Now I’m well aware that around these parts you can be hung,drawn and quartered for even having the audacity to write down a recipe for this wonderful pudding, But then again I’m not known for “towing the culinary line” my recipe is what it says, Sticky Toffee and Date Pudding” there are no secret addings,no recipe handed down to me from Uncle Zibidah Aloysius St John Fell the 17th Earl of Shackerstone,no meeting dark masked cloak and dagger suppliers with that out of this world ingredient,you or I have never heard of, just to make my pudding “special” 

It’s just a pudding! That’ll make you feel totally content with your lot! 

This awesome recipe I’m sharing with you will serve 4 people well 



175g/6oz dates, chopped

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

50g/2oz salted butter

pinch salt

75g/2½oz demerara sugar

75g/2½oz molasses sugar

2 free-range eggs

175g/6oz self-raising flour

1 tsp vanilla extract

butter, for greasing


250ml/9fl oz double cream

80g/3oz butter

80g/3oz Dark treacle 


300ml/10fl oz whipping cream

50g/2oz molasses sugar

50g/2oz salted butter

double cream or clotted cream


Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

Pour 275ml/10fl oz boiling water into a large mixing bowl and add the dates.

 Stir and set aside until lukewarm. 

Meanwhile, measure out all the other ingredients for the sponge. Add them to the dates and water and mix together until well combined.

Blend the date mixture in a food processor until nearly smooth

 Butter a baking dish on all surfaces and pour in the sponge mixture.

Bake for around 40 minutes, or until just firm to the touch.

Now make both the topping and the extra sauce by heating the ingredients gently in separate pans, whisking regularly, until they briefly boil. Pour the topping over the cooked pudding.

Place the sticky toffee pudding under a moderate grill or into an extremely hot oven until bubbling.

To serve, spoon the pudding into individual bowls and pour around the extra sauce.

Now you can either serve with double cream or if you’re like me, a good dollop of delicious clotted cream 

There is no better pudding to make you feel warm, cozy and content 


You can’t beat a good home made shortbread biscuit over a shop bought one, and Chocolate and Orange is a combination that’ll always be a winner 

There’s no secret to this recipe, you’ll find it in most reasonable chefs reportiore, we’re not trying to set the culinary world alight! Just make fantastic tasting delicious moorish biscuits 


250g butter
125g icing sugar

1tsp vanilla extract or vanilla essence 

zest of one large orange

2 medium egg yolks

100g dark chocolate chips

250g plain flour


Place the butter and icing sugar in to a bowl, add the vanilla extract, orange zest and egg yolk.

Beat together until light and fluffy.

Add the chocolate chips and the flour. 

Mix together until it forms a crumble like texture.

Now tip the mix onto a work surface. 

Using your hands mould it together to form a long round sausage shape.

Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for one hour.

Pre-heat the oven to 160°C.

Cut the log into 1-2cm slices. 

Place on a non-stick tray and bake for approx. 12 minutes.

 They should now be lovely and golden.

Transfer to a cooling rack 

Once cooled you can keep them in an airtight container, (but I doubt they’ll last long enough) 


I absolutely love mussels and clams, you see mussels on menus a lot, but not clams for some reason, both of which are utterly delicious if cooked correctly 

I’m using a combination of both, you can use one or the other, or like me both 

This recipe will serve 2 people really well 



30g/1oz butter

2 small shallots, finely chopped

1 celery stick, Finely chopped

500g/1lb 2oz mussels, cleaned and de-bearded

500g/1lb 2oz clams (palourde clams if possible)

30ml/1fl oz Pernod 

200ml/7fl oz dry sherry


200g/7oz spinach

10g/¼oz fresh Flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped

2 sprigs fresh tarragon

2-3  Good splashes of Tabasco


Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and blanch the spinach for 30 seconds.

 Drain the spinach, rinse it under cold water, squeeze and pat dry.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan and gently fry the shallots and celery until softened. 

Tip in the mussels and clams and increase the heat then add the pernod and sherry. 

Shake the saucepan once steam appears, place back onto the heat, and continue cooking for a further 1-2 minutes.

Once all the shells are fully open, immediately strain into a colander suspended over a bowl. 

Shake the mussels to extract the juices and set aside.

Pour the juices into a blender along with the reserved spinach and all the other remaining ingredients.

