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Blini, baby pancakes, are usually made with buckwheat, but here we use cornmeal for texture and flavor. You can use white or yellow, whichever you prefer. Born in Russia, blini are the perfect vehicle for caviar; sturgeon are endangered in the Caspian Sea, so we prefer domestic caviar; Tsar Nicoulai is our favorite. But feel free to use more affordable salmon roe instead, or a mix of both types.
Beverage pairing: Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve. You could find another wine besides Champagne to go with this dish, but why mess up a good thing? Because of the texture and assertive flavor of the cornmeal, though, the best plan is to choose a mature Champagne with some toast and yeast characteristics that match it. After that, let nature handle the rest: Little oily fish eggs, meet little refreshing citrus bubbles. It’s a perfect match.
Photograph courtesy of Synergee/E+/Getty Images.
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