Sunday, November 21, 2010

Blinchiki with Neufchatel and Blueberry Gastrique

     Blinchiki are a Ukraine regional version of Blintz or Blini.  Blintz and Blini are made with yeasted batter and blinchiki are not.  Blinchiki are similar to French crepes.  Blinchiki can be made with a variety of different flours.  Neufchatel is a soft, light creamy fresh cheese that is perfect to fill the blinchiki with.  Blueberry gastrique is a naturally elegant sauce for this blinchiki breakfast recipe.
     Crepes Recipe:  Place 3 eggs into a mixing bowl.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of sugar.
     Add a pinch of sea salt.
     Add a pinch of nutmeg.
     Add a small squeeze of lemon juice.
     Add a small splash of milk.
     Whisk the ingredients together. 
     Add a little bit of flour at a time, while whisking, till a thin crepe batter is formed.  The batter should have a higher proportion of eggs than milk and it should be able to coat the back of a spoon.
     Heat a non stick saute pan over medium heat. 
     Brush the pan with melted unsalted butter.
     Pour enough of the crepe batter into the pan to make a large crepe with.
     Tilt the pan so the batter coats the pan evenly with no holes in the crepe and the crepe forms a circular shape. 
     When the crepe becomes firm, flip the crepe with a rubber spatula and lightly cook the other side. 
     Slide the crepe onto a plate to let it cool. 
     Repeat these steps to make a few crepes.
     Blinchiki Recipe:  Place about 4 ounces of neufchatel cheese into a mixing bowl.
     Add 2 to 3 teaspoons of sugar.
     Add a few drops of lemon juice.
     Add 1/2 of a whisked egg together. 
     Mix the ingredients together. 
     Place a dollop of the cheese filling on the center of each crepe. 
     Fold opposite ends of the crepe over the cheese in a tube shape. 
     Fold the crepe tube ends so they overlap over the filling to form a rectangle shaped blinchiki.
     Place the blinchiki on a buttered baking pan with the folded side down. 
     Brush the blinchiki with melted unsalted butter.
     Sprinkle a little bit of sugar over the blinchiki. 
     Bake in a 350 degree oven till the cheese filling becomes hot and the blinchiki puff up. 
     Pass the blinchiki under a broiler to give them a golden brown color. 
     Set the blinchiki aside on top of a warm stove top and let them rest.
     Blueberry Gastrique:  Heat 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water over high heat in a sauce pot. 
     When the sugar cooks to a light amber brown color, add a handful of blueberries and stir. 
     The blueberries will stop the sugar from cooking any further. 
     Stir the candied sugar and blueberries together.
     Add about 1/4 cup of blueberry pomegranate vinegar.
     Add 1/4 cup of water.
     Bring the liquid to a boil.
     Reduce the temperature to medium/medium high heat. 
     Stir the seized sugar as it melts back into the liquid.
     Add a pinch of sea salt. 
     Simmer and reduce the blueberry gastrique, till it can glaze the back of a spoon.  The gastrique should look like a thin syrup. 
     Pour the gastrique through a fine mesh strainer into a small bowl.
     Assembly:  You can paint the plate with dessert sauces like a Vanilla Cream, Mayan Chocolate Creme Anglaise or whipped cream like the two presentations in the pictures or leave the plates plain.
     Set a couple of blinchiki on a plate. 
     Spoon some of the blueberry gastrique over the blinchiki and on the plate. 
     Top with freshly whipped cream. 
     Sprinkle a few blueberries on the plate.
     This breakfast Ukraine blinchiki recipe is fabulous!  The warm cheese, blinchiki and blueberry gastrique combine as a classic flavor combination.  The blueberries and whipped cream add a light touch to the dish.  This recipe is not overly sweet tasting either.  Neufchatel is not "heavy" like standard cream cheese.  This blinchiki breakfast is a beautiful way to start the day!  Yum!  ... Shawna

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