A long week end in Belle Ile, off the coast of Brittany, provided some inspiration for a kind of sea-born tapas.
Chez Loulou, on the tiny island of Houat, we were served a trio of delicious fish pastes with small but perfectly formed blinis. It was a windy and invigorating day on the Catamaran and this lunch solace in Houat remains a cherished moment!
Ingredients for the blinis (this is my old own trusted recipe):
- Buckwheat flour 100g
- Wholemeal flour 100g
- sea salt to taste
- Baking powder or bicarbonate of soda 1tsp
- Olive oil 1 Tbsp
- Eggs 2
- Water 300ml
Mix the flours, salt and baking powder together with a large drop of olive oil.
Blend in the whole eggs, bit by bit and add enough water to make a thin runny batter.
Heat a little oil in a frying pan or use a cast iron plate if you have one. I love mine, found in a market in the Cevennes last year. It is light and super useful.
Drop the batter in ladle-ful and turn each blinis once, as soon as they come off the pan.
The best pancakes are to be tasted in Brittany and so blinis seemed a natural guest on the menu. We followed this with more savoury pancakes and then a wonderful crepe stuffed with melting chocolate and Salidou, this divine toffee with sea salt that is a Breton delicacy…
Serve with a choice of 3 fish pastes as below.
- Ingredients for the Mackerel and caper paste:
- Smoked mackerel
- lemon juice
- parsley and dill
- Little cream cheese or mascarpone
- Horseradish cream, a little (or “raifort”)
- Ingredients for the Tuna and tomatoes paste:
- Fresh or tinned tuna
- olive oil
- passata or crushed tomatoes
- salt and pepper
- Sweet paprika
- Dash of vinegar
- Ingredients for the Taramosalata:
I will not insult your sense of taste by giving out any measurements on these ones! The best results are very much how you will like it. There is no right and wrong when mixing dips and it is all up to taste. Hope your enjoy those as much as we did, by the sea or in town- they taste of holiday and you certainly can’t beat that …