Savory Crepes are a Russian staple, known as Blini in Russia. They can be enjoyed stuffed savory or sweet, or just plain with sour cream and jam. Blini are often enjoyed as a breakfast, like a Russian pancake.
This savory crepe recipe is based on the Farmer's Blin from Teremok. Teremok is Russia's answer to fast food, serving delicious Russian food on the go. Found all over Russia, and was even found in New York (but recently closed). If you've ever been to Russia, not Soviet Russia, you would have seen Teremok for sure!
The Farmer's Blin or (Блин Фермерский) is a savory crepe stuffed with typical foods you'd find at a Russian farmhouse, like mashed potatoes, dill pickles, onions and bacon (and of course, lots of sour cream).
How to Make Blini
This Savory Crepes start with fresh chopped parsley cooked into the crepe itself. Take a generous handful of parsley and throw into the oiled frying pan before your pour the batter. This results in bits of green herbs throughout the crepe. It doesn't add much flavor, but just looks really cool and is perfect for savory crepes.
It's said that Teremok uses whipping cream in their blini recipe, but I have made Kefir Crepes, just because that's what I have in my fridge. If you don't have Kefir, you can substitute with buttermilk. If you don't have either, I have a blini recipe using milk and water that you can use.
Make the crepes in advance. I stack the crepes on a plate in a stack, buttering each crepe before I add the next one. This prevents them from sticking to each other, and adds extra flavor!
How to Make Savory Crepes
This is the easy part, it's like making a Russian burrito! Simply layer some mash potatoes on one side of the crepe (no further than the middle). Taste to make sure the potato is salted! Layer the fried bacon pieces, chopped dill pickles and crispy onions on top. Tuck the edges in and fold to complete the rectangular stuffed crepe!
You can fry crispy onions at home, but I bought store bought crispy onions from the Asian supermarket. It has the right crunchy consistency and flavor for your crepe. Be generous with the dill pickles too. The flavors and textures of these ingredients just work together perfectly with the mashed potatoes and crepes.
Savory Crepes - Russian Farmer's Style (Блин Фермерский) - A new Russian classic made famous by Teremok. Russian comfort food, Kefir blini with mashed potatoes, bacon, pickles and crispy onions. Perfect for lunch of dinner, my favorite way to eat Russian Blini! Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
Savory Crepes Farmer's Style (Блин Фермерский)
Kefir Crepes Blini
- 3 cups flour
- 2 cups kefir
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cups water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 eggs
Savory Crepe Filling
- mashed potatoes
- ¼ lb fried bacon sliced
- pickles sliced and cubed
- crispy onions
- Using an electric mixer, whisk the flour, eggs, kefir, milk, water, oil, sugar and salt. Continue to mix until completely smooth and without lumps. It should have the consistency of a heavy cream, not runny like milk.
- Use 2 nonstick frying pans, so you can cook the crepes twice as fast. You'll get the rhythm, trust me. Grease the pans with oil and heat over medium high heat. I wipe the pans with an oiled paper towel. Pans must be hot before you start.
- Throw about a tablespoon of chopped parsley in to the hot frying pan. Using a ladle, quickly pour into a tilted pan, and quickly spread it covering the surface of the frying pan. This needs to happen quickly, or you will have a thick, oddly shaped crepe. The first few will always look wonky, it gets better as you get your rhythm going.
- Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes until it is lightly golden, and the edge starts to curl up the side of the frying pan. Using your flipper, carefully flip it over and cook for another minute until golden brown.
- Place the crepe on a plate, and smear the top side with the stick of butter. This is to prevent the next blinchik from sticking to each other. Repeat process, until you make a stack of crepes.
- Prepare mashed potatoes, and allow to slightly cool. To assemble to Savory Crepes, it's like making a Russian Burrito. Place about 3-4 tablespoons of mashed potatoes on one side of the crepe. Don't go further than halfway of the crepe. Generously layer with the fried bacon, dill pickle pieces and crispy onions over the mashed potato.
- Fold the crepe, tucking the edges in fold to complete the rectangular stuffed crepe. If the crepe is cold, microwave for 30 second to warm it up.
- Serve with sour cream and fresh dill.