Twice as Tasty

Mushroom-Filled Blini

Fold the mushroom and sour cream filling into thin pancakes and enjoy them freshly made or lightly fried when reheated the next day

By Julie Laing
Photo by Julie Laing.

Of the food I learned to make while living in Russia, blini remain among my favorites. My language teacher and hostess quickly discovered that I more readily practiced my halting new tongue if she brought me into the kitchen to help make our meals.

We made blini with many mild fillings, from potatoes and cabbage to mushrooms or caviar. We would make and fill multiple batches of blini and then reheat the leftovers the next evening in a little oil, giving them a crispy edge that made them as delicious as the fresh ones. We kept them mild for the Russian palate, but I can’t resist adding a little garlic.

Mushroom-Filled Blini

Makes 6 blini

For the filling:

1 tablespoon butter or sunflower oil

1/3 cup finely chopped onion

3/4 pound cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons unbleached all-purpose flour

3/4 cup warm mushroom stock, vegetable stock, or water

1/3 cup sour cream

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon crumbled dried dill weed

For the blini:

2 eggs

2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon ultrafine sugar

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

3/4 cup milk

1 tablespoon butter, melted

Butter or sunflower oil for cooking

Melt the butter or oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for about five minutes, until translucent. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook for another five minutes, until soft.

Reduce the heat to very low. Mix 2 teaspoons of flour into the warm stock; pour it over the mushrooms, stirring as you heat it to the consistency of gravy. Stir in the sour cream, salt, pepper and dill; keep warm.

In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Whisk in the 2/3 cup of flour, sugar, salt and 1/4 cup of milk until the batter is smooth. Whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup of milk and melted butter until just incorporated; if thicker than heavy cream, thin the batter with up to 1 tablespoon of water.

Lightly butter or oil a 10-inch nonstick skillet; set it over medium-high heat until hot. Scoop up a scant 1/3 cup of batter and quickly pour it into the pan in a circular, tilting motion that evenly coats the bottom. Cook for about 40 seconds, until the edge begins to curl and brown. Flip with a spatula, cook for another 20 seconds and then flip onto a plate. Repeat with the remaining batter, regreasing the pan after each pancake.

Scoop about 1/4 cup of warm filling into each pancake. Fold one-third of the pancake over the filling and then the other one-third over the filling and first fold, like folding a letter with the filling tucked in the center. Rotate 90 degrees and repeat, forming a square packet, and then transfer to a plate with the folded edges facing down. Drizzle the blini with any remaining mushroom sauce or sour cream and fresh dill and serve immediately.

Julie Laing is a Bigfork-based cookbook author and food blogger at TwiceAsTasty.com.