Watching the Oscars, like the Super Bowl, has become almost an unofficial holiday, an occasion when tens of millions of us get together for an old-fashioned TV viewing party, complete with abundant food and drink.
But the two events require rather different menus. An Oscar party calls for slightly more elevated fare, and I can think of no hors d’oeuvres more appropriate than blini topped with caviar.
You can serve these on a platter, already assembled, or allow your guests to build their own perfect bites by wrapping the blini in a cloth to keep them warm, and serving them alongside little bowls of the toppings.
Blini with Smoked Trout, Caviar and Horseradish Cream
3/4 c. plain non-fat Greek yogurt
1 T. bottled horseradish, drained
1/2 t. grated lemon rind
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1/2 c. whole-wheat flour
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
Pinch of salt
Pinch of sugar
1 c. buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 T. butter, melted (or vegetable oil)
3/4 c. flaked or chopped smoked trout or salmon
1/4 c. fresh dill sprigs or chopped fresh chives
2 oz. salmon roe (or the caviar of your choice)
Heat the oven to 200°.
In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, horseradish, lemon rind and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together both flours, the baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. In another medium bowl, combine the buttermilk, egg and butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until barely combined (it is OK to see a few lumps). The batter will be thick.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat the skillet with cooking spray and add the batter by level tablespoon amounts. Do not crowd the pan. Let the blini cook until the bottoms are golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook on the second side until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining batter.
When all of the blini have been cooked and you are ready to serve, arrange them on a serving platter. Top each with some of the smoked trout, horseradish-yogurt blend, a dollop of caviar and fresh dill. Makes 16.