Friday, September 20, 2013

Savory Sourdough Blini with Lox

Pancakes for Sourdough Surprises September 2013



Sourdough pancakes or waffles with a twist are the current challenge at Sourdough Surprises, the monthly baking group that uses sourdough for so many things besides bread. I can hardly wait to check out the creativity and interesting results from the other enthusiastic sourdough bakers this month. 

I considered several ideas for sweet sourdough versions. Some added chocolate or maple syrup to the batter, others played with the spices and flavors of carrot cake or chocolate zucchini bread, but I couldn't commit. I'll pursue them on another day, but this week I really wanted a savory treat, a non-breakfast pancakey something. BLINI... of course! Four slabs of lox sat in the freezer, left from one of this summer's coho catch (link), a perfect choice to pair with these tiny dilled pancakes. 



Blini are often made with buckwheat, but I didn't have any in the pantry and worked with my usual AP flour sourdough starter. Once fed and rested (the starter, not me), the sourdough was ready for its savory twist. I added chopped green onions, minced capers, white pepper and a dill seasoning mix to my standard batter... minus the sugar, of course. It wasn't pretty, but it had great flavor potential. 



The fun began once the griddle was hot. Half a dozen quarter-sized blini were first to come off the grill, followed by ever larger pancakes until two saucer-sized giants finished the last of the batter.  

We I couldn't wait and nibbled a few plain, hot off the griddle, justifying it as taste-testing for flavor adjustment. Mmmmmm, delicious as is. No changes required. The seasonings were balanced nicely, with no one flavor dominating. I chose to serve them at room temperature, layered with thin slices of cucumber, radish and a pile of lox. Bagels and lox are known to pair nicely with cream cheese, and blini, lox and cream cheese are a good match too. But... the combination seemed a bit heavy. Then we tried some with sour cream - YES!  The tangy sour cream plus a light sprinkling of dill weed created a lighter, fresher bite. 



These little cuties will soon be were an excellent menu choice for a light lunch, brunch, or Happy Hour appetizer. The two saucer-sized pancakes became lunch bites to share, except I ate them both. One was a peppy poblano and cheese stuffed quesadilla, and the other a cool and mellow cream cheese, avocado and sprouts wrap similar to a crepe. Delicioso!



Update: The stack of blini shown below turned into 5 cheese-filled quesadilla mini bites the following day, perfect to accompany a bowl of avgolemno soup. Just a quick grill in an ungreased, non-stick skillet and they were ready, crispy outside and creamy inside like mini tortillas. I love these versatile little pancakes.    

The same batter will also make terrific waffles, perfect to accompany a bowl of fish soup or salmon chowder. You really need to try some savory sourdough pancakes. Really.  And now I'm ready to play with one or two of those sweet sourdough variations I passed up earlier.






Savory Sourdough Blini

For the blini:
1 cup Sourdough Starter, well-fed and rested
2 TBSP oil     
1 large egg
2 green onions, green and white parts chopped small
2 tsp capers, drained & rinsed, minced
1 generous teaspoon mixed dill seasoning
   (a blend of dill weed, lemon zest, onion powder, garlic and jalapeƱo)
1/4  tsp salt (optional)
1/2 scant tsp soda, dissolved in a bit of warm water

To finish as pictured:

Thinly sliced lox
Thin slices of seedless cucumber and radish (optional)
Whipped cream cheese
Sour cream or creme fraiche
Capers
Additional dill week to sprinkle on top (optional) 

  1. Put starter in mixing bowl and add  egg and oil. Mix well with wooden spoon orf rubber whisk. (Thin with water as needed for thicker or thinner blini.)
  2. Add the dissolved soda at the last minute, when ready for the batter to hit the griddle, folding it gently into sourdough. Do not beat heavily. The sourdough will lighten and fill with bubbles, increasing its bulk. 
  3. Bake on hot griddle, turning once as bubbles form and sides brown (Use 1 to 2 teaspoons of batter for a silver-dollar sized blini. Adjust accordingly for desired size.) Cook to a golden brown color. Serve immediately or transfer to a baking rack to cool (or to hold in a warm oven). This will keep the blini from getting soggy bottoms.  

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15 comments:

  1. My mouth is watering, these look SO good!

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    Replies
    1. ...and they tasted even better than they look, always a good thing.

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  2. Wow! These look fantastic! You did an awesome job:) I would love to take a bite out of one right now:) Lynn @ Turnips 2 Tangerines

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  3. Never tried savory pancakes but now I will have to. Yours sound so yummy!

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  4. Replies
    1. Thanks, Robyn. Mini blini are pretty cute little bites.

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  5. So beautiful! You almost make me want to like lox. The blini are so cute!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Reecca. Don't like lox? (shaking head in disbelief) Herb-flavored blini also work with roasted fall vegetables, or think of chili-flavored blini as mini tacos to fill with SW bites.

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  6. Just mouthwatering....looks easy and delicious!

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  7. Oh goodness, they look like heaven! That top photo is making me so hungry.

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  8. What a great idea! They look so good!

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  9. These look awesome! I love that you made savory blinis! They look awesome! Thanks for joining us this month!!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for the comment AND the monthly challenge. I love the range of stories and creative sourdough recipes that come from this group every month. A cook can't have too many sourdough recipes!

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