Writer Wednesday – Elizabeth Jasper
Let’s welcome author Elizabeth Jasper to Writer Wednesday on the blog!! When Liz told me she had two “mom” recipes to share with the blog I was thrilled. Mom recipes are always standouts. I’ve never made a brioche before but this sounds really amazing!!
Made by Elizabeth Jasper
Completely out of the blue, two of my daughters contacted me within 24 hours to ask for different recipes they remembered from when they were growing up. This reminded me of the kind of things I liked when I grew up; not much, as I remember, as it wasn’t that long after the Second World War and my mother’s generation had little in the way of ingredients because of rationing and had to cook simple meals with not very interesting ingredients. In my book, Meggie Blackthorn, the heroine, Meggie, is growing up in that same era, when ingredients were still scarce. In the narrative, I describe what sort of meals Meggie and her family were able to have; some great (her mum is a great cook) and some not (her grandmother is terrible). What a contrast to the range of ingredients available to me when my children were growing up. Here’s the first recipe – perfect to take on a summer picnic. – Liz
Salmon and Pesto Brioche
for brioche dough
8oz plain flour
1 packet easy-blend yeast
3 tbsp milk
3.5oz melted butter
1 tsp sugar
Half tsp salt
2 beaten eggs
10oz cold cooked salmon
3.5ozs pesto (bought or home made)
Egg to glaze
For pesto sauce
4 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 cup fresh basil leaves (or parmesan)
2 tbsp pine nuts
3 tbsp finely grated pecorino cheese
salt & pepper
First make the brioche dough by putting all the ingredients into a bowl of a food processor and mixing well (about 2 – 3 mins). Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead lightly into a ball.
Put into a greased polythene bag and leave to rise either in a warm place for 2 hrs or overnight in fridge. Knock back the dough and divide into 12 balls, knead each one lightly and then roll them out into circles about 4″ in diameter.
Place a small spoonful of pesto in the centre of each circle and then put on a piece of the cold salmon. Gather the edge of the dough, having dampened them lightly, and enclose the filling forming a ball.
Place these seam-side down on a baking sheet and leave to rise for about 15 minutes while the oven is heating to 450F (230C) or gas mark 8. Glaze with the beaten egg and cook for about 15 mins until golden brown. Allow to cool. These are best baked on the day of eating though much of the preparation can be done earlier.
Pesto is a pungent Mediterranean sauce whose strongly aromatic flavours of basil and garlic are enhance by the rough texture of the pine nuts and cheese.
Process all ingredients except the cheese, which is stirred into the amalgam after blending.
Synopsis: Early 1960s – Newcastle, UK. When eleven-year-old Meggie’s feckless Dad doesn’t pay the coal man she takes matters into her own hands. With her younger brother, Jack, she sets off to find the free coal she knows can be found in the pit heaps opposite their village. When she and Jack return home from their adventure, she’s punished. Does she still love her dad? She’s not so sure and when she has to make a choice between going to live with her grandparents at their newsagent’s shop in Newcastle so she can go to the grammar school or staying in Shippon and going to the local secondary school she decides to leave home. She soon finds herself in an even bigger mess. Billy Fish and The Codmother are ripping off Meggie’s grandparents. With her new friend, paperboy Dave Spedding, she tries to help, but finds herself trapped in a dangerous situation. Growing pains, a new school, dealing with Billy Fish’s threats against her grandparents and coping with long-hidden family secrets stretch Meggie’s resourcefulness and strength of character to the limit.
About Elizabeth Jasper. Born and raised in the NE of England, I spent most of my working life in various capacities in prestigious UK universities, where I organised SummerSchools and Study Tours, as well as carrying out a variety of administrative functions. I liked working for a living – it paid the bills – but I love writing even more. These days I am fortunate enough to be able to write full-time and have completed five novels, all available on Amazon Kindle: The Golden Cuckoo (for children aged 9-12), Lying in Wait, A Bed of Knives and books One and Two in the ‘Meggie’ Series – Meggie Blackthorn (Book One) and Meggie Blue (Book Two). The third book in the series, Jack the Lad, will be published in 2014. All of my books are available in paperback format. My primary aim as a writer is to entertain and engage my readers. I write across genres in order to expand my characters beyond the stereotypes often found in genre books and no matter how dark the material, I hope I can raise a smile or two along the way. A tear is even better.