Category Archives: Recipe



For a change – A recipe with a difference

Who says medicine can’t taste amazing? This essential cocktail was created for sailors as a way to prevent scurvy. It didn’t take long to realize that this preventative drink was also delicious. While scurvy may be of the past, it seems like this tart tipple is here to stay. It doesn’t get much simpler or more refreshing than the classic Gimlet.

Basil, Vodka Gimlet

About The Simple Syrup Cocktail
If you can boil water, you can make a simple syrup. The staple cocktail sweetener more than earns its name, consisting, simply, of equal-parts granulated sugar and water. From there, the variations are endless. Like your sweetener sweeter? Up the ratio to two to one, sugar to water. Looking to add a little zip to your Paloma or oomph to your Old Fashioned? Steep a couple of jalapeño slices or cinnamon sticks.

The best part? Your homemade simple syrup once sealed and refrigerated can live a happy, productive life for up to a month. That’s 30 days shaking, stirring, blending and drinking your own homemade cocktails. Now doesn’t that sound sweet?

Ingredients in The Simple Syrup Cocktail
120mL Granulated sugar
120mL Water

How to make The Simple Syrup Cocktail
Add the sugar and water to a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Strain into a jar and seal tightly with a lid. Simple syrup will keep, refrigerated, for about one month.

Other Information
Use Demerara sugar for a richer flavour.

Ingredients in The Gimlet Cocktail  
75mL Gin
15mL Fresh lime juice
15mL Simple syrup
Garnish: Lime wheel

John Keegan

Fillet Steak in a Madeira Sauce

Fillet Steak with Mushroom & Madeira Sauce

This premium cut of steak teams brilliantly with the velvety mushroom and Madeira sauce. Just half the recipe ingredients if you’re cooking for two on a special occasion like Valentine’s Day or an anniversary.

Ingredients – Serves 4

3 tbsp olive oil
4 fillet steaks
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
250g chestnut mushrooms, thinly sliced
150ml Madeira wine
100ml beef stock, made from half a stock cube
50ml double cream
2 tbsp parsley, chopped


  1. Heat a large pan to a moderate heat. Rub 2 tbsp of the oil over the steaks and season well then cook them for about 2-3 minutes on each side, depending on their thickness and how you like them cooked. Cook the edges too, turning them to seal well. If your pan isn’t very big, only put in 2 steaks at a time; overcrowding the pan will cause the heat to reduce and the meat will stew instead of fry. Transfer the steaks to a warm plate, cover in foil and rest for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Return the pan to a medium heat. Add the remaining oil and cook the onions until they’re translucent – this should take about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and mushrooms, season to taste and cook until the mushrooms begin to brown.
  3. When the mushrooms are cooked, add 100ml of the Madeira wine. Scrape the pan well at this point so all the flavour from the steaks mixes into the sauce.
  4. Continue cooking until the sauce has reduced by half, then add the beef stock. Once the liquid has reduced by half again, add the remaining Madeira and the cream. Lower the heat and stir well. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley.
  5. Return the mushroom sauce to a medium heat and pour any resting juices from the steaks into this.
  6. Place the steaks onto warmed plates and top generously with the sauce.

Salmon with Cabbage & Bacon

Pan fried salmon, braised cabbage, bacon and onions

Ingredients (For 4 People

For the Salmon

  • 15g/1oz unsalted butter
  • 2 small red onions, sliced
  • 2 rashers back bacon, sliced thinly
  • olive oil
  • 4 x 170g/6oz salmon steaks
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • small savoy cabbage , core removed and shredded

For the dressing

  • 2 tbsp grainy mustard
  