by Jackie Ang-Po
1 tbsp (15 mL) peppercorns
1/3 cup (75 mL) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (50 mL) salt
1 2 lb centre-cut salmon fillet, skin on
1/3 cup (75 mL) chopped fresh dill
2 tbsp (25 mL) brandy
1 bunch small Dill sprigs Dill
1-1/2 cups mayonnaise
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
7 teaspoons white wine vinegar
3 tbsp chopped dill pickles
1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (50 mL) warm water
1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) active dry yeast
1-1/2 cups (375 mL) lukewarm milk
1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (175 mL) buckwheat flour
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/4 cup (50 mL) butter, melted
1 Five days before serving, coarsely crush peppercorns with bottom of heavy pan. Mix peppercorns, sugar and salt ; spread over both sides of salmon. Spread one-third of the chopped dill in centre of large piece of plastic wrap; top with fish, skin side down.
2 Drizzle with brandy; spread remaining chopped dill over top. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap; place on small rimmed baking sheet. Place small cutting board on fish; weigh down with two full 28-oz (796 mL) cans. Refrigerate for 5 days, turning fish daily.
3 Sauce: In small bowl, Whisk mayonnaise, 3/4 cup dill and vinegar in small bowl add the dill pickle then season with salt and pepper.
4 Buckwheat Blini: In measure, dissolve 1/2 tsp (2 mL) of the sugar in warm water. Sprinkle in yeast; let stand until frothy, 10 minutes. In bowl, beat egg, milk and remaining sugar. Add all-purpose and buckwheat flours and salt ; beat for 1 minute. Beat in yeast mixture and half of the butter. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, 1 hour.
5 Heat non-stick skillet over medium heat; brush lightly with some of the remaining butter. Without stirring, spoon batter into pan by scant 2 tablespoonfuls (25 mL) to make 2 1/4-inch (5.5 cm) blini. Cook until bubbles form on top that do not fill in, about 1 minute. Turn and cook until bottom is golden, about 30 seconds.
6 Unwrap fish; using paper towel, brush off most of the dillSlice thinly on 45-degree angle; cut each slice in half and place on blini. Top with sauce and garnish with dill sprig.