Thursday, May 31, 2012

Cheese and Chive Damper with Thai Red Curry Pumpkin Soup

It was Harmony Day the other week and we decided to hold a morning tea at work to celebrate the multicultural diversity in our workplace.

To me, any excuse for a morning tea is great – but this morning tea in particular got me very excited! I love trying different cuisines and this was an opportunity for me to try lots of homemade delicacies made by my co-workers.

I realised I didn’t really have much of an idea of my heritage and this was due to years of unclear, random and vague explanation from my parents that I was “an English immigrant, a bit of Scottish, Irish and a few other things…You’re pretty much just Australian.”

Cheers folks.

From this I made three conclusions:
1)    I am Australian
2)    I have some English Background…god knows how much or if there is enough to even count… and
3)    My parents probably didn’t know either…

I decided to embrace my “Australian Heritage” and make some Damper for morning tea.

To avoid this turning out like tasteless, undercooked lumpy dough of a scone…I decided to adapt the recipe to “Cheese and Chive Damper” – Yum!
(See the recipe below)

As this was such a hit, I made it again for dinner one night to go with my red-curry spiced Pumpkin Soup (YUM!). There is nothing more satisfying that dipping a hot piece of fresh bread covered in butter in a hot spicy soup!
Highly recommended.

Cheese and Chive Damper Recipe

·         250g SR flour
·         ½ tsp salt
·         25g butter
·         175ml milk (which I replaced with beer to make the damper “fluffier”)
·         3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
·         Fresh chives chopped finely
·         ¼ cup Milk (for glaze)
·         Extra cheese for topping
·         Salt and pepper

1.             Preheat oven to 180°C.
2.             Sift flour and salt together in a large bowl. Using fingers rub in the chopped butter until it is the consistency of breadcrumbs. Add cheese and chives. Mix well.
3.             Make a well in flour and pour in the beer. Mix quickly into a soft dough, using a knife or the hands.
4.             Turn onto a lightly floured board and knead lightly. Press into a round. Place onto a greased baking tray. Glaze with milk and sprinkle with extra cheese.
5.             Bake 15-20 minutes in 180°C oven, and serve sliced with butter or olive oil.
6.             Individual dampers can also be shaped and baked for the same time and temperature.

Cheese and Chive Damper hot out of the oven!

Harmony Day morning tea spread

Thai Red Curry Pumpkin Soup

·         Peanut oil
·         1 Brown Onion
·         2 Garlic
·         1 kg Pumpkin
·         2 Carrots
·         2 potatoes (preferably sweet potatoes)
·         2 tbs (or more!) Thai Red Curry paste
·         1 tin Coconut milk/cream
·         4 cups Chicken stock
·         Coriander to garnish

1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add the onion, garlic and red curry paste and cook stirring for 2 minutes, stir in the chopped pumpkin, carrots, potatoes and chicken stock, bring to the boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the veggies are tender.

2. Stir in the coconut cream, cook 3 minutes or until heated through, season to taste. Process or blend the soup until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Ladle soup into bowls and top with coriander leaves to serve

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