Donal Skehan's Blinis with Burren Smoked Irish Salmon

... and quick pickled beetroot

150Donal-Skehan-Salmon-blinis-cropped-150x150We owe this recipe to Donal Skehan, Ireland's talented and lovely young chef who was giving cookery demos at the 2012 Burren Slow Food Festival. He writes in the preamble to this recipe in the May issue of the Food & Wine magazine: "These wonderful little blinis make a fantastic base to show off some of the finest ingredients and there really is no finer than Birgitta Curtin's Burren organic smoked salmon. The beetroot is a bit of a cheat's solution to pickling but I find it works great if you are making these up last minute."

- Serves 8 -


For the quick pickled beetroot
250g beetroot, finely chopped into cubes
5 tblsp apple cider vinegar
1 tblsp caster sugar
sea salt and ground black pepper

For the blinis
120ml milk
1 x 5g sachet of active dried yeast
125g strong white flour
1 tblsp caster sugar
1 tsp salt
120ml buttermilk
2 large free range eggs, separated
1 tblsp melted butter, plus more to fry

For the garnish
250g Burren smoked Irish Organic salmon
crème fraîche
fresh dill


For the quick pickled beetroot, combine all the ingredients for the pickled beetroot in a bowl and allow to sit in the fridge until you are ready to use it.

For the blinis, pour the milk into a small saucepan and heat until luke-warm. Whisk in the yeast and leave to stand for 6-8 minutes until the mixture becomes foamy.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and sugar with a generous pinch of salt and make a well in the centre.

In a large pyrex jug, mix together the buttermilk, butter and egg yolks.Whisk in the foamy yeast mixture and pour into the dry ingredients. Mix until you have a smooth batter and then cover and leave to stand in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Beat the egg whites in a clean bowl until you have stiff peaks. Using a metal spoon fold this into the batter.

When you are ready to fry the blinis, heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium high heat and brush the pan with a little melted butter. Add teaspoonful amounts to the pan and fry until golden on each side.

Allow to cool completely before topping with a generous dollop of crème fraîche, a slice of smoked salmon and some pickled beetroot. Bon appetit!

Click here to download the recipe