Blend until smooth and return the green sauce to the mussel cooking pot.

Remove and discard any unopened shells from the mussels and clams,and add the rest to the green sauce. Briefly reheat and serve.

I’d just have some fantastic crusty bread or sour dough to go with this delicious dish 



I love lamb breast, you don’t see it so much on menus these days and I think it’s a real shame, the other fantastic thing that you see even less is Mutton, and that’s an even bigger shame 

The breast is packed full of flavour, and cooked correctly is utterly delicious 

I’m using mutton here, you can get it in good quality butchers, but you can use lamb if you prefer 

This recipe will serve 4 people 


A 1.6 kg/3lb 8oz mutton breast, boned, rolled and tied, ask your butcher to do this for you 

salt and freshly ground white pepper

2 tbsp dripping or vegetable oil

1.6 kg/3lb 8oz onions, peeled and thinly sliced

2 bay leaf

A good splash of red wine vinegar

2-3 tbsp anchovy essence (or several finely chopped anchovies)

A good handful of chopped fresh parsley


Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2.

Season the mutton well with salt and freshly ground white pepper. 

Melt the dripping or oil in a large, lidded casserole dish.

Place the mutton breast into the casserole dish, turn down the heat and colour well on all sides, until golden-brown.

 Lift out the meat and remove all fat from the dish with a spoon.

Add half of the onions to make a bed which the mutton will sit, add the mutton back into to the dish. Add the bay leaves and cover with the remaining onions.

Cut a circle of greaseproof paper just slightly bigger than your pot, Dampen it, lightly grease one side, and press it onto the onions (greased side down). 

Put on the lid cook in the oven for about three hours. 

After an hour, remove the dish to see whether the onion mixture isn’t reducing to quickly, if so add a splash of water 

Replace the paper and lid and place the dish into the oven again.

Check again after another hour, if it’s reducing to quickly add another splash of water 

After about three hours of cooking, gently press the mutton with your finger there should be little resistance, and it will be beautifully tender 

Lift out the meat, put it into a small roasting tin and cover with foil.while you finish the onions.

Remove the bay leaf from the onions and drain the onions, reserving the cooking juices. 

Put the onions back into the casserole. Remove any fat that has settled on the surface of the cooking juices with a ladle,Pour the liquid back in with the onions, and gently simmer until the volume of the liquid has reduced by half. Stir in the vinegar and anchovy essence, or chopped anchovies if using 

Season the onions to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Now stir in the parsley.

Remove the mutton from under the foil (if any meaty juices have exuded from the resting mutton add them to the onions), Cut and remove the strings and thickly slice the meat.It will take no cutting it’ll be beautiful and tender, Arrange the slices onto a hot serving dish and pile the onions alongside.

Serve with some buttery mashed potato and green beans, absolutely sensational 

Jon x 


Have you ever bought tandoori chicken and been disappointed and uttered the phrase 

“I could have made that better myself”

Well now you can, follow this simple tasty recipe and you’ll never be disappointed again, I’m serving mine with a minty yogurt dip, great with a nice cold beer watching a film on the TV

Go on! Give it a try 

This recipe will serve 4 people 


FOR THE CHICKEN 1.75kg/4lbs chicken drumsticks, skinned

pinch salt

2 lemons, juice only

500g/1lb 2oz plain yoghurt

3-4 tbsp tandoori spice mix (you can get really good quality mixes in the supermarket)

FOR THE YOGURT DIP (optional but I love it) 

3-4 tbsps plain yoghurt

pinch salt

pinch sugar

5 fresh mint sprigs

1 green chilli, deseeded, sliced


Cut deep incisions into the chicken flesh with a sharp knife. 

Place the chicken into a bowl and sprinkle over the salt and the juice of two lemons, massaging into the chicken until well coated.

Whisk the yoghurt and tandoori spice mix in a bowl until well combined.

 Pour the marinade over the chicken and massage into the flesh.

 Cover with clingfilm and chill in the fridge overnight.

Preheat your grill or oven to high.

Lift the drumsticks from the tandoori mixture and gently shake off any excess. 

Place a wire rack over a roasting tin and lay the drumsticks on it. 

Grill for 25 minutes, turn regularly, until the chicken is cooked through. Add more lemon juice to taste.

For the dip, place all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. 

