Blini with mushroom and thyme

These blini (also known as blinchiki) filled with mushrooms is something I tried once at my friends house in Belarus. Traditionally blini are not pan fried like they commonly are today, but they were actually baked in a pechka (a woodfire oven). Our friend Luda, prepared them in her woodfire oven and filled them with forest mushrooms and onion. Today im sharing a simpler more accessible version so that you can easily do it on your stove top!

From that day that I tried Luda’s mushroom blinchiki, I now often make blini filled with mushrooms rather than the usual meat filling that I grew up eating – even though I absolutely love the meat filled ones that my mum would often make, I do love the earthy flavour of this mushroom option.

During my recent trip to Belarus, we spent a lot of time in the forests. Foraging, cooking, exploring…and one morning in particular we were cooking up some mushrooms on a portable cooking gas top. I remember seeing these beautiful bright pink and almost purple flowered herbs on the forest bed all around me. We shortly realised it was wild thyme growing so we couldn’t resist but gather some and add it to our mushrooms. It’s a classic combination and it just works so well in this filling as well that is topped with creme fraiche. So delicious – I hope you enjoy this recipe!

These blini are quite thin so that they are simple to fill and roll up!

I’ve just added a brief explanation of the name of these below for those who don’t speak or understand Russian to clarify any confusion!

Blini  (The plural word – more than 1 crepe, so several crepes)

Blin (Single form of the noun so 1 single crepe)

Blinchiki (The diminutive of the original word – a softer ending for Blini that the Russian language has)

Recipe for homemade blini filled with mushroom, onion and thyme 

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes

Makes: Approximately 14-15 blini (this will vary slightly based on the diameter/size of your pan and how much you pour each time)

Ingredients

Mushroom filling

700g mushrooms (any excess dirt brushed off and finely sliced)

1 onion (finely diced)

a few sprigs of fresh thyme

butter or olive oil for cooking

salt

Blini batter

2 cups plain flour

3 1/2 cups milk OR 2 cups milk and any other liquid (whey or water)

1 egg

1/2 tsp bi carb soda

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 small pinch of salt

butter (approximately 70g to melt + extra 30g to top the blini)

Extra

1 small tub of creme fraiche or sour cream

Please note: If you would like to halve the recipe to make less blini then you can, but don’t halve the amount specified above for the bi carb soda and the apple cider vinegar.

Method

  1. Make the mushroom filling first. Drizzle the olive oil over the pan and add the onion. Cook, stirring often for a few minutes until the onion is translucent. Add in the mushrooms and stir the onion through well. Add a good pinch of salt and cook the mushroom mixture for 10 minutes or until the mushrooms have softened with the majority of the juices evaporated. Add in the thyme and stir it through, cooking for another 2 minutes. Set aside.
  2. To make the blini batter, break the egg into a small bowl and combine the yolk and the whites together thoroughly. Pour into a large mixing bowl along with the milk. Sift the flour into the bowl. Combine the bi carb soda and apple cider vinegar together in a small cup until it fizzes and transfer it into the bowl as well along with a small pinch of salt.  Whisk the ingredients together until they have completely combined and you get a super thin and silky batter, with no big clumps of flour (it’s completely fine if there are still some tiny clumps). Use a ladle to check the consistency by scooping and pouring it back into the mixing bowl then adjust the consistency if you need by adding either more flour for a slightly thicker consistency or add more liquid if you need it thinner (use more milk or water to do this – only if you would like it to be a bit thinner as various milks do vary from brand to brand.
  3. To cook the blini, heat either a non stick pan or a cast iron pan (medium size) on a high heat then reduce to medium heat (I cook my blini on a number 5 to 6 – that is for an induction stove top). Meanwhile melt 70g of the butter in a small pot without overcooking it.
  4. Using a kitchen brush, add a bit of the butter to the pan to thinly coat it. Use a ladle to scoop and transfer the mixture on to your pan. Pour approximately 1 ladle full (or a tiny bit less – depends on the depth of your ladle) of the batter onto one side of the pan and use your hands to swiftly move the pan in a round motion so that the batter reaches and covers the whole entire surface.
  5. The first blin (crepe) is nearly always a test one – adjust seasoning and cooking temperature based on that one if needed. Cook the blini on medium heat on each side for a couple of minutes (2-3 minutes) each side, adding more butter when needed. Increase the heat if you need to or reduce it if you need to (each stove top is a bit different!). Use a metal spatula to lift and then flip it to cook on the second side. I recommend to add a fresh coating of butter for each blin and to cook each side.
  6. As you cook each one, place them one by one on a plate and a bit of extra butter on the surface of each cooked blin. Layer them on top of each other.
  7. Once your blini are nearly all ready, begin to fill and wrap each of the blini. To fill the blini, place two heaped tablespoons of the mushroom mixture onto the bottom centre of the blin and then begin to fold in from the bottom edge, the sides and completely fold until you have a rectangular shaped parcel. Set each one aside.
  8. To serve the filled blini, heat a large pan with some oil or butter and on a medium to high heat, cook the filled blini on both sides. Serve 2-3 on each plate and top with creme fraiche or sour cream.

Cooking tip:

Set up two pans to cook the blini faster, so that you have two cooking away at the same time.

 

Categories
Dinner Mains