Cheese and Chive Damper

Cheese & Chive Damper
Cheese & Chive Damper

The cooking (and subsequent recipe-blogging) hiatus induced by the kitchen reno has taken a little while to sort itself out. No sooner was the kitchen vaguely finished than summer meant no one felt like eating, let alone cooking. All the while, recipes were piling up – stashed on the internet or literally, piling up as piles of paper on the new kitchen benches …

So it’s more than time to try, and write about, something new. This recipe was cut from a That’s Life and I’m guessing it was around Australia Day as it’s called ‘Chive and Cheese Aussie Damper’. I suspect that ‘Aussie Damper’ is something of an oxymoron, given that damper is uniquely Australian. For those playing along overseas, damper is basically a soda bread and/or like a gigantic savoury scone. Historically, it was made by swagmen in a campfire and these days it is made by intrepid campers in a camp oven.

Or you can just make it in an oven. Like making scones, the trick is to use a light hand and not over-mix or over-knead your dough. One problem I find with breads like this (and scones) is that raising agents (the most common being bicarb which you add to plain flour), can leave a slightly metallic after-taste. In this bread, that is reduced somewhat (but not entirely) by the addition of cheese and chives. I’ve just had a look at the SR flour I used and it has four different raising agents in it – I wonder if I would have been better off using a plain flour and adding baking powder to it …

The other thing with damper is that it really doesn’t keep that well. Think about how well scones keep – they don’t. Damper is similar – eat it straight from the oven with lashings of butter. Unlike leavened bread, it is quite dense but it’s not chewy.

We probably won’t make this again – as Andy said – there are nicer breads to be made! However, if you want a quick bread to knock up and serve to a hungry group you could do far worse. Obviously, if you’re camping it’s definitely worth giving this a go!

(Oh, and if you’re wondering, the silicone mat I use is a silpain – I love it!).

Cheese and Chive Damper

Ingredients

  • 230g self-raising flour
  • 25g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 50g grated cheese (I used a standard tasty/cheddar)
  • chopped fresh chives - at least 2tbsp but to taste really
  • 3/4 cup milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 160C fan. I used a silpain mat but if you don't have one, line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a bowl, add the butter and, using your fingers, rub the butter in until the mixture is like very fine breadcrumbs. No big lumps of butter!
  3. Add the cheese and chives and lightly mix through with your fingers. You want it well combined but you don't want to compact the cheese!
  4. Season - I added pepper but didn't worry about salt as you can sort that out with the butter later!
  5. Make a well in the centre of the mix and add the milk. Using a knife, mix to a soft dough and then tip out on to a lightly floured bench for a quick knead. Shape into a round and transfer to tray.
  6. Using a serrated knife, divide the damper into 6 portions (cut 1cm or so deep).
  7. Brush with milk and bake for 35 minutes or until tapping the base sounds hollow. I checked after 30 minutes and returned to the oven for another 5.
  8. Serve warm with lots of butter!
https://eatingadelaide.com/cheese-chive-damper/

Patty Mac’s at Adelaide Casino

clean plate
Clean plates says it all …

disclaimer: I was invited to a media dinner at Patty Mac’s.
date of visit: Tuesday 6 February 2018

It’s been quite a long time since I’ve been in, as in actually inside, Adelaide Casino. When I was at uni, my friends and I used to go there quite a bit. Firstly, there was the excitement of actually being allowed in (I was the liability who was ALWAYS asked for ID, so I usually had to go in last …) and secondly, at some point, a mate and I figured out that the cheapest, and best, wedges with sour cream and sweet chilli sauce were to be found there. More recently … Sean’s Kitchen and Madame Hanoi – absolutely I’ve been there – but actually inside the Casino … nope, not for ages.

