It’s always good to start with a nibble. Just a little one, nothing too big. A small bite to get your mouth watering, but nothing to suppress your appetite. A tease for what is to come. Something to help stop you getting too tipsy with pre-dinner drinks.
The canapés for my St. Valentines Dinner was these delicious Smoked Salmon Blinis with Vodka Crème Fraîche and Beetroot. The idea for this came from the BBC Good Food website, where there was a similar recipe for a starter and I adapted it into this.
The blinis I made from Heston Blumenthal’s new book Heston At Home. They were so simple, easy and fast to make. The quicker I was cooking them, the faster my niece and nephew were eating them! I made these a week before, and kept them in the freezer. All I then needed to do was to defrost them a few hours before preparing them.
When it come the to smoked salmon to top them with, I have for a while seen some that I wanted to try. It was in my favourite butcher and fishmonger (who I have just discovered supplies the only 2 Michelin Star Pub – The Hand and Flowers), and they smoke the salmon themselves. This was the perfect opportunity to buy it. I can honesty say this is probably the best smoked salmon I have ever had. It was so smooth, luxurious, perfect balance of smoke and very tasty. I don’t believe I will ever by smoked salmon from anywhere else for a long time. Phil Bowditch Fresh Fish and Butchers is based at Emmett’s Farm Shop in Little Marlow. Unfortunately neither have a website to show you, but trust me, if you are in the area go and visit.
The vodka crème fraîche takes minutes to put together. Just mix a 200ml tub of crème fraîche with 3 tsp. vodka, 2 tsp. hot horseradish sauce and some salt and pepper. Pop it all back into the pot the crème fraîche came in, and put it the fridge until needed.
Then it comes to the beetroot. Something that I don’t ever look forward to preparing. Always looks like some accident has taken place. So there I am, wearing thin latex gloves, beetroot in one hand and knife in other….. I’m ready.
The assembly of the canapés were simple. Spread a little of the vodka crème fraîche on to the blinis, a few slithers of smoked salmon and a couple of pieces of beetroot that have been cut into small matchsticks. Finally, sprinkle over a few dill sprigs.