Tag Archives: australia

Fruit and Nut Damper

Traditional damper, developed by the Aussie stockmen, is made with plain flour and water and typically cooked in the ashes or coals of a campfire. Nowadays, there are hundreds of variations to the original recipe.

I usually make beer damper, just flour and beer. However, on a recent road trip from Darwin to Adelaide, I decided to try something different and threw in a heap of fruit, nuts and cinnamon for a sweet treat.

Chocka-block full of fruit, nuts and seeds, I didn’t bother adding a sweetener. I got Dwayne, who likes things a little sweeter than me, to add his sweetener with honey or jam. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth and enjoy my damper with dripping hot butter.

Our Camp Kitchen

I made this yummy fruit and nut damper when camping at Burra Creek Gorge with Dwayne, our friends Kate and Martin, and their dog Boris.

Fruit & Nut Damper – Ingredients

3 cups of self raising flour

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

1 cup of raisins

1/2 cup of walnuts, roughly chopped

1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup of sunflower seeds

About a cup of water

Method

Mix all the ingredients with a wooden spoon or your hands and shape into a cob shape.

Line the camp oven with grease baking paper or a layer of flour to stop the damper from sticking.

Put the damper in the camp  oven, put the lid on and coat the lid with hot coals.

To cook the damper with hot coals.

If you want to cook on coals from a campfire, you need to burn large logs to create hot coals. It can take an hour or so for your campfire to make enough coals to cook upon. Be sure to factor the process of producing the embers into your prep and cooking time. Alternatively, if you have time limits or a lack of good wood, use heat-beads as they heat up quickly and hold their heat well.

The easiest way to cook in a camp oven over hot coals is to lift the coals out of the fire with a long-handled shovel. Select a safe place next to the fire and put a small amount of *coals on the ground. Place the camp oven onto the coals. Get some more coals from the fire to place on top of the oven. Getting the right amount of coals is not always easy. Be aware of cooking the damper too hot and burning it. It will take some experimentation to get the temperature right. Therefore, check the damper after 10 minutes to make sure you are not cooking it too hot or not hot enough.

*You only need a small number of coals under the camp oven or none at all. Too many, and you will burn the bottom of the damper.

Many factors determine the heat of the coals, such as ambient temperature and wind. If you have wind, the coals will cook hotter. Make allowances for wind by reducing the number of coals used.

The time it takes to cook the damper is directly related to how hot you cook it. It should take approximately 30-40 minutes. You can tell when the damper is cooked by tapping on the top. If it sounds hollow, it is ready. Alternatively, stick a knife in it, and if it comes out clean, it should be ready.

To Serve

Serve with butter, maple syrup, jam and cream, chopped fruit or any other topping you desire.

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Fruit and Nut Damper cooked on the campfire over hot coals. Full of dried fruit, nuts, seeds and cinnamon. #campfirecooking #fruitandnuts #damper #campcooking

Crocodile Burgers

We purchased some crocodile meat from a butcher in Alice Springs with the idea of making a yummy croc burger. Taking into account the delicate flavour of the crocodile meat, I decided that I would baste it with a little honey, soy and ginger, and serve it in a bun with simple salad and avocado.

2020 June 7 East Mac 22

What does crocodile taste like?

People often ask, “what does crocodile taste like”? As I mentioned, the flavour is delicate. It is a little like a cross between chicken and fish. I personally think the texture of crocodile is more like fish than chicken, however a little firmer than fish.

Why eat crocodile meat?

It is high in protein, low in fat and cholesterol. In fact, is has more protein than chicken breast, and is chockablock full of ‘good’ fat Omega-3s.

Other croc facts!

  • Australia saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) was named a protected species in 1974, and commercial farming began in the late 1970s.
  • It is the largest living reptile. Males grow up to 6m (20ft).
  • There are 13 commercial croc farms in Australia.

Our camp kitchen

We cooked these scrumptious crocodile burgers while camped at Ross River Campground in the East MacDonnell Ranges.

Crocodile Burger

Tasty Crocodile Burgers 

Ingredients

500g crocodile tail meat
1 Tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
2 Tablespoon ginger, grated (or ½ tsp. powdered ginger)
2 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon soy sauce

To serve

4 Hamburger buns
Avocado
Lettuce
Tomato

Crocodile burgers

Method

Combine the first four ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.  Grill crocodile over hot coals, basting frequently with soy sauce mixture. 

Alternatively, crocodile can also be browned in a non-stick skillet, then add the soy sauce mixture and simmer 5 to 8 minutes. 

