).  In any case, I figured the “technique” in this recipe was in the making of the blinis which I have never done before so I figured I would concentrate on that.  I halved the recipe (though it still made way more than I expected) and we enjoyed this as a pre-dinner snack with some caramelized shallots and wilted arugula atop a dab of crème fraîche.

The blinis were pretty easy to make (don’t forget to factor in the hour sitting time for the batter) though it took a few goes to get even-sized, small enough rounds…

To caramelize the shallots, I melted about 2 tablespoons of butter and sautéed 4 small shallots until they were golden brown.  Then I added in about a tablespoon of sugar and turned the heat to medium-low and allowed the shallots to continue to cook until they were caramelized.  I removed the shallots from the pan and added the arugula, allowing it to just wilt, not colour at all before I took it out of the pan.

Result?

Well wow. The blinis were so tasty – love the tang the buckwheat brings… The slight sharpness of the blinis and the crème fraîche was wonderfully offset by the sweetness of the shallots and the peppery arugula was the perfect finish.  I’ll be making these again – with holiday season coming up, I can envisage a whole host of toppings that would work for these delightful little bites!

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French Fridays with Dorie participants do not publish the recipes on our blogs, rather, we prefer if you purchase Around My French Table for yourselves (trust me, you definitely want this book!) which you can do here on Amazon or Amazon Canada. Or for free worldwide shipping, buy from The Book Depository.

 

 

77 thoughts on “French Fridays with Dorie: Buckwheat blini with caramelized shallots, witled arugula and crème fraîche”

  1. What a great idea, those look delicious! I too have a long standing dislike of smoked salmon and considered changing the topping, but my poor husband loves smoked salmon and so rarely gets to have it because of my dislike, so I decided that to be fair to him I would stick with the recipe this week. In the end I liked my blini, they were good, but your look so much better!

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  2. Oh, what a yummy adaptation! I wasn’t sure if I’d like buckwheat pancakes, but these were delightful. Even picky Bill ate leftovers with syrup 🙂

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  3. I must admit, when Mardi told me she was making blinis, my face crumpled slightly on hearing there would be an absence of caviar or smoked salmon. (Sigh – such is the downtrodden life I lead…)

    However, when three of these beauties were delivered to my office as a snack amidst a pile of paperwork, I cannot say I felt deprived whatsoever! Tasty, delightful, vegetarian nibbles. You can be sure we’ll be doing these again! 🙂

    I was not drinking wine at the time, but a white from the Southern Rhone would be my unorthodox pick.

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  4. Great topping variation!
    These make a beautiful little vehicle for so many topping choices.
    I am glad Mr. Neil was able to over come his “almost” disappointment 🙂

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  5. Mardi, what a great re-take on the salmon – although as a Scot, I have to say I love the stuff, as long as it’s good quality. If it’s just the rubbish oily smoked salmon they sell off in supermarkets, then I would MUCH rather have your alternative here. Nice touch with the carmelised shallots and what a team you and they make: love Mr. Neil’s suggestion of the southern Rhone, packed with sun, sounds perfection.

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  6. French cooking always intimidates me and frustrates me because there are always so many detailed steps! I think that I can do this though! They look amazing!

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  7. You knocked these little guys out of the park Mardi! Who needs smoked salmon anyway? Like you, I don’t eat it. My husband is like Neil however and would have enjoyed the salmon topped blinis but also like Neil, he would have accepted your version just as happily.

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  8. I totally agree about the blini-as-vehicle – so much potential for great appetizers all holiday season long. I also like that buckwheat flour is healthy, so, you don’t feel quite as guilty about indulging.

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  9. I love the combination of flavors, but then again, I’ll eat ANYTHING with caramelized onions or shallots. I’m definitely stealing Mike’s squeeze bottle idea for the next time too. Have a great weekend!

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  10. I love the twist with the topping you did here. I have to admit that while I love cooked salmon, I don’t always like smoked salmon. I have to be in the right mood for it. So, I really like what you did here!

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  11. I should have thought to be creative like you instead of passing all together on this recipe – your version looks wonderful! I don’t know what it is about Salmon. I love fish, but don’t care for Salmon while most people who won’t eat any other fish love it.

    Nicely done!

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  12. Damn…yet another FFWD that I missed, though I had every intention of making it this week! I LOVE your veggie adaptation with the caramelized shallots and arugula…yum! I’m a huge fan of blinis, so I will definitely try this recipe! Good job!

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  13. Your topping looks and sounds delicious! I don’t like smoked salmon either and did a creamed mushroom topping. I like the size of your blinis, I’d definitely make again and will try your topping.

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  14. i really like your food pictures and want to invite you to try out tastingspot.com. it’s for anyone that just wants another place to submit photos and share it will other foodies. It’s still in beta version, but would love for you to start adding some photos and help get it going.

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  15. What a great substitution! I’m glad you made the blinis and substitution the caramelized shallots is brilliant! I LOVE smoked salmon, but am highly allergic….so I just love it!

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  16. I agree with you, am not a great fan of salmons, just don’t like it. Great work on the blinis, perfect substitute. Love the photos.

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  17. Too bad I had to drop out of FFWD because this looks awesome! The good news however is…I still have Dorie’s book and I can make these whenever I like. After seeing your wonderful sounding adaptation and stunning photos, I’ll be making these sooner rather than later.
    Nicely done Mardi!

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  18. So sad you don’t like smoked salmon, it’s sooooo healthy and delicious! Well, hats off to you for making blinis! Never would have thought to make them myself (says the baker) but they look scrumptious! Anything with shallots is alright in my book. Carmelized? even better!

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  19. I do like smoked salmon, but your variation is just as appealing to me as the original recipe. I also liked the tangy of the buckwheat pancakes. Nice appetizer flavors.

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  20. I almost did not read your post because I LOVE smoked salmon. But I enjoy reading your blog and I am so glad I checked in. Your recipe looks delicious and am planning on preparing it very soon. Great job!

    Reply
  21. Pingback: Culinary adventures in Canadian Caviar, sustainably. | Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance

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