Gravadlax salmon starter with blinis
- 2 tsp whole mixed peppercorns, crushed
- 75g coarse sea salt
- 100g granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp chopped dill
- zest of 1 lemon
- 900g side of skin-on whole salmon fillet
- 100g strong white plain flour
- 1 x 7g sachet dried easy-blend yeast
- ½ tsp sugar
- 55g buckwheat flour (or use extra strong white flour)
- 1 medium egg, separated
- ½ tbsp melted butter, plus extra for the frying pan
- 150ml warm milk
- 300ml soured cream
- small dill sprigs, to garnish
Step by step
FOR THE GRAVADLAX:
In a bowl, mix together the crushed peppercorns with the salt, sugar, 2 tablespoons of the dill and the lemon zest. Remove any pin bones from the fish with clean tweezers.
- Put the salmon, skin-side down, on to a large double sheet of kitchen foil. Spread the mixture on top and wrap the fish in the foil, then tightly in clingfilm. Put the salmon upside down on a large dish in the fridge.
- Leave the salmon for 2 days and nights, turning it every 8 hours or so and pouring away any excess liquid.
- After the 2 days, scrape off and discard the excess marinade mixture.
- Sprinkle the remaining dill over the fish and pat it down. If you're not using the salmon straight away, wrap it in clean clingfilm and foil; chill.
- To serve, slice it thinly into pieces, on the slant, starting at the tail end.
FOR THE BLINIS:
Tip the plain flour into a bowl and sprinkle over the yeast and sugar, then add 75ml warm water. Mix to make a dough. Cover with clingfilm and leave to double in size – this will take about 20 minutes.
- In another bowl, mix the buckwheat (or strong white) flour with the egg yolk, melted butter, warm milk and a big pinch of salt; whisk until smooth.
- Add this wet mixture, bit by bit, to the risen dough – use a balloon whisk and beat it to combine. Cover with clingfilm; leave to rise for 30 minutes.
- Whisk the egg white in a clean bowl until it forms stiff peaks; fold into the blini mixture.
- Wipe a nonstick frying pan with melted butter. Heat; when the butter is sizzling, add ½ tablespoon batter per blini. They will need a minute or so on each side and are ready to turn when bubbles appear on the surface. Transfer to kitchen paper as they are ready; leave to cool.
- To serve, put 1 teaspoon of soured cream on each blini and top with gravadlax. Garnish with dill.