Smoked Salmon Blini is quite likely one of the most popular smoked salmon appetizers. It’s timeless preparation of this popular fish is tough to compete with or improve and there is a good reason why- It’s the perfect bite.
In order to achieve the most decadent bite, the salmon must be paper thin for it to melt in your mouth. Nothing else will do. Where do you get salmon sliced this thin? Unfortunately, you cannot but this kind of sliced salmon in a package from the grocery store. You need to source it from a smoke house, a fish monger, or sometimes a gourmet market. I am fortunate enough to live in an area where fish markets are aplenty.
Hand slicing smoked salmon, which truly is an art form, is the proper and traditional way to carve slices of this delicate fish. I am always amazed when I watch a skilled professional at this task. So while not always easy for everyone to access hand carved smoked salmon, it is the only way to make this Blini delicate enough to melt in your mouth and balance all the flavors.
Smoked Salmon Blini
Smoked Salmon is not the only ingredient that deserves some time and consideration. The Blini, or the mini pancake, is the base of this bite so it needs to be both strong enough to hold the toppings, while soft enough to complement the delicateness of the salmon. While I have tried to make my own Blini, I have found its not really worth the time or effort if you can source them pre-made.
The remaining essential ingredient is the Crème Fraîche. Crème Fraîche, to put it simply, is a thicker, more mild version of sour cream. It’s become much easier to find in grocery stores, and is incredibly versatile. Over the years, it’s become a staple ingredient in my fridge. When it comes to this Blini, I mix it with chopped chives before assembling.
My Local Recommendations for Ingredients:
- Greenwich, CT: The Lobster Bin (Hand sliced to the point of transparency. My favorite.)
- Westchester, NY: Mt Kisco Seafood (They have a terrible website, but properly hand sliced smoked salmon)
- Westchester, NY: June & Ho – Rye
- Greenwich, CT: Citarella Market