Oaklands Recipes

Try out one of Kathy’s popular dishes for yourself – tea-smoked chicken, snowshoe bread, beetroot purée and a roasted spice mix that will liven up any dish.

Roasted spice mix

  • 1-2 cinnamon sticks
  • 50g coriander seeds
  • 50g cumin seeds
  • 50g fennel seeds
  • 50g mustard seeds
  • 50g fenugreek seeds
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 2-3 star anise (or cloves)

Place a dry, heavy-based frying pan (preferably non-stick) over a low heat. Break the cinnamon stick in half. Once a clear smoke begins to rise from your pan, add the rest of the spices and cook, stirring frequently to toast them. Be careful not to burn them, though, as this will leave a bitter taste. The seeds are ready when they begin to pop. Remove from the heat and grind to a fine powder. Store in an airtight container and use to add rich flavour to savoury dishes.

Beetroot purée

  • 1.5kg cooked beetroot, peeled
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 large red chilli
  • Bunch of coriander, washed
  • Bunch of mint, leaves only
  • 1 tbsp fresh horseradish, grated
  • 1 tbsp roasted spice mix (recipe above)
  • 3 tbsp good-quality balsamic vinegar (or to taste)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 125ml thick Greek-style yoghurt
  • Sea salt

Place the cooked beetroot in a blender with the garlic and chilli. Chop the coriander roots and stems and add to the blender with the coriander and mint leaves, grated horseradish, roasted spice mix, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Blend really well to a smooth purée. Add the yoghurt and pulse quickly, just once or twice. Season to taste – the purée will definitely need salt to bring all the flavours together. You may also want to add a few more drops of balsamic vinegar to give the mixture a sharp edge.

Snowshoe breads

  • 2½ cups warm water
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 cup wholewheat flour
  • 4½ to 5½ cups all-purpose flour, preferably unbleached
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon nigella seeds or 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)

Place the water in a large bowl, add the yeast, and stir to dissolve. Add the wholewheat flour and 1 cup of all-purpose flour and mix well. Stir for about 1 minute, always in the same direction. Let it stand covered for 30 minutes (or for as long as 12 hours if it’s more convenient). The wait helps develop the flavour.

Sprinkle on the salt, then add another cup of flour and stir. Continue adding flour, stirring until you can stir no longer. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, incorporating extra flour until the dough is smooth and easy to handle.

Place the dough in a large clean bowl, cover well with plastic wrap, and let it rise for 2 to 3 hours until it has more than doubled in volume.

Gently push the dough down and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Place baking stone or unglazed quarry tiles, if you have them, on a rack in the middle of the oven (or lightly oil an 18-by-12-inch baking sheet and set aside). Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Meanwhile, cut the dough into 8 equal pieces. Shape each into a flat oval approximately 5 inches wide by 8 inches long. Leave these disks out on your work surface, covered with plastic wrap, to rise for 15 to 20 minutes. Place a bowl of cold water by your work surface.

10 minutes after the oven has preheated, begin shaping the first bread. (If you are using a baking sheet rather than a stone or tiles, place the sheet in the centre of the hot oven.) Dip your fingertips in the bowl of water and then, beginning at one end of the disk of dough, make tightly spaced indentations all over the surface, pressing down firmly with your fingertips and rewetting them as necessary, until the dough looks pitted.

Stretch the dough into a long oval strip by draping it over the back hands and pulling them apart gently. The dough stretches and gives, and after several tries it will make an oval. Don’t worry if it tears. Place the bread back on your work surface and sprinkle with sesame seeds, then place it on the hot baking sheet. Shape the next one while the bread bakes.

Each bread needs about 4 minutes. When done, they will have golden patches on the top. Wrap the breads in a cotton cloth to keep them warm and soft.

Tea-smoked baby farm chickens

  • 4 x baby chickens (about 500g each)
  • 1 x onion
  • 1 x lemon
  • For the marinade
  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Thyme leaves, chopped
  • Black pepper

For the tea smoking

  • 1 cup of rooibos tea leaves (or any flavour)
  • ½ cup of brown sugar
  • Thyme branches
  • The rind of 1 orange

Mix all the marinade ingredients together. Stuff the baby chickens with a ¼ lemon and ¼ onion and marinate overnight.
To tea smoke: Mix all the smoking ingredients together and place in a roasting tray lined with foil. Place the roasting tray on a gas ring on medium heat until the tea starts to smoke, and have the chickens ready on an oven rack that fits on top of the roasting tray. Place the rack on the roasting tray and cover with foil. Turn the temperature of the gas down once the tea is smoking and leave for about half an hour, turning halfway.
To roast: Heat the oven to 180°C. Brush the chickens with a glaze of half honey and water and place in a roasting tray, leaving plenty of space between chickens. Roast for about 35mins until golden and crispy, then serve and enjoy.


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