One of my Valentine’s Day gifts from my husband was The French Laundry Cookbook. If you aren’t familiar, The French Laundry is a three Michelin star restaurant in Northern California that has received countless awards and acclaim. The restaurant commits itself to creating classic French cuisine with the finest quality ingredients, along with a similarly intense focus on impeccable guest service. Eating there is on my bucket list.
This is more than a cookbook. From the proper way to cook vegetables to an interesting take on coffee and doughnuts, this book captures the unique American restaurant through recipes, essays, and profiles.
With over 150 recipes, I didn’t know where to begin! I settled on something simple but decadent — A Yukon Gold Potato Blini.
In the introduction to the book, head chef and founder Thomas Keller shares that a recipe is just words on paper. You will never perfect a recipe if you just follow the directions. “If you don’t feel it, it’s not a perfect custard, no matter how well you’ve executed the mechanics. On the other hand, if it’s not literally a perfect custard, but you’ve maintained a great feeling for it, then you’ve created a recipe perfectly because there was that passion behind what you did.”
With that, here’s my take on Thomas Keller’s blini.
You will need:
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes
2 tablespoons all purpose flour (I had only whole wheat flour — so I used that)
2 to 3 tablespoons creme fraiche (my grocery store didn’t have it so I used some heavy cream)
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
kosher salt and pepper
What you do:
Place the potatoes in a pot with cold water to cover by at least two inches. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are thoroughly cooked and tender.
Peel the warm potatoes (if you lightly pinch and pull, the skin should fall right off). Press the potatoes through a tamis or sieve. Working quickly, whisk the flour into the warm potatoes, then whisk in the creme. Add one egg, whisking until the batter is smooth; add the second egg, then the yolk. Season to taste with a little salt and pepper. You will know the batter is the right consistency when you hold up the whisk and the batter runs in a thick stream but holds some shape when it hits the bowl. If your batter is too thick, add a little more creme.
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spoon the batter onto the skillet, as for a pancake. Cook until the bottom is browned. Flip the blini and cook until the other side is browned as well. Transfer to a small baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you cook the rest of the blini. Serve as soon as possible! I caramelized an onion to top my blini.
These are so light and melt in your mouth! They make an excellent appetizer and are a great vehicle for your favorite savory toppings.
These would pair great with a bottle of wine!