By Ashley Rodriguez of Not Without Salt
In our house Mother’s Day is the day when I get to say exactly how I want to spend the day. It’s the beautiful opportunity for me to bring my family into my desires and they submit willingly knowing that today is my day. Often what I want is really simple; a little time to myself to read in the hammock and my family gathered around the fire surrounded by great food.
Typically, Mother’s Day is centered around breakfast or brunch and this year we’re bringing breakfast outside - which for me is even better than breakfast in bed.
When I say you can cook anything outside, I really mean anything, including crepes.
Crepe batter is perfect for packing in the cooler as it keeps for several days and a simple basic recipe can be either sweet or savory.
Be sure to give your coals plenty of time to light and use a grill grate to elevate the pan off the coals just enough to simulate medium heat on your conventional stove top.
With Mother’s Day right around the corner I can think of no better way to honor mom than an outdoor crepe feast surrounded by spring flowers and the smell of smoke filling the air.
Basic Crepe Recipe
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons sugar (if sweet crepe)
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon melted butter or oil
In large bowl or a blender combine the eggs and milk and whisk or use low speed on your blender to combine. Add the salt, sugar, flour and oil or butter and combine well.
Heat the Barebones Flat Pan on a grill grate set over coals. Coat with butter or oil then add about a scant 1/4 cup crepe batter to the grill. Swirl the pan to coat as much of the bottom of the pan as possible.
Let cook until the top looks dry, about 30 - 40 seconds. Carefully flip and cook just until the bottom is golden.
Fill, then fold the crepe in half, then in half again. Serve while warm.
Sweet - Rhubarb Crepe with Mascarpone
This time of year, rhubarb finds its way into nearly every dish. I love the ruby tinged bright tang this unusual vegetable provides. In the pacific northwest it grows in abundance and is the opening float of the spring parade. Once rhubarb hits the market, we know that our abundant growing season is here. Goodbye root vegetables hello rhubarb, spring peas, asparagus and soon berries and tomatoes. Rhubarb is our symbol of hope after surviving the gray season.
Of course, you can still enjoy a crepe buffet if rhubarb isn’t around or perhaps it’s not your favorite. Any fresh berry or jam will fill in nicely.
Add 2 - 3 tablespoons Rhubarb jam to the crepe then fold in half then half again. Serve with mascarpone.
Savory - Buckwheat Crepe with Scallion
Buckwheat gives these crepes a hearty, nuttiness that stands up quite nicely to the smoked salmon, which, let’s be honest, is the star of the show. Scallions tinge the crepe to the savory and lift it with a soft allium scent. Fresh dill or chives would also be lovely in its place.
Get creative here. The base recipe is a great place to start then see what you have in your fridge or what you can find in the woods. Tip in some spruce or douglas fir tips for a bright citrus, pine flavor. Or add a bit of stinging nettle pesto next to your smoked salmon for a truly unforgettable breakfast around the fire.
Decrease the amount of all-purpose flour to 3/4 cups then add 1/4 cup buckwheat flour. Do not add any sugar. Instead mix in 2 scallions that have been sliced.
Fill each crepe with 2 tablespoons creme fraiche and about 1/4 cup smoked salmon. Serve with more creme fraiche and chopped dill.
Ashley Rodriguez of Not Without Salt does a lot of things right—slow-cooked campfire meals, freshly foraged ingredients, letting go, and embracing the unknown. In her new video series, Kitchen Unnecessary, she connects with people who show her how to forage, fish, farm and otherwise partake in what nature has to offer. A cookbook author and champion of a simple, uncomplicated approach to outdoor cooking, Ashley’s Not Without Salt Shop in Seattle brings others along for the journey via private dinners, workshops, and classes.