Citrus-Cured Salmon on Blini

Ingredients

For the salmon:

  • One 1-pound salmon fillet
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, lightly crushed
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest

For the blini:

  • ½ cup lukewarm milk, about 105 degrees
  • 1 large egg, separated
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream or crème fraîche, plus ¼ cup
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted, plus 1 teaspoon for frying
  • 2 teaspoons (1 envelope) rapid-rise yeast
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives

Try pairing a sauvignon blanc with this citrusy salmon dish served on a homemade blini.

Click here to see 15 Great Salmon Recipes That Won't Make You Yawn.

Directions

For the salmon:

Lay the salmon on a work surface and run your hand over the meat side to find the pin bones. Remove the bones with fish tweezers or needle-nose pliers.

In a small bowl, combine the salt, sugar, fennel seeds, lemon zest, and lime zest. Stir to blend. Rub over the meat side of the salmon to form a thin, even coating covering all of the meat. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, place in a baking pan, and place a heavy pan on top to weight the fish down. Refrigerate for 24 hours.

For the blini:

In a small bowl, combine the milk, egg yolk, the 2 tablespoons sour cream or crème fraîche, and the melted butter. Whisk to blend. Stir in the yeast until dissolved and let stand about 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, and sugar. Stir with a whisk to blend. Stir in the milk mixture until just blended. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand until well risen (about double in size), about 2 hours at room temperature or up to 8 hours in the refrigerator.

Remove the salmon from the refrigerator, unwrap, and wipe off the salt mixture. Place the salmon on a work surface, skin side up. Using a very sharp knife, cut away the skin by guiding the blade of the knife along the skin with one hand while cutting with the other. Cut the salmon into paper-thin slices.

In a medium bowl, beat the egg white until stiff peaks form. Fold into the batter.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Heat a nonstick griddle or a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the 1 teaspoon butter and ½ teaspoon of the oil; when the butter sizzles, wipe pan with a wadded paper towel. Using a tablespoon, spoon 6 equal-size dollops of the batter into the pan spaced a few inches apart. Cook until bubbles appear on the surface and browned on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Turn and cook until well browned on the second side, 1-2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate in the oven to keep warm; repeat to cook 6 more blini.

Arrange a slice of salmon on top of each blini (reserve any remaining salmon for other uses). Top each with a dollop of the ¼ cup sour cream or crème fraîche and a tiny bit of chives. Place 2 blini on each of 6 small plates and serve.

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