Apple Slaw
Apple Slaw – $7

So, on a hot Tuesday night, venturing into the Casino to check out the new restaurant, Patty Mac’s, was a whole new adventure in itself. I entered off North Terrace and Patty Mac’s is easy to find – straight up the stairs (OK, past a few glittering poker machines with their distinctive plink-plonk noise). The restaurant is housed in what used to be the station’s conductors’ office. It’s now a bright, light space (and very well airconditioned!). While the interior is by Studio Gram, it’s a lot more toned down (perhaps by that I mean ‘less distinctively Studio Gram’!) than many of their other Adelaide venues. It’s 1950s American diner chic: clean lines, chequerboard floor, and diner quotes adorn the walls.

Cobb Salad
Cobb Salad – $12

The menu follows suit – it’s short and sweet but laden with quick, comfort-style dishes, with burgers and hot dogs taking pride of place. We were treated to a selection of sides and quick specials and then our choice of burger. Anyone with space could also sample a milkshake and we wrapped up with the chocolate cherry pie.

Mac & Cheese Balls
Balls of Fire (mac and cheese) – $7

The restaurant’s strapline is ‘there’s always room for pie’ … this may not be entirely true.

Buffalo Wings
Buffalo Wings – $10.50

Our shared starters were the ‘Balls of Fire’ (mac and cheese balls, with a really tasty Sriracha-ranch dressing – these just edged the wings as my pick), the buffalo wings (maintaining their crispiness despite the clever sweet-sour-spicy marinade and sauce), the Cobb salad and the apple slaw. Both of the salads were great – despite the Cobb being loaded with things like blue cheese and avocado, it still felt really light, with soft juicy chicken rounding it out, and the slaw was very fresh and crisp and not bogged down by a ton of dressing. I’m pretty picky about salad – too often venues drown salads in dressing, so Patty Mac’s gets a big tick from me on this one. If you were hungry, the Cobb salad would work a treat as a light lunch.

Southern Fried Chicken Burger
Southern Fried Chicken Burger – $14

Burger-wise, I chose the Southern Fried Chicken burger – topped with fried chicken, lettuce, tomato and a really tart and crisp red onion pickle. Obviously, chips are on the side. I was particularly pleased that the burger bun was neither falling apart nor soggy – top marks there.

Chocolate Cherry Pie
Chocolate Cherry Pie – one slice is $6

We finished with the chocolate cherry pie. The kitchen brought out the whole pies to the table – they are normally served in wedges with whipped cream. I was pretty full by this point so requested I knife so I could have a slightly smaller portion. After that … I was fully full! The chocolate and cherry pie was delicious – but really ever so rich. Perhaps go easy on the savoury dishes (or duck in for a coffee and pie mid-afternoon …).

Peanut Butter & Salted Caramel Freakshake
Peanut Butter & Salted Caramel Freakshake – $15

So it goes without saying that I didn’t try a shake (sorry, but I took a picture of one). I can imagine children would go MAD for the shakes so, from that point of view, it’s a real shame that the restaurant is inside the Casino and off-limits for anyone under 18.

John, the Casino’s sous chef, stepped out of the kitchen to give us a few insights into the menu and the day-to-day functioning of the Casino. The aim at Patty Mac’s is to produce food that can come to the table quickly. With one eye on the football season (and I guess the Festival and Fringe will have given them a good trial run) the idea is to feed the hungry quickly. Even though the brigade is small the menu has been planned around this. He wasn’t giving away any recipe secrets (unsurprisingly) – so you will just have to go and check the food out for yourself. However, for a fun fact, he did say that the Casino turns out over 700 (SEVEN HUNDRED) covers a day on internal meals alone.

Double Patty Mac's Burger
Double Patty Mac’s Burger – the one that elicits the oohs and aahs – $17.50

Since dining at Patty Mac’s I’ve shown a few friends pictures of the burgers and they always get the same response (ooohs, aaahs). If you love a burger, Patty Mac’s is one place you should definitely check out.

