I’ve attended several “fancy” events during my career. Actually, wait. That makes it sound much more impressive than it really is.
Rather, I pretend to fit right in at them – whether it’s a book launch, management conference, or ship deck reception. I attempt to walk the walk (which can be tricky for a clumsy person) and talk the talk (also difficult for an introvert). Most of the time, I think I just about get away with it.
However, I have a confession. I’m a massive fraud and I’m not usually paying attention. For me… it’s all about the food and drink.
As soon as the perfectly chilled Champagne, hors d’oeuvre, caviar, or amuse bouche (or snacks, crisps, dips – I’m not fussy) start coming out… you’ve lost me. Who has time for networking when waiters and waitresses are carrying platters of exciting-looking, bite-sized morsels in your direction?
Now, as much as I do love these magical tiny food items, I don’t love the amount of time you have to spend making them.
So, when I want to make it look like I’ve gone all out for a guest (or just want to brighten up a dull Thursday evening), I whip up a batch of my go-to Smoked Salmon Blinis. They look impressive, but they’re so quick and easy to make! (I told you… I’m a fraud.)
- 16 cocktail blinis
- 100g smoked salmon slices (Waitrose Mild and Delicate Scottish Smoked Salmon works well)
- 1 lemon (zest and juice)
- 1 banana shallot/echalion
- Bunch dill
- Small tub soured cream
- Cracked black pepper
- Pre-heat your oven to 170 degrees.
- Lay out the blinis on a baking tray and cook for five minutes. (Be careful not to leave them in for too long, as they’ll become crispy.) Remove and cool on a wire rack.
- Meanwhile, zest the lemon and put to one side (most regular cheese graters have a section for zesting.) Then cut the lemon in half, ready to juice later.
- Dice the shallot into small pieces (it doesn’t have to be neat or precise!)
- Lay out the salmon and cut into 1cm wide strips (watch out for any plastic separators between the slices of salmon).
- Add the salmon and shallot to a small bowl and mix together.
- Squeeze the juice of half the lemon into the bowl, season with cracked black pepper, mix well, and taste. (I like mine with a lot of lemon, so will usually add the juice of the second half at this point.)
- Once the blinis have cooled, spoon a dollop of soured cream onto each one.
- Top each one with the salmon and shallot mixture (best to start with a little bit, then top up if you have some left over).
- Sprinkle the lemon zest and dill on top of each one.