Eyes bigger than stomach: Blinis with soured cream and roasted peppers, pg.11, The Accidental Vegetarian

We cook most nights in our house – it’s the part of the day I enjoy most. We both finish work and we’re in our kitchen drinking wine, sharing chopping duties, with the dog coming in and out to check for shavings of cheese or miniscule bits of meat that accidentally drop to the floor.

Then why, just because I’m working my way through specific books, is it becoming increasingly harder to get food ready to eat at a sensible time? We ate at 10.45pm tonight.

It was the turn of Simon Rimmer’s Blinis. I love blinis…smothered in cream cheese and smoked salmon, or caviar, or smoked mackerel with a horseradish sauce…these were to be served with soured cream and peppers. No flesh of any kind.

I started with the blini batter which trebled in size and started pouring over the sides of the bowl!

But at least that meant the yeast was working…I just need to make a boring technical note here. Don’t do what I nearly did and use 45g of dried yeast. The recipe calls for fresh yeast. If you’re using the dried variety, just divide the amount (45g) with 3 = 15g.

Next for the topping. Usually, when a recipe calls for roast peppers, I buy them in a jar. But this time I was going to follow the recipe word for word. Having kranked the grill up to max, the kitchen was getting pretty heated and I was experiencing waves of hot flushes. In the hot mist, I told my husband how I really wished that I had a blow torch as it would make the process so much easier. And what did he tell me? That he had one in the car! I knew I’d married him for a reason (but why he was driving around with a blow torch on the back seat, I daren’t ask!)

Once the gas was flowing, I was getting a bit trigger happy! But at least it meant I could turn the grill off and cool down a bit!

I fried 4 inch blinis, smeared them with soured cream before topping them off with the peppers and some black olives. We had some of Simon Rimmer’s coronation chick peas left over from the other night, so we also finished that off and had some mixed leaves and avocado on the side. The blinis were nice, if maybe a bit bland (and my husband kept saying how nice they would be with some goats’ cheese). Thing is, we have over half the batter still left over so we may be eating blinis until August…


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