The Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota offers a spectacular brunch on Sunday mornings, at Vernona, their signature restaurant. One of the decadent temptations is their Caviar Bar, featuring fresh blinis and 3 kinds of caviar — black Sevruga, pink salmon caviar, and the small-grained golden whitefish caviar! The texture and flavour of caviar is so wonderfully delicate and delicious on it's own, it can be enjoyed using a small mother-of-pearl spoon and eating it directly from small bowl of chilled caviar served on a bed of crushed ice. The Russian way of eating caviar is with tiny blinis and a dab of sour cream or creme fraiche. However, a sprinkle of finely chopped egg, shallots and chives adds to the festive presentation of these opulent canapés, as would a chilled flute of champagne or a shot of iced Russian vodka! Nostrovia.
Yukon Gold Blinis and Caviar
Makes 20 little blinis, so serves 4 hungry cossacks!
1 lb Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled
2 or 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp sour cream
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
salt & white pepper
hard-boiled eggs, chopped
For the Yukon Gold Potato Blinis: Put the potatoes in a pot of salted water; bring to a boil and simmer until cooked. Drain and press through a potato ricer while still warm. Set aside. In a small bowl, incorporate flour with a fork and mix in the sour cream. Add eggs one at a time while mixing. Season with salt and pepper. It should have the consistency of pancake batter. Heat a nonstick skillet over high heat. Melt some butter and pour little spoonfuls of batter into the pan. Cook until lightly golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes and flip. Cook for one more minute. Reserve on a tray and garnish as you wish.
COOK'S NOTE: These lovely little blinis can be also be served with smoked salmon or gravlax too.