Serve with the chicken drumsticks.

And enjoy your home made tandoori spiced chicken 

You’ll never buy it again! 



This delicious recipe is loosely based on the classic Coq au Vin, but only very loosely!!! So no getting in touch all you perfectionists out there 

It does require you to marinade the chicken, but it’s so so worth the time 


FOR THE MARINADE 1 bottle good-quality red wine 

1 tbsp redcurrant jelly

1 small onion, chopped

2 sticks celery, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

4 garlic cloves, un-peeled, but crushed 

3-4 sprigs fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

2 cloves


4 large chicken joints (thigh or leg), or a mixture of both, skinned

1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for shallow frying

100g/3½oz smoked pancetta, rind removed, cut into large chunks 

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp plain flour

25g/1oz butter

20 button onions, peeled

20 button mushrooms

3 tbsp cognac

3-4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Mashed potatoes to serve along side 


Place the marinade ingredients into a casserole dish and bring to the boil.

 Allow the volume of liquid to reduce by one-third and strain into a clean, non-reactive bowl and set aside to cool. Make sure that the marinade cools completely 

Place the chicken pieces into the marinade, cover and leave to chill in the fridge for at least 5-6 hours or if possible overnight.

Warm the olive oil in the casserole dish and gently fry the pancetta until golden-brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve.

Remove the chicken joints from the marinade, setting the liquid aside.

 Season the chicken joints with salt and freshly ground black pepper. 

Dredge the joints in the flour, and then fry until golden-brown in a little olive oil. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the butter to the dish and place the onions and mushrooms into the casserole and fry gently for 10 minutes, or until golden-brown. 

Remove any excess fat with a spoon and return the chicken and bacon to the pot, turn up the heat and pour over the cognac. Set alight, allow the flames to die down 

Now add the reserved, reduced wine. Gently simmer for one hour

Alternatively, cook the casserole in an oven preheated to 170C/325F/Gas 3.)

After an hour the chicken should be perfect

Adjust the seasoning to your taste 

Sprinkle with the chopped parsley 

Serve the red wine chicken with mashed potatoes and with some fantastic crusty bread 


This is one of my favourite warm puddings, it takes me back to when I was about 10-11 years old and making it at home, always served with thick birds custard, I still love it, although now I like to put a good scoop of vanilla ice cream on top 
This recipe will serve 4 people 



250g/9oz cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces 

400g/14oz plain flour

200g/7oz golden caster sugar

pinch salt


700g/1½lb rhubarb, trimmed, chopped into pieces 

2 tbsp golden caster sugar, plus some extra for sprinkling on top 

Good squeeze of lemon juice 

knob of butter


Preheat Your oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

Put all the ingredients for the crumble mixture in a large bowl.

Rub the butter into the flour, sugar and salt, lifting and dropping the mixture lightly through your fingers. It doesn’t have to be perfectly fine a few lumps are good 

Pile all the rhubarb into a buttered earthenware dish. Sprinkle over with the sugar, pour over the lemon juice and dot a few knobs of butter over the rhubarb 

Cover the rhubarb with the crumble mixture, sprinkle over a little extra golden caster sugar.

 Place into the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden on top and the jammy juices are oozing up around the edges of the dish.

Place into bowls and serve 

I like mine with a good vanilla ice cream, I love the hot and cold contrast, but you can have custard, cream or clotted cream 


For those of you who know me will know that,

A. I Love my scallops, and,

B. I Love my trips to the west coast of Scotland, where I believe the Seafood to be some of the finest available, the hand dived scallops being particularly fantastic, not damaged and full of sand like some of the dredged ones

This recipe is simple but absolutely delicious

It’s a great starter or supper dish

This recipe will serve 4 people

2 shallots, finely chopped

60ml/2fl oz white wine vinegar

60ml/2fl oz Prosecco ( plus a little extra for adding to the sauce)

125g/4½oz cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks

12 scallops or 20 if serving as a main

Splash of olive oil

salt and freshly ground white pepper

fresh chives, finely chopped, to garnish


For the butter sauce.

place the shallots, vinegar, Prosecco and 60ml/2fl oz water into a saucepan.

Set over a moderate heat until almost no liquid remains.

