Archive for the ‘Russian Blini’ Category


February 24, 2009

The girls have been up late celebrating Mardi Gras. Of course the Three Swingin’ Chicks are always up for a party—they don’t need much of an excuse.

However, they’re disappointed—once again—they had to settle in Minnesota. Not only because of the weather but it’s Carnival time and, according to the three revelers, you would never know it here in Icicleland. No parades, no costumes, no partying at all hours of the day and night. Roxanne thinks it’s pathetic how eerily quiet and respectable everything is. The only state where everyone goes to bed early.

The Swingin’ Chicks have been doing their best to carry on the Mardi Gras party tradition on their own by jammin’ and generally making a racket in the coop, but they’d love a few extra chicks for a real party and maybe a horn section parading down the street.

The girls would also like a little spicy heat to jazz up their food, if not the rest of their lives. Instead they’ll have to settle for traditional Fat Tuesday pancakes. I think they’ll be happy. I’m making blini today, a Russian Mardi Gras tradition.

Quick Blini or Russian Mardi Gras Pancakes
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This recipe is from two Russian friends from St. Petersburg who stayed with us several years ago on an exchange program. It uses baking soda instead of yeast making it an easy quick version of traditional blini. These blini are so simple to make that our two friends whipped these up on the spur of the moment in the middle of a party at our house—they were a huge hit. I prefer them at breakfast but they’re great celebration food anytime.

2 eggs
1 tablespoon sugar
⅛ teaspoon baking soda
Pinch salt
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
1½ cups all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil for frying
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Strawberry or raspberry preserves
Sour cream

Whisk together the eggs, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl until the eggs are frothy. Pour in ½ cup of the milk and whisk just to blend. Dump in the flour and whisk until the batter is thick and smooth with no lumps remaining.

Once the batter is smooth, whisk in the remaining ¼ cup milk, adding the additional 2 tablespoons of milk if necessary to create a very thin batter. The batter should be about the consistency of heavy whipping cream.

To cook the blini, heat a small (about 8-inch) nonstick skillet or crepe pan until hot. Brush lightly with oil and spoon about ¼ cup batter into the pan. Immediately turn the pan so the batter covers the bottom and goes slightly up the side of the pan.

Cook 25 to 30 seconds or until the bottom is golden brown and the top is dry. Turn and cook about 10 seconds or until the bottom is dry.

Place on a plate and brush with butter. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Serve the blini letting everyone fill their own with a spoonful of berry preserves or sour cream or a combination of the two. Fold the pancakes in quarters.

Makes about 12 blini