Serves: 8 – 10 as a starter
The Boathouse – that wonderful restaurant right on the water at Blackwattle Bay in Glebe, Sydney – is famous for its snapper pie.
And it is a truly wonderful dish; sweated onions, cream, truffle oil, snapper and amazing pastry served with a smoked tomato and a simple mash. Yum.
Though they have another classic and one that Nat and I have ordered the two times we have had lunch there: the Salmon Roe & Potato Blinis with Wasabi and Crème Fraiche.
They are just awesome. And the presentation is like theater.
A bowl of the roe, chilled on ice; the small blinis, fluffy pancakes, served hot to allow the crème fraiche to melt. The wasabi and then the roe.
Eaten whole, the sensory experience is everything. Ditto the taste experience.
So set the task of doing the amuse bouche for a lunch at my parent’s place, I asked Nat what she thought we should do and immediately she answered this recipe.
Easier said than done right?
I pushed back on the basis that we didn’t have a recipe etc. though I should have known that it wouldn’t be that simple.
Shortly thereafter – pretty much on schedule – Nat had tracked down the blini recipe on some chef’s recipe organiser website and the rest was pretty straightforward.
It is in fact a simple dish and I promise that the recipe below perfectly recreates the dish at The Boathouse. Stunning.
You should make around 40 or so blinis and then factor in a teaspoon of crème fraiche and roe for each, with just a dash of wasabi.
Casually pull these out at your next dinner party and people will think you’re some kind of cooking prodigy.
3 whole eggs
500gm crème fraiche
175gm plain flour
175gm egg whites (whipped to a firm peak) (about 7 – 8 eggs in my experience)
300gm salmon (or trout) roe
4 lemon halves, tied in a muslin cloth to serce
- Peel and cook the potatoes. Puree, ideally through a ricer and allow to cool.
- Whisk the whole eggs and 100gm of the crème fraiche into the potato puree.
- Once smooth, fold in the flour.
- Gently fold in the firm egg whites.
- Heat a non-stick pan (you don’t really need to oil it and you don’t want your blini to be greasy) over a medium heat. Form the blini into small discs – small pancakes – around 4cm in diameter. Cook for three minutes each side and then set aside.
- When ready, heat the oven to 180c and reheat the blini so that they are hot through.
- In separate bowls, serve the wasabi, the remaining crème fraiche and roe and then serve a dollop of each on the blini. A dash of lemon juice and serve to your amazed guests.