To serve, spread the hamburger buns with mashed avocado. Top with the crocodile meat, lettuce and sliced tomato. 

Bon appetite.

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Crocodile Burger

Crocodile burgers

Camel ‘Aussie’ Burger

This is the good ole Aussie burger with a twist. Instead of the standard beef mince, that the Aussie burger is known for, I have used camel mince.

Why? Are camels even Australian?

Well, they are as Australian as cows. But no, camels are not native to Australia, but we do have our own particular camel… The Feral Camel.

Australia campfire cooking

There are reportedly over a million feral camels roaming Australia. First introduced to Australia in the 1840s, camels, imported from India and Afghanistan, were used as ‘beasts of burden’ during the exploration and settlement of Australia, especially in arid areas.

Camels were released into the wild after motorised transport replaced the use of camels in the early 20th century. The releases, as well as escaped or stolen camels, resulted in a fast-growing feral population.

Our Camp Kitchen

We cooked our camel burgers in the East MacDonnell Ranges at the Ross River Camping Ground in the Northern Territory.

Ingredients

For the patties

500g minced camel
1/2 small brown onion, very finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, very finely chopped or crushed
2 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely cracked
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup of fine bread crumbs

For the burger

4 hamburger buns
4 eggs
4 rashers of bacon
4 – 8 slices of tinned beetroot
Sliced tomato
Sliced onion
Pickles
Lettuce
Cheese
Tomato sauce
Dijon mustard
Mayonnaise

Australia campfire cooking

Method

Mix all the “patty” ingredients well, using your hands, until very well blended. Shape into four patties.

Heat your hot-plate (or the lid of your camp oven) until hot and spray with oil. Cook the patties over a small fire or coals until cooked through and browned. Remove the patties and keep warm. Cook the bacon and fry the eggs.

Camel Burger 4

To create the perfect Aussie burger halve the hamburger bun and spread the bottom half with mustard and tomato sauce and spread mayonnaise on the top half. 

Then start to stack you burger ingredients on the bottom half of the hamburger bun. First the meat patty, then the cheese, bacon, onion, tomato, beetroot, pickles and lettuce. Slap the top half of the bun on top and bon appétit or as the Aussie’s say “dig in!”

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Aussie Burger recipe camp fire cooking

Campfire cooking Aussie burger recipe

Beef Cheeks in Red Wine

These delicious beef cheeks are the first recipe of our camp cooking series. Dwayne and I have hit the road with a camper trailer, travelling from Darwin to Adelaide, camping and cooking on the way.

How did this come about?

As you may know, we have lived on our boat for the last six years. Earlier this year we sailed from Phuket on SY Nomad, a yacht that we agreed to deliver to Sydney for friends of ours.

However, two months later, COVID-19 messed up our plans, and now our current home is a camper trailer until we can get back to our boat SV Thorfinn (after delivering SY Nomad). It is great to be camping again, and we love cooking on the campfire.

Over the next few weeks, I will be posting camp cooking recipes including lamb shanks, quiche in the camp oven (dutch oven) and chicken pot pie. I hope you enjoy this series. To see more about the places we visit, have a look at www.trippinturpins.com

Our Camp Kitchen

We cooked these delicious braised beef cheeks in the Florence Falls Camp Ground at Litchfield National Park in the Northern Territory.

4 beef cheeks (also ok for 2 cheeks)
1 Tbs flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cracked pepper
2 Tbs canola oil
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1-2 celery, diced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cups red wine
1 cup beef stock
4 bay leaves,
1 teaspoon dried thyme

Method

Mix flour, salt and pepper. Dust the beef cheeks with flour mix. Heat oil and brown the cheeks on both sides.

Remove the cheeks and add, onions, garlic, carrot and celery to the pan. Sauté over medium until onion becomes transparent. Add the two cups wine and cook to reduce wine a little.

Put beef cheeks into the camp oven, add red wine veggie mix, beef stock, bay leaves, thyme.

Cook slowly with the heat at top and bottom of the camp oven for three to four hours. The cheeks are cooked when you stick a pair of tongs into one, and the meat falls apart.

I served my beef cheeks with mashed parsnip and blanched capsicum and beans.

Cooking in a camp oven on an open fire takes a lot of practice. Start off adding a few coals or heat beads beneath your camp oven and twice as much on top. Have a look in 15 minutes to see if it is cooking the way you want it to and add more heat, or remove heat, as needed. With practice, you will soon learn how to control the temperature. Remember that several factors will vary your heat, e.g. ambient air temperature, the type of wood/fuel you are using.

Cooking in your oven – 160C/320F for 3 1/2 – 4 hours .

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