New Year’s Eve is literally the best excuse to ball out. Champagne wishes and caviar dreams become a reality as you celebrate the end of the year, either relishing in its glory or toasting the end of its challenges. You get dolled up and binge every gustatory indulgence without regret or concern. It’s my favorite holiday, and this year I’m pulling out all the stops by skipping the typical cheese board in lieu of a caviar board.
While you could go pick up blinis at the supermarket, I’m here to tell you, ’tis the season to make them yourself. If you’re going to shell out the dough for caviar, why not serve them on these fluffy, griddled mini-pancakes? Typically a yeasted dough laced with buckwheat flour, I’ve adapted the recipe into a meringue-lifted creation to save yourself a bit of time while still giving some airiness to the often-dense buckwheat pancake.
Alongside these petite beauties are all the accoutrements I want on the board: as much caviar as you please, minced capers, minced red onion, chopped hard-boiled eggs, seasoned creme fraîche and a few handfuls of microgreens (you can go with the typical chives, but I love to spice things up with the zip of radish sprouts). The resulting board is everything you want for a party, since you can walk away and let your guests build their own blinis.
The morning of your party, prepare all the garnishes and store them in the fridge. Then, a few hours before, cook up your blinis and let them cool before storing them, covered, at room temp until you assemble everything. You get to crack out every little bowl you’ve got and adorn each with demitasse spoons galore. I typically like to refill in batches to ensure all the toppings stay fresh as a daisy. The only tidbit of advice is to keep the caviar ice-cold. That means if it isn’t going to get scooped clean quickly, nestle the container over a bowl of ice to ensure it remains well chilled.
As the ball drops and you enter 2019, you can sleep soundly, knowing that you crushed it with your NYE party, and of course those caviar-topped-itsy-bitsy-teenie-weenie blinis.
Baller Caviar Board
Yield: about 2 dozen
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
For the blinis
- 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and divided
For the board
- 2 ounces caviar
- 3/4 cup minced capers
- 3/4 cup minced red onion
- 3/4 cup creme fraiche
- 1/2 cup microgreens
- 4 chopped hard-boiled eggs
1. For the blinis: In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, buckwheat flour, sugar, salt and baking soda. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks. Fold the whipped egg whites into the dry ingredients, followed by half of the melted butter, until a smooth batter forms.
2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and brush with some of the remaining melted butter. Working in batches, dollop tablespoons of the batter into the pan and cook until bubbles begin to form on the surface, 1 minute. Flip each blini and cook until golden, 30 to 45 seconds more. Transfer to a platter and repeat with the remaining butter and batter.
3. Assemble the board: On a wooden or marble board, arrange the blinis alongside bowls of the caviar (on ice), capers, red onion, creme fraiche, microgreens and chopped egg. Serve immediately.