smoked salmon and mango-jalapeño cream on cornmeal blinis

February 21st, 2010 § 9


The ROI on this luscious appetizer is just incredible. It’s in that secret-weapon category of dish that’s dead easy to make and has an appeal that’s practically universal. Who doesn’t like smoked salmon and miniature pancakes? Who won’t be surprised by the mingling of fragrance and pungency in this gorgeously unctuous cream?


We’ve served this as a main course at brunch, as an opener for lobster dinner, and as canapés on New Year’s Eve. If you’re doing canapés, just make the pancakes smaller, about the size of a sand dollar. You can also decide to go double-decker instead of triple-decker, but there’s a drama to the three layers that really showcases the elegance and luxuriance of good smoked salmon.

[fbshare]Smoked salmon and mango-jalapeño cream on cornmeal blinis
Slightly adapted from Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill Cookbook

24 paper-thin slices of smoked salmon, the oilier the better
Cilantro leaves for garnish

For the blinis
½ C medium-grind yellow cornmeal
½ C all-purpose flour
1 scant tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
2 tbsp. honey
1 large egg, beaten
½ C plus 2 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp. melted butter
butter for frying

For the cream
1 C crème fraîche or sour cream
the finely diced flesh of a truly ripe mango
1 jalapeño pepper, roasted, skinned, seeded and finely diced
2 tbsp. finely diced red onion
salt and pepper

NOTES: The blinis start drying out instantly, so make them right before serving, if you can. Also, don’t let the batter sit – the baking powder makes it rise, and you don’t want the blinis to be too spongy. You can replace the jalapeño with any other kind of pepper you like. Replacing the cilantro with a dab of caviar or fish roe takes this nicely over the top.

1. Combine the ingredients for the mango-jalapeño cream in a small bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, and honey. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, and melted butter. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix until just combined.

3. Heat a large non-stick sauté pan over high heat, and melt a little butter in it. Working in batches, drop the batter by spoonfuls to make 3-inch pancakes. Cook until light brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. (They’re ready to flip when the little bubbles that form on the top start opening.)

4. Assemble three layers of blini-cream-salmon, with a final dab of cream on top, and garnish with cilantro.

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§ 9 Responses to “smoked salmon and mango-jalapeño cream on cornmeal blinis”

  • Carolyn Jung says:

    And here I had leftover pizza for breakfast yesterday. Really! That truly pales in comparison to this elegant stack of salmon goodness.

  • Ed Schenk says:

    Looks delicious! great Photo.

  • Megan says:

    Wow, what a great combination of flavors! Smoked salmon is one of my favorite foods to have as an appetizer at parties, and these sound like the perfect up-scale party food!

  • Jennifer says:

    To anyone reading this, I can attest to the wow factor of these little stacked babies. Visually fabulous and the taste experience is sick in the head. Thanks for that, guys! xoxox

  • Those blinis look amazing. And I love that you included mangoes in the cream! Nice one.

  • JoJo says:

    Hey! Just made myself a 5 minute version of the cream mixture with similar ingredients and am now eating it with the salmon. Delish!

  • [...] I’m feeling a little better now that I took a two-hour nap tonight.  I got up and made this Salmon and Cream recipe sans blinis, did I tell you I gave up gluten for lent?  well that too.  I noshed on the [...]

  • Toney Sorto says:

    Thank you , I’ll have to subscribe your site and read the rest I think. The first date my wife and I had nearly 20 years ago now was a lovely seafood restaurant in Napoli, so I’ve been spending so long trying to rediscover a decent grilled lobster recipe like we had that night – our anniversary is next month so I’m hoping to surprise her!

  • [...] that I wanted to eat or make and she surprised us and made this dish. It was oh so good. Click here for the original [...]

    Recommended pairing

    Gewürztraminer Ruhlmann Vieilles Vignes Alsace 2007
    A concentrated elixir that exudes a rich bouquet of lycheee and over-ripe pear, with an ever-so-slightly oily mouth feel that complements the voluptuous texture of the smoked salmon. The Ruhlmann family has been producing wine since 1688. Old vines indeed.

    Ruhlmann Vieilles