Snoek Blinis with Apricot Salsa

One of the best (if not the best) consequences of my MasterChef experience was the fanastically talented people I had the privilege of meeting and befriending. The amazing Jade de Waal is one of these people. An awesome woman with an obvious passion for food, Jade decided to share her love and enthusiasm for getting people cooking in the kitchen, through events called food jams. Simply put, it's a time when a group of soon-to-be-friends come together, create and share a meal and their love of food. I was lucky enough to attend the most recent food jam two weekends ago, and I can't remember when last I had such an amazing afternoon.

This recipe is one of the many we shared and enjoyed at the food jam, and was one of my favourites of the day. Snoek and apricot are traditional partners (I'm sure almost every South African has enjoyed an apricot-jam glazed snoek on the braai) but in this pairing, the apricot is further showcased by a sweet, sour, fresh and crunchy salsa, packed with fresh diced apricots, pistachios, red onion and mint. I know it might seem a little labour intensive, having to make blinis, the snoek and the salsa, but this is a guarenteed winner whenever you have a crowd around and need to impress.

Baked Snoek on Potato Blinis with an Apricot, Mint and Pistachio Salsa
Makes about 30 canape size blinis

For the snoek:
300g lightly smoked snoek
2 tbsp apricot jam
small handful of coriander, roughly chopped
1 lemon, thinly sliced
drizzle of olive oil

For the blinis:
250g potatoes, peeled and quartered
3 tbsp milk
1/2 cup self raising flour
4 eggs, separated
3 tbsp sour cream
oil for frying

For the salsa:
1 cup fresh apricots, pitted and diced
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
1/4 Peppadews, diced and drained
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
pinch of curry powder
pinch of sugar
1 cup pistachios, roughly choped
3 tbsp fresh mint, chopped

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C. Start with the snoek, rub the apricot jam over the fish, sprinkle over the coriander and lemon slices, and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap in foil and place on a baking tray, and bake for 15 minutes. When done, allow the fish to cool in the foil while you make the blinis and salsa.

To make the blinis, boil your potatoes in salted water until tender. When cooked, drain the potatoes and mash in a pot until smooth, and allow to cool.

While you are waiting for this to cool, add all the salsa ingredients to a small bowl, and stir to combine - your salsa is now done!Once your mashed potatoes are cooled, add the flour, sour cream, egg yolks and season with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff, and fold into the potato mixture.

Heat a little olive oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add a large tablespoon of potato mixture to form each blini, and continue until your pan is mostly full. Fry for about 1 minute on each side, until a dark golden brown. Continue with the remaining mixture (you'll need to do this in batches).

When blinis are cooked, transfer them to your serving plate. Open the snoek parcel, and flake the fish using two forks (making sure to remove any bones you come across). Place a fork full of snoek on each blini, followed with the salsa on top.


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