October 14, 2011

FFwD: Blinis with Smoked Salmon (with Champignons Sautes a la Creme Substitute)

So last week quite a few blogs had a laugh about the word "Spatchcock" to describe what we were suppose to do to our little Cornish Hens or Chickens.  Well, I'm in the grocery store this week and what do I see in the poultry area...

I had to laugh!  Before last week, I'd never heard of Spatchcocking a chicken or hen and now I can find flattened chicken at my local Marks & Spencer's!

Last week, I sort of wrote off this week because no one in my house really likes smoked salmon and I planned to make a previously done French Friday recipe instead.  I'll have to admit I made this statement not even knowing what the blini part of the recipe was.  So, after actually reading the recipe and other bloggers comments, I decided to try a substitution.

Keeping with the French theme, I used Julia Childs, Champignons Sautes a la Creme (Creamed Mushrooms) for the topping of my blinis.  I couldn't find buckwheat flour so opted for wholewheat flour which I had in my pantry.  I let the batter rest for about 1 hour 45 minutes.  I'm curious to see what happened to those that made the batter the night before with the buckwheat flour?  Mine were sort of just little wheat-tasting pancakes?  My son got excited because he thought we were having pancakes for dinner, Ha!  Only if you're eating them topped with cream mushrooms I said and his response was, "when is our pizza ready?"

We enjoyed them with the mushrooms, they would be great little appetisers for a dinner party... just need to make them mini-pancake size.

Champignons Sautes a la Creme (Creamed Mushrooms) from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child.

1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms
2 T butter
1 T oil
2 T shallots or green onions

Saute the mushrooms in hot butter and oil for 4 to 5 minutes, but do not allow them to brown any more than necessary.  Add the shallots or onions and toss over moderate heat for 2 minutes.

1 t flour

Stir in the flour and cook slowly for 2 minutes more.

2/3 to 1 cup whipping cream
1/8 t salt
pinch of pepper
optional: 2 to 3 T Maderia

Off the heat, blend in the cream and seasonings.  Boil down until the cream has reduced and thickened.  Add wine, and boil to evaporate its alcohol.  Correct seasoning.  I also added a few tablespoons of chopped tarragon.

1 to 2 T softened butter

Fold in just before serving.


  1. I was able to find Buckwheat for about 2 quid at Waitrose... do you have one of those nearby? How funny that they spatchcock for you... I hope it doesnt cost too much more! :) We had ours with the salmon and it was great, we had leftovers for breakfast :)

  2. Yes, we do have a Waitrose, that would have been my third grocery store today so I passed. I will look for it next time I'm there though. I didn't even look at the price of the spatchcock, I just couldn't believe it was there. We'll be having our leftover pancakes for breakfast too!

  3. I love that you can buy a pre-spatchcocked bird. Nice! My pancakes were quite flat, even though I let the batter sit overnight. They were very light, though, so I don't know if that had anything to do with how long they sat (does more bubbles=lighter? Beats me). I would have liked your topping muuuuch better than the salmon and creme fraiche. It just wasn't my week. Oh well. :-)

  4. Oh my goodness! I love the idea of mushrooms! They sound even better!

    I was surprised at how much I liked the buckwheat (though i's ugly - you can see what it looks like on my blog dulceshome.com) But I think that it would be better with the mushrooms.

    Love the fact that you can get a spatchcocked hen at M&S how fun is that? Thanks for sharing!

  5. I've made those creamed mushrooms before and they're delicious! Great idea for a blini topping!

  6. Wow,a pre-spatchcocked bird. Perfect for all those Doristas who had trouble with that. Thanks for sharing. Nice idea with the creamed mushrooms for the blini topping. We're not big smoked salmon eaters either but did okay with this. We did make a mushroom ragout that would be great on the blinis next time.

  7. Too funny that you can get a bird where someone else had already done the "dirty deed" for you :=)
    Creamed mushroom topping sounds like a great savory choice for pancakes.

  8. I love your variation, Robin! I'm off to check that recipe in my copy of MAFC.

  9. I can't wait to try this with the mushrooms. They sound amazing!!

  10. Love your idea of mushrooms as a topping for the blini. They sound wonderful. I served my leftover blini with a bartlett pear sauteed in butter and brown sugar, also delicious! Happy weekend!

  11. The creamed mushroom recipe looks great - I can see it being a great blini topping.

    We used to have a Marks & Spencer here (British Columbia, Canada), but it closed down a number of years ago. A friend of mine still mourns its passing.