The Pancakes and the Pea(s)

Behold, savory pea and scallion pancakes topped with smoked salmon.  Get ready for some delicious pancakes…seriously, so good. 

(Get the original recipe and directions from Bon Appetit and my version at my Recipe Box!)

These pancakes sort of remind me of the classic bagel with lox and cream cheese but in pancake form.  There’s a healthy level of saltiness in both the pancakes and the smoked salmon that makes the flavor of the fresh peas pop.

The pancake process itself is very straightforward but instead of using frozen peas, when I saw fresh peas at the grocery store, I decided to shell my own.  I confess that I used to (and still do) love Anne of Green Gables, and I remember several passages where she would be shelling peas or picking them for stones, or something equally Green Gable-y, so I was pretty excited to shell these peas. My second confession is that I did enjoy shelling peas and I definitely pretended to be Anne while I was doing it…

The only thing I can think of to “improve” these pancakes would be to add more scallions – but I’m sort of a scallion-fanatic so a normal person would probably be perfectly happy with the level of scallion in the recipe as-is.

4.25 out of 5 stackies: 

Blini, vedi, vici

I think bagels with cream cheese and lox are one of the best meals on earth.  If you think like me, but want to mix it up, then you should definitely try these buckwheat blini with gravlax and creme fraiche!

(Get my directions for the blini and gravlax here!)

Each bite of these little morsels was basically perfect, full of salty-dill-y gravlax, lightly tart and cremey creme fraiche, and soft buckwheat-y pancake.

Speaking of pancakes, I followed Ina’s (Garten, that is) recipe and the blini came out really nicely (I would expect nothing less from an Ina recipe, of course).

On their own, they had a light buckwheat flavor but were otherwise pretty bland.  I did think they came out a little on the thick side, but I think that could be easily fixed by thinning the batter out just a bit.

The more exciting part of this whole breakfast experience was the gravlax.  

Have you ever heard of gravlax?  It’s basically dill-cured salmon, “gravlax” is the Danish word for it, “gravad lax” is the same thing…but in Norway.  This article from the kitchn was really informative, the new Martha Stewart has a feature on smoked and cured fish, as well!

(getting ready to be cured…but what was it sick with? sorry my friend Eric was being particularly “funny” when I was telling him about gravlax)

My recipe was the result of several days of internet scouring and a melding of these two sets of directions: cookstr and the Nordic Recipe Archive.  The only directions I ignored were to baste the fish (I was too lazy to keep wrapping and unwrapping it + I wrapped it so tight that there wasn’t a whole lot of liquid leaking out) and I scrupulously ignored any directions to add liquor/liqeurs (alcohol cured fish just does not sound appetizing to me.

Make sure you cut the gravlax thinly – it should come off the skin fairly easily – it did for me and I have a terrible knife/cutting skills.

(begging me to be sliced)

I can hardly wait to make more gravlax, IT WAS SO GOOD.

4 out of 5 stackies (for the whole shebang (fish + pancakes)):