Who doesn't like appetizers? They're cute, they're tasty and you can pop them in your mouth in one bite. No muss, no fuss. About a year and a half ago, I had this great cornmeal blini appetizer at a cooking/dinner party. The host had taken a recipe from Chow and substituted the caviar with smoked fish. The miniature-sized apps were delectable and I filed the recipe away in my "to make" file. Yesterday, Mr. S. and I attended a BBQ at his cousin's house and I decided to try my hand at them. Well, making teeny, tiny "pancakes" is actually harder than it looks. After the first half dozen or so, I gave up trying to achieve a perfect circle and settled for a haphazard oblong shape...hey, it all tastes the same, right? :)

Cornmeal Blini with Smoked Trout and Crème Fraîche


1/2 cup cornmeal

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 cup milk

Vegetable oil for frying

1.5 cups crème fraîche

1/4 lb. smoked trout (I used applewood smoked Steelhead Trout purchased at Taylor's Market)

1 bunch chives, finely chopped


1. Heat oven to 250°F.

2. In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, baking soda, and salt and stir well to mix. Add egg and milk, and mix until smooth.

3. Heat a heavy griddle or frying pan over medium heat until hot, then brush or mist with oil. Using a spoon and working in small batches, drop tablespoons of batter into the pan. When bubbles form evenly on the top of the blini, flip over and cook until golden.

4. Transfer the first batch of cooked blini to a heatproof plate lined with paper towels and keep warm, covered, in the oven. Repeat with remaining batter.

5. To serve, top each warm blini with 1 tablespoon crème fraîche, a tablespoon of smoked trout and a pinch of chives. Serve immediately.
(Adapted from's Cornmeal Blini with Caviar recipe.)
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