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Appetizers

Yukon Gold potato blini

Yukon Gold potato blini
Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

According to Alice Waters in the "Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook," whenever legendary chef Jeremiah Tower made blini at Chez Panisse, he'd recount how his Russian uncle felt about butter. You had enough only when it ran down and dripped off ... Read more

Total time: 1 1/2 hours | Makes 3 to 3 1/2 dozen small blini
  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons crème fraîche, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper, or to taste

Step 1Place the potatoes in a saucepan with cold water to cover by at least 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are thoroughly cooked and tender.

Step 2Peel the warm potatoes and press them through a tamis. Immediately weigh out 9 ounces of puréed potatoes and place them in a medium metal bowl. Working quickly, whisk the flour into the warm potatoes, then whisk in 2 tablespoons crème fraîche. Add 1 egg, whisking until the batter is smooth, add the second egg, and then add the yolk.

Step 3Hold the whisk with some of the batter over the bowl. The batter should fall in a thick stream but hold its shape when it hits the batter in the bowl. If it is too thick, add a little more crème fraîche. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.

Step 4Heat an electric griddle to 350 degrees. (If you do not have a griddle, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat.) Spoon between 1 and 1 1/2 teaspoons of batter onto the griddle or skillet for each pancake. Cook until the bottoms are browned, 1 to 2 minutes, then flip them to cook the second side, about 1 minute; the blini should be evenly browned with a small ring of white around the edges. Transfer the blini to a small baking sheet and keep warm while you make the remaining blini, cleaning the skillet in between batches as needed.

Note: Adapted from "The French Laundry Cookbook," by Thomas Keller. This recipe requires the use of a tamis and scale, available at most cooking stores as well as online; a very fine strainer can be substituted for the tamis. Blinis can be topped with crème fraîche and caviar. See story for other ideas on blini toppings.

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