You can make blini quickly and easily from fresh parboiled riced potatoes, but this is just a great way not to waste leftovers.

Don’t toss those leftover mashed potatoes. These blini are not potato pancakes, as such, but a wonderful breakfast or brunch treat nonetheless.

This will make 20 two-inch blini. For using up two cups of mashed potatoes, stir in about four tablespoons of flour and one whisked whole egg.

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Sprinkle with a little garlic salt, lots of wonderful pepper, crushed dry thyme and any other herb that you enjoy. Stir well to combine.

You could add a tablespoon of Kraft grated dry Parmesan cheese or Romano, for a different taste.

In a hot skillet put a little Mazola corn oil and a little butter. Just a little; you don’t want to saturate the blini.

Watch the pan carefully and adjust the heat constantly. Lift the skillet off the burner completely as necessary, while the heat element adjusts. You don’t want to burn the potato mix, or even have it too dark-coloured. Just a perfect golden colour.

Drop large tablespoons of the potato mix into the hot skillet. You want the skillet hot while not browning the oil and butter. When the edges of the potato coins show a little light brown on the underside edge, it’s time to turn the blini.

Stack these mini tater blini on a warm plate. If you want to eat them for breakfast or brunch right away, prepare a fried egg, in a medium hot skillet, in butter, once over lightly. You want the yolk to be cooked but still runny, with no brown edges on the egg white. Slide the gently fried egg over a warm plate of three potato coin blini.

Serve with crispy bacon on the side. Maybe add a slice of cheddar cheese on the blini, first, and serve with a thick slice of beefsteak tomato. Complement with a peppery fresh basil leaf from your herb pot.

It’s the easiest gourmet breakfast or brunch ever. And no waste. Nothing goes to waste in my kitchen.

These faux blini are also a special walk-about buffet treat: serve the faux blini at room temperature with a dollop of sour cream and a twist of smoked salmon slices, on individual little amuse bouche toss-away plates. Sprinkle with a little fresh, chopped dill.

The faux blini can be made using any mashed root veggie: carrots, turnip, parsnip, kohlrabi. This is a way to get people who don’t eat vegetables to partake. They will ask for seconds.

If you have made the Dutch dish as a Stamppot (carrots, onions and potatoes mashed together), you can make leftover blini using this mix in the same way. Stamppot boerenkool works, too. A tiny drizzle of vinegar enhances the kale mix.

There’s no end to the combinations you can make: stir sautéed in butter, finely chopped onions. Or: Chop a fine chiffonade of fresh basil and fold into the leftover mashed potatoes. Or: Chop small chunks of hard cheddar cheese and fold into the potatoes. Got leftover butter-sugar carrots? Chop them fine and fold into the mix. Any root vegetable leftover can be incorporated.

© “From Lady Ralston’s Kitchen: A Canadian Contessa Cooks”

The working title for Carolyne’s Gourmet Recipes cookbook is From Lady Ralston’s Kitchen: A Canadian Contessa Cooks. This kitchen-friendly doyenne has been honoured and referred to as the grande dame of executive real estate in her market area during her 35-year career. She taught gourmet cooking in the mid-70s and wrote a weekly newspaper cooking column, long before gourmet was popular as it is today. Her ebook, Gourmet Cooking - at Home with Carolyne is available here for $5.99 US. Email Carolyne. Scroll down to the comments at each recipe column. Carolyne often adds complimentary "From Lady Ralston's Kitchen" additional recipes in the Recipes for Realtors Comments section at REM.


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