Now you can turn the heat down to a low setting

whisk in the butter one piece at a time,

allowing each piece to melt before adding the next (it is also a good idea to occasionally take the pan off the heat, then returning it when it is becoming too cool.)

Once all the butter has been used the sauce should be pale and have a thin consistency.

Set aside to keep warm.

Now for the scallops.

Brush the scallops with oil.

Heat a heavy-based frying pan and fry the scallops for one minute on each side, or until golden-brown on the outside.

Season with salt and pepper.

Serve immediately onto 4 warm plates

Add an extra splash of Prosecco to the sauce, Spoon the sauce over the scallops and sprinkle with the chopped chives.

Totally simple but utterly delicious



Seafood Pancakes 


Now not being a sweet toothed kinda guy, I’m not really a huge fan of pancakes (crepes) drenched in maple syrup, chocolate sauce, sugar, and all of the other ridiculous concoctions people put on theirs

But however, if you’re looking for something a little bit different from the usual?

Then give this recipe for seafood pancakes (crepes) a whirl

This recipe will serve 4 people


For the pancakes (crepes)

100g plain flour

pinch salt

2 free-range eggs

200ml/7fl oz full-fat milk

50g melted butter

Splash of oil for frying

For the sauce

125g butter

75g plain flour

1 litre full fat milk

salt and freshly ground black pepper

pinch grated nutmeg

1 lemon, zest only

500g assorted raw fish and shellfish, according to season (ideally salmon, prawns, whiting/cod,hake,scallops etc)

1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon

12 plum tomatoes, skinned, chopped

For the cheese topping

50g grated parmesan

50g breadcrumbs

25g butter


For the pancakes (crepes) place the flour and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and break the eggs into it.

Gradually whisk in the milk and 75ml water until smooth. Whisk in the melted butter until well combined.

Heat a little oil in a frying pan until hot, then reduce the heat to medium. Spoon some of the batter into the pan, and swirl it around to get an even covering.

After about 30 seconds, turn the pancake over, Cook for a further 30 seconds, remove the pancake from the pan and set aside. Cook the remaining batter and place greaseproof paper in between each pancake.

For the sauce melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the flour and stir for 2-3 minutes minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the nutmeg and lemon zest, and whisk until well combined. Cook the sauce for another five minutes, then fold in the fish, take off heat. Add the tarragon and tomatoes.

Remove the pan from the heat and spoon a little seafood mixture into each pancake, roll them up and place into a baking dish.

Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180C

For the topping mix the parmesan, breadcrumbs and butter together in a bowl until well combined. Sprinkle the mixture on top of the pancakes and bake for around 8 minutes until golden brown

I’d just serve these as they are, maybe a green salad they don’t need anything else

Great way to enjoy something different for pancake day



Fantastic Crispy Beer Battered Fish 

Is there anything better than a fantastic piece of fresh fish encased in the ultimate crispy batter cooked till golden? I honestly believe fish and chips, if cooked correctly, is one of the best things in the world EVER! So! What’s the secret to a good batter? If I’m honest! I’m not sure, I think I’ve a good batter, my cheffy mates all have different methods and recipes for batter, one thing I will tell you though, is that my recipe I’m going to share with you will stay crispy, I use beer and yeast that makes the batter puff up, I use rice flour too, this helps stop the batter becoming sticky and gooey 

This recipe has been with me for years, we’ve tried tweaking, playing and messing! But still resort back to this recipe 

The fish you use is one of personal preference, as you know I’m a huge huge fan of hake, it’s great for fish and chips, but haddock, cod, coley, pollock, whiting, gurnard are all fantastic fish to use


4 fillets of fish (the choice is yours) 

10g of fresh yeast 

1 300ml bottle of beer (lager is ok)

100g plain flour 

80g rice flour 

20g cornflour 

10g salt 


Whisk the yeast into the beer 

Now whisk in the flours and salt 

Please allow the batter to stand for about 30 minutes, this will give the batter time to bubble and puff up 

Set the fryer to 170c

There’s no need to dip your fish into flour!! 

Carefully dip the fish into the batter and carefully lower it into the hot oil 

The fish should take approximately 4-5 minutes until golden and really crispy 

Lift out and allow to drain on kitchen paper 

Season with salt 

Serve with chips, mushy peas and tartare sauce 

You won’t be disappointed, I believe it to be the best beer batter recipe