Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Recipe By Phone


It's funny when you wake up and you know exactly what you want to eat. It is something you've had before and the food is so memorable to you, you can taste in your mouth. That is how I felt this past Saturday morning.

I really wanted my mom's blinchiki. I guess you can figure out what those are, little blintzes/crepes. But hers are not like crepes or blintzes; there is something distinctively different - not better, not worse, just different. Even if I had searched my many cookbooks and recipes online, I could never find that something I was craving. So I called my mom...

In her usual adorable way she gave me a convoluted recipe. Going over several times how to make sure the batter was perfectly smooth but never actually stating how much flour to put in. She said the final mixture should resemble thin sour cream. So because I need structure I counted the amount of spoons of flour I added to the wet ingredients because I know next time I wouldn't be so lucky. I weighed this amount of tablespoons post-recipe, so I could make this recipe, which surprisingly turned out perfect, again and again. And now you can too.


Mom's Blinchiki
8-10 heaped tablespoons all-purpose flour (or 200g)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup water
sugar, to taste (1-2 tablespoons is my preference)
pinch of salt
1/4 cup olive oil, for frying

In a bowl or container for a hand blender, mix one tablespoon of olive oil, buttermilk, water, sugar and salt. Add flour, tablespoon by tablespoon, and whisk by hand or using a hand blender or food processor/blender until the consistency is of thin pancake batter but thicker than cream - it would need to be able to swirl around in a non-stick pan, but not be so thin as to leave a very thin pancake.

Heat an 8"/20cm non-stick pan or rounded smooth griddle on medium heat. Using a pastry brush, brush a small amount of olive to give a thin layer. Pour the batter on one side of the pan and swirl the pan so that the batter reaches all sides of the pan. As the top of the blinchik gets dry, check underneath once the edges get golden. Turn over with your fingers, and cook about 30 seconds - 1 minute longer, depending on the thickness of the batter. Repeat until you are out of batter.

Makes about 12 blinchiki

To serve: Eat straight away, with sour cream in the middle and rolled up like a burrito, or you could cool the blinchiki and fill with any topping you wish in the middle. Fold the short end and then the long end, fry for about a minute on each side in a pan with olive oil, and serve. A typical filling for this are either mashed potatoes with caramelized onions, either in the potatoes or as a garnish, or mushrooms served with sour cream on the side. Enjoy.

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