Gluten free blini with prosciutto & basil creme fraiche

IMG_2934 We started our recent Russian-inspired lunch with a rather easy starter. One that was relatively simple to put together (once the blini themselves were made that is!) blini Blini with prosciutto & basil crème fraiche. And they were gluten free! Originally from Russia, blini are small leavened buckwheat pancakes that are traditionally served with sour cream and caviar. To make the (GF) blini, I made a batter using:

  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour, sifted
  • 1/4 cup GF plain flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp baking powder, sifted
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup milk + 1 tsp lemon juice (combined and left aside for 5 minutes to form a ‘buttermilk’)
  • 30g melted butter

IMG_2887 Then pan-fried small amounts in a little butter like mini pikelets (a few at a time), until golden brown. IMG_2891 My blini were by no means perfect or uniform in shape, although I think that gives them a little character 😉  IMG_2895 Although, next time, I would probably rest the  batter for half an hour or so prior to cooking, to see if my blini come out a little thicker. IMG_2896 The topping for the blini could not have been simpler. Starting with basil pesto, that I stirred through a tub of crème fraiche. IMG_2924 IMG_2936 Followed by some sliced prosciutto…  IMG_2931 And finished with chopped chives.  IMG_2932 Simple yet tasty…  IMG_2933  And served straight from the chopping board for all to enjoy!   IMG_2938 A versatile starter, for which the topping possibilities are endless! What about you? Ever tried blini and have a favourite topping? Another favourite of mine is sour cream, smoked salmon and dill – YUM!

A Russian-inspired lunch

IMG_2909 On Saturday, we hosted the family’s 4th pre game meal in the Rugby World Cup series. You might recall that we previously hosted a long Italian lunch (cannelloni and caprese salad) when Australia played Italy, my mother in law made Irish Stew when Australia played Ireland, and my sister in law hosted us for homemade burgers and apple crisp when Australia played the USA). As the Wallabies were scheduled to take on Russia (and won yay!), our theme for the pre-game lunch was therefore, obviously, Russian. IMG_2928     I really loved reading all your wonderful suggestions for Russian dishes and food that we could cook. I was really keen to try the Lorraine’s Russian doll cupcakes (as suggested by the Intolerant Chef) , but sadly time did not permit. IMG_2930 So in the end, given we were a little short on food preparation time, we decided on the following… Buckwheat blini to start… IMG_2932 Topped with prosciutto, basil pesto and chives (recipe to follow). IMG_2933 Then it was a battle of the stroagnoff’s for main course! IMG_2943 In the blue corner….. IMG_2942 Mr BBB’s beef stroganoff (prepared with the trusty guidance of Maggie Fulton). And in red corner… IMG_2939 Tofu stroganoff – my attempt at a vegetarian take on the old classic! We served both dishes with a side of brown rice…. IMG_2947 Topped with some fresh parsley. IMG_2944  And we had ourselves a hearty, belly warming lunch. Perfect given how cold it was outside! We did, of course, also save room for dessert… IMG_2907 White Russian cheesecake slice! IMG_2901   Ok. So this was not strictly Russian – but let’s call it a tribute to one of my favourite cocktails 😉 Recipe to follow. But now, its time for me to enjoy the last day of this long weekend.  We have friends coming over for lunch, so I better get grocery shopping. And cooking! What about you? Do you have a favourite Russian dish?