Since I arrived here in Canada I have definitely been missing some of the Australian food. A classic recipe that we’ve been having a lot is a modern variation on traditional Aussie Damper.
One problem that I have had with my old recipe from Australia is that one of the ingredients that we had in Australia is not available in Canada. I’ve turned three lots of damper into raw lumps of burnt, uncooked damper dough.
Here is a version of damper using ingredients that I can get here in Canada, so that I can finally stop wrecking damper and disappointing the family.
- 2 Cups of Flour
- 4 tsp Baking Powder
- 2 teaspoons Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 – 1.5 cups Milk
- 1/4 Cup Butter
- Mix all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, salt) together in a large mixing bowl.
- Using a pastry cutter cut the butter into the dry mixture. You use the pastry cutter so that you can get it to fine crumbs instead of creaming the butter.
- Slowly add the milk into the mixture so that it forms a soft dough.
- After it’s a soft dough then dust the dough with some extra flour and knead the dough until it is smooth and then form it into a round loaf.
BBQ Cooking with a Pizza Stone (My usual method):
- Preheat your BBQ to about 375F
- Dust the pizza stone with flour
- Place the round damper loaf on the pizza stone and cook for 30 – 40 minutes, until the damper sounds hollow when tapped.
Oven Cooking (I do this when it’s raining)
- Preheat oven to 375F
- Dust baking tray and place damper on the tray
- Cook for 30 – 40 minutes until the damper sounds hollow when tapped.
Campfire Cooking (I haven’t tried this method yet)
- Grease a Dutch / Camp oven and dust it with flour
- Add the round damper loaf and cover
- Place the camp / Dutch oven in the fire and cover with the coals and hot ashes and cook for about 30-minutes
- Take the oven out of the fire and test the damper by tapping on it to find the hollow sound
The damper is great for dipping into hardy soups or stews and I love it with home made chilli.
Our favourite way to eat it though is smothered in golden syrup. Because of the butter that is added when it’s being made we don’t have to add more butter to it.
Normally we use white flour, which gives the best flavour, but for a healthier option I sometimes use whole wheat flour instead. The whole wheat flour makes for a denser loaf of damper so I usually have to use a bit more milk when making the dough and increase the cooking time by 5 or 10 minutes. If you find that this burns the outside of the damper then you can try decreasing the temperature slightly.
Here is the original recipe that I used. It used self-rising flour, which they don’t have here in Canada and was causing me all the grief.
Right now Martha Stewart is giving away a free cookbook. The book that she is giving away is the Martha Stewart Living Radio’s Summer Grilling Cookbook.
Martha Stewart does a weekly radio show on Sirius/XM Radio. They made this cookbook specially for this coming BBQ Season.
You can download the free book over on the Martha Stewart Living Radio web-site here. One nice thing about the download is that you don’t have to register or provide an email address, it actually is free.
There are a few good looking recipes in there that I might look at trying out this summer. Here are a few that look pretty good:
- Grilled Corn with Cheese and Chile
- BBQ Pork Ribs
- Grilled Chicken
- South African “Burned” Coffee
We’ll see how we go this summer, but I am definitely looking forward to this summer BBQ season.
In case you missed it, you can download the Martha Stewart Living Radio’s Summer Grilling Cookbook here.
Tonight I am making Meat Balls, Couscous and Salad for Dinner. It is a very easy and fast meal if I have pre-made meatballs, which I usually do. Tonight however I will be making the meatballs from scratch, so it will probably take a bit longer…
- 400g Premium (low fat) Minced Ground Beef
- 1 x Brown Onion
- 1/2 Red or Green Capsicum (Bell Pepper)
- 2 x Cloves of Garlic, or 2 tsp Minced Garlic
- 2 x Sliced of Bread – Preservative Free
- 2 x Eggs
- 1 tsp Dried Parsley
- 1 Tbsp Steak Seasoning (I used Montreal Steak Spice)
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
Put all of the ingredients other than the ground mince into a food processor and blend until it is pretty smooth.
Mix the food processor mix into the ground mince beef. You’ll get a bit messy here, since you will need to use your hands for this part.
In the mean time you will want to be pre-heating your BBQ or grill to medium hot for cooking.
After you have mixed in the meat and your garlic / onion / capsicum mix you will want to start to form balls out of your meat mixture. The size of your meatballs will depend on your preference, but the bigger they are, the longer they take to cook on the BBQ or under the grill.
After you have made your balls of meat start to cook them until there is no pink in the middle, rotating them throughout the cooking process. I prefer to cook them on the BBQ, but they cook well under the grill as well.
Prepare your couscous as per usual and a simple side garden salad.
This is one of our favourite meals as a family. It’s easy for me to make and everyone seems to enjoy it.
I have had Beer Butt Chicken a few times, but have not yet cooked it myself. It makes a very moist and delicious chicken on the BBQ.
This recipe for Beer Butt Chicken comes Chris Harrison, from a friend in South Australia who is a BBQ fiend. Almost everything I hear from him has something to do with his experiences cooking on his BBQ.
Here is his recipe for easy Beer Butt Chicken:
You need a BBQ with at least 3 burners, mine has 4 burners. You turn on the burners on the outside, leave the middle ones off.
Get a beer can, take the top off it and drink half the beer.
I have a special holder for the chicken and the beer, but you need to season the outside of the chicken with your favourite seasoning. Keep the beer can upright and put it up the chickens butt. Put it standing up in a small baking pan so that the fat can drip into the pan.
Put the chicken with the beer can up it’s but in the middle of the grill and close the lid. Cook for 90 minutes rotating the pan every 15 / 25 minutes. The chicken gets steamed by the beer, it leaves no beer taste, but the chicken is always moist.
You can read more about Chris Harrison and his work with YWAM South Australia on his web-site.