A big storm is heading your way and you will soon be forced to hibernate inside. There’s your excuse to pamper yourself if you need one. It’s Tuesday, also works.
This is probably the richest-seeming, most-indulgent meal I can think of. I try to do it once a month. You may protest, But I don’t have champagne tastes! If that’s what you think then you probably haven’t had a decent bottle of champagne in a while and it’s time to remedy that.
You will need one bottle of good champagne for two. I like Perrier Jouët or Nicolas Feuillatte. The only cash splurge here is on the bubbles, but I can’t stop you, if you truly prefer one of the other French sparklers or cava or what have you. Buy also crème fraiche, fresh dill, and one jar of caviar. Any type of caviar will do, from the $12/ounce paddlefish to the $1/ounce lumpfish. There is no reason to splurge here.
You will also need to make blini, basically small pancakes. There are plenty of complicated recipes, but I’ve bare-boned it down to this one. It’s only the vehicle after all. Mix 1 egg and 1 cup milk with ½ cup white flour, ½ cup whole wheat flour, and dashes of salt and sugar. Using a tablespoon for each blini, spoon the batter into a well-buttered, medium-hot nonstick pan. Flip after a minute or two. This recipe makes about 20 blini, enough for two.
Then you lay out your spread. The drawn-out process of assembly and eating is the big show. Fill small bowls with the crème fraiche, the dill, the fishy eggs; diced shallots and hard-boiled egg are also welcome accompaniments. Load up the first blini and pop the champagne.
Good for snow days, Valentine’s days, Tuesdays.