My brother likes to make snarky comments about my food and act like he doesn't enjoy it. In response, the rest of us unanimously voted to have him cook dinner tonight. Given that I make fun of his kitchen abilities on a near constant basis, I decided that I would document tonight's attempt.
His cooking improvisations are not really welcome at the dinner table, so I implored him to find a recipe. He recently had some Polish food at a local restaurant and began to daydream about pierogies. When I looked up some recipes, I realized I may have to guide him through dough (potentially with yeast), which meant a floured counter and rolling pin. Even though, at 26, he is 14 months older than I am, I encouraged him to seek something a bit cleaner and requiring less 'supervision.' He began to think back to his study abroad stint in Moscow, honing in on all of the blinis he ate--with jam, savory fillings, and even caviar. At 60 cents a pop, he apparently indulged in the Russian street food quite often. However, trying to use up some leftover potatoes, we made a filling that is actually one that you normally find in Pierogies. We're just going to pretend that we decided to draw on both our Russian and Polish heritages.
In the end, this whole experience was not without humor. He attacked the mushrooms with the knife instead of slicing them, had some trouble working the food scale, and looked to me to improvise a way to get the blinis out of the pan. Nonetheless, the food was quite delicious.
Blinis (From Russian Season, Makes 12)
220 ml water
220g all-purpose flour (Normally I would convert this, but I used my new food scale, sorry!)250 ml milk
½ tsp salt
Mushroom Potato Filling (Adapted from Robert Rothschild)
1 Tbsp. butter
1 shallot, minced
1/4 cup white wine
4 oz. mushrooms, diced small (we used cremini)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lbs. peeled potatoes, cooked, mashed (yukon gold are our favorite)
4 oz. goat cheese
salt and pepper to taste
sour cream or greek yogurt for dipping
1. Peel and boil your potatoes until cooked through. Strain and slightly mash. Then add in the goat cheese in slices. Mash cheese in thoroughly. If you are not getting a good consistency, use a teaspoon of hot water.
We had leftover boiled potatoes, so we peeled off the skin and reheated. We also put the cheese/potato mixture in the microwave to make the cheese softer to mash.
2. Melt butter in a frying pan. Add onion and garlic, and cook until fragrant and translucent. Then add in wine.
3. Add in mushrooms and cook for 4-5 minutes until soft. Drain off any excess liquid when done.
4. Add mushroom mixture to potatoes. Mix together. Salt and pepper to taste. Keep in warm place while you make your blinis.
5. For blinis, mix together flour and water, whisking thoroughly. Add egg, milk and salt. You will have a thin batter.
6. Heat a non-stick pan and add in a little vegetable oil.
7. Use approximately 1/4 cup for one pancake. Spread it around as though you were making a crepe. Apparently the first one always bubbles and is a bit oily.
8. Flip when browned, and brown on the other side. If you are having trouble flipping them try a plastic cake knife and a spatula. It worked wonders. I am brilliant.
9. When your pancakes are done, fill them like this:
10. Serve with sour cream, or greek yogurt if you don't have any.