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Russian Blinis with Smoked Salmon and Caviar

In the normal scheme of things, cheats don’t do canapés. Far too fiddly and fussy. However, now you can buy cocktail blinis (bite-sized buckwheat pancakes), all this actually involves is a quick assembly job. That said, though, they really do look and taste the business if you want to have friends in for festive drinks.

 
 
 Russian Blinis with Smoked Salmon and Caviar

  Serves 8

Ingredients
 2 x 135 g packets cocktail blinis (32 in total)
 3 oz (75 g) sliced smoked salmon (with the brown bits removed)
 1 x 55 g tub Avruga (smoked herring roe) or the real McCoy, caviar, if you’re flush!
 4 oz (110 g) crème fraîche
 1 x 20 g packet of fresh dill, torn into 32 sprigs
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Method

First, preheat the oven to gas mark 6, 400ºF, 200ºC. Arrange the blinis on 2 baking trays and pop them in the oven on a high shelf for 4 minutes – this somehow seems to liven them up. Then let them cool while you cut the salmon into 16 even-sized pieces. Now put about 1⁄2 teaspoon of the crème fraîche on to 16 of the cooled blinis, then take the pieces of salmon and fold them loosely, to create some height, and place one on each of the crème fraîche-topped blinis.

Now place 1⁄2 teaspoon of the crème fraîche on each of the rest of the blinis, followed by 1 teaspoon of the Avruga. Finally, garnish each one with a tiny sprig of dill. The canapés can be made 2 hours in advance if you keep them in a lidded container in the fridge. But don’t use clingfilm, as it squashes them. Remove them from the fridge 30 minutes before serving.

 

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