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A Recipe from Our Cookbook: White Corn Blini with Caviar

August 20, 2010

Check out this party food, including corn blini along the left side of the top platter!

These fresh corn blini are one of Michael’s absolute favorite party foods. They make a wonderful base for salty caviar, crème fraîche, and a sprinkle of freshly chopped chives. In Welcome to Michael’s, he advises also using them as a base for smoked salmon hors-d’oeuvres. Get creative: Anything tasty tastes even better on these blini.

White Corn Blini with Caviar

Serves 4

  • 3 ears fresh white corn, shucked
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons corn oil
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Approximately 1/4 cup clarified butter (see Note, below)
  • Approximately 4 ounces caviar

Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the corn kernels from the cobs. Place the kernels in a medium saucepan and add the cream. Warm over medium heat, cover, and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat and cook for about 5 minutes or just until the kernels are tender. Remove from the heat.

Drain the kernels through a fine sieve, reserving the liquid. Place half the kernels in a blender. Add the egg and begin processing. With the motor running, add the oil, along with just enough of the cooking liquid to make a fairly thin puree.

Combine the flour and baking soda in a mixing bowl. Whisk in the corn puree, beating until the mixture has a pancake batter texture, adding additional cooking liquid if necessary. Fold in the chives and remaining corn and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Set aside.

When ready to serve, heat a griddle (or nonstick frying pan) over medium heat. Brush generously with clarified butter. When very hot but not smoking, ladle a scant 1 tablespoon of batter into the pan for each blini. You want the batter to form a 1-inch circle. Cook for 30 seconds, then carefully flip and cook the other side for 30 seconds or until cooked through and lightly colored.

Place the cooked blini in a single layer on the parchment-lined sheet and keep warm until all the blini are cooked. Serve warm, garnished with a generous scoop of caviar and a sprinkle of chives.

NOTE: Clarified butter is salted butter that has been very slowly melted to separate out the milk solids and water. The clear, bright yellow liquid that is left can be used to cook at high temperatures, as it will then have a much higher smoke point than solid butter.

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