When my boyfriend and I started dating, I would occasionally ask him what he was thinking about. Sometimes, he said, “Nothing.” Now, I had a very hard time believing that, because I have a constant internal dialogue that never stops. Never. I am always thinking about something. It might be a song stuck in my head, or thinking about what I need to do for that project at work, but there is never silence inside my head.
Over the years, I’ve come to believe that when Brian says he’s thinking about nothing, he really is thinking about nothing! Sometimes I wish I could do that. It must be peaceful 🙂
I’d like to invite you to share a snippet of my internal dialogue from earlier today:
I have to think of something new to make with squash. No more soups. Maybe squash bread? Squash pancakes? Oooo…squash pancakes with pecans? But I don’t really want breakfasty foods today. Maybe squash pancakes this weekend. Wait – what about blinis? That’s sort of a pancake. And I think you can make them with potatoes. Could I make them with squash? What would I put on it? Smoked salmon? No, I don’t know about salmon and squash. I think I had blinis with shredded pork once…hey, I have a flank steak in the fridge…and blue cheese crumbles! I don’t see how that can be bad. Now, I just have to find a recipe to start with…
When you google “potato blini”, some good recipes come up. (As a side note, when you spell it “bellini”, you get recipes for some really good-looking cocktails.) I decided to start with this one: Yukon Gold Potato Blinis. I figured I could substitute some leftover cooked butternut squash for the potatoes, and that should be close enough.
I first grilled the flank steak with a dry rub of brown sugar, garlic powder, smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Yum!
The blini batter was a bright orange, and about the consistency of pancake batter, just like it was supposed to be. I started cooking them up! Since I could only fit a few in the skillet at a time, I stashed them in the oven on warm when they were done. It took me a few tries to get the timing right – 3-4 minutes on each side over medium high heat seemed to work the best.
Once the blinis were done cooking, I sliced the flank steak as thinly as possible, and topped each blini with a piece. Then I added a crumble of blue cheese on top.
I’ll be honest – I had no idea if this would be any good. And surprisingly, it was pretty tasty! The blinis were golden brown on the outside and soft on the inside. The butternut squash went really well with the strongly spiced flank steak, but the blue cheese brought it all together. It was an unexpected flavor combination.
Would I make it again? Truthfully, I’m not sure. The blinis took quite a while to make, and I usually don’t like my food to be so fussy. But it’s fun to try something different. And I will definitely use the butternut squash/blue cheese flavor combo again!
Here’s the recipe with my changes:
Butternut Squash Blinis
- 2 cups cooked Butternut Squash
- 2 or 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sour cream
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- salt & white pepper
Cook the butternut squash. If you’re using leftovers like I did, heat the squash in the microwave for 2-3 minutes on high. This makes it easier to incorporate the other ingredients.
Incorporate flour with a fork and mix in the sour cream. Add eggs 1 by 1 while mixing. Season with salt and pepper. The batter should have the consistency of pancake batter.
Heat a nonstick skillet over high heat. Melt some butter and spoon some batter into the pan (like if you were making miniature pancakes). Cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes and flip. Cook for another 2-3 minutes as needed. Reserve on a tray and garnish.