Recipes and styling Raphaella Frame-Tolmie Photographs Russell Smith Food assistant Leila Padayachi
- 75g salt flakes
- 30g caster sugar
- 350g side of salmon (as fresh as possible), skinned and pin bones removed
- 200g raw beetroot, peeled and coarsely grated
- 15g horseradish
- 2T vodka
- a handful of dill leaves, finely chopped
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1t instant yeast
- 1T sugar
- 3T lukewarm water
- 1/2 cup rye flour
- 1/2 cup plain flour
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 eggs, separated
- a pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 125g crème fraîche
- 75g caviar or fish roe
- fresh dill for garnishing
Combine the salt flakes and caster sugar and spread a third of the mixture in the bottom of a large tray. (Make sure the length of the fish fits in the tray, as it should remain flat at all times). Lay the salmon on top of the mixture, pat the exposed flesh dry with paper towels, and pack the remaining salt and sugar mixture over the fish. Combine the grated beetroot, horseradish, vodka, dill and lemon zest, and spread half of the mixture over the salmon, gently patting the mixture down to make sure the fish is completely covered. Turn the fish over and repeat the process with the remaining beetroot mixture. Tightly wrap the tray with cling film and weigh it down with a chopping board topped with tinned food. Refrigerate for at least 48 hours.
Once the fish has cured, unwrap the cling film and pour off any juices in the tray. Wipe the curing mixture off the fish and pat the salmon dry with paper towel. Using a very sharp knife, slice the salmon into very thin pieces. (The fish should keep for up to five days in the fridge).
To make the blinis, combine the instant yeast, sugar and lukewarm water in a small bowl. Stir and allow to stand for about five minutes, until foamy. Sift the flours into a large bowl, make a well in the centre, and add the buttermilk, egg yolks, salt and the yeast mixture, beating to combine. Cover and leave to stand in a warm place for about an hour.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites to form stiff peaks. Add the melted butter to the dough mixture, and fold in the egg whites. Heat a non-stick frying pan and drop spoonfuls of the batter into the pan. When small bubbles begin to appear on the surface of each blini, flip them over and cook for about one to two minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the heat and keep covered with a clean, dry tea towel until needed.
To serve, place a teaspoonful of crème fraîche and a ribbon of salmon on each blini. Top with a small dollop of roe and garnish with fresh dill if desired.
SERVES 4 TO 6
This recipe originally featured in the January/February 2013 issue of House and Leisure.