Patty Mac’s
Level 1, SKYCITY Adelaide Casino
North Terrace
Adelaide SA 5000
phone: 08 8212 2811

Great River Korean BBQ Restaurant, Gouger Street

kim chi fried rice
kim chi fried rice – no one was allowed to touch Master 6’s egg!

date of visit: Thursday 12 October 2017

School holidays might have been wrapping up but the onslaught of activities certainly wasn’t. Master 6 had a Come’n’Try Kung Fu session in the late afternoon in the city. A perfect opportunity to meet Andy after work and head for an early meal.

As an aside – if you have school-age children, the Come’n’Try program, which runs most holidays, is excellent. There’s a range of sports on offer for children to try out and the sessions usually cost around $5.

Anyway, during the afternoon, I asked Master 6 what he’d like for dinner (and frankly, if he’d answered sushi I probably would have gone crazy!). He had a little think and came up with Korean. This did rather surprise me, but as I love Korean I was going to roll with it.

A bit of research suggested that Great River would provide us with Korean BBQ but not force us into a buffet (quite possibly my single most loathed way of serving food). I scored a fantastic park on Gouger Street and we headed in.

As Great River is Korean BBQ, the tables are set up with the tabletop grills and above every one, an extractor fan. This gives the restaurant a slightly odd look – as you have the brown wooden tables and generally muted decor, with the silver tubing of the extractor fans and the bright individual table lights.

There is an à la carte menu at Great River but there are also ‘sets’, which serve various numbers of people. We opted for ‘Set A’ which comes in at $60. Our waiter tried to up-sell us to ‘Set B’ which she said served 3-4 people but I’m glad we went for the smaller set as we had a TON of food (and given that Master 6 can more than hold his own, I’d be recommending you err on the side of caution).

Set A came with pork belly, chicken and two types of beef, as well as a green salad, Korean fried chicken and cos lettuce for wrapping the meats in. We also ordered the kim chi fried rice (a very generous portion, topped with a fried egg) and, of course, we were served a range of pickles.

Drink ordering was a bit of a farce. Andy wisely chose a Boags, whereas I went for the Korean beer. I started by ordering a Hite. Our waiter came back – sorry, they are out of Hite. So I asked for an OB. Our waiter came back … and I ended up with a Cass. Maybe I’m unreasonable, but this is a Korean restaurant – if you’re going to list Korean beers on your drinks menu then expect that people might order them and either have them in stock or know your stock levels.

Korean BBQ grill
cook your own – an opportunity to incinerate some food!

My grizzle over and our grill plate heating up, food started arriving. Our waiter started us off with our BBQing before leaving us to it. We weren’t as expert as we might have been and a couple of the thinner pieces of beef in particular we rather overcooked (but burnt crispy edges are good!). The pork was my favourite, while Andy’s was the chicken. Although initially a bit scared of the fire from the BBQ, Master 6 quickly got into the spirit of the meal and ploughed his way through egg and rice, the cucumber pickle, and at least his fair share of the meats.

The green salad was lovely – quite simple and with a sweetish dressing but at least it wasn’t drowned in it. The highlight for me was the Korean fried chicken – small drumsticks that were a combination of sweet, salty, spicy, crispy and saucy. Despite eschewing the beef that had bone it (‘ewww, no bones!’) Master 6 enthusiastically chomped his way through the chicken, stripping the bones bare of meat … so if you have a child in tow, take baby wipes!

We thought that value for money wise, Great River wasn’t too bad. We had a ton of food, doggy-bagged our leftover rice and came out spending under $100. You can easily spend a similar amount of money on a pub dinner. The service is friendly but not particularly professional or efficient. Cooking your own food does make for a much slower meal than usual, so if you are in a rush, this is probably not the venue for you.

Also – the toilets are not the most glamorous in the neighbourhood … just keep that in mind!

Would we go again? Hmmm, not sure. I think I’d be making the effort to try out some of Adelaide’s other Korean BBQ.

Great River Korean BBQ Restaurant
103 Gouger Street
Adelaide SA 5000
phone: 08 8221 6866

Great River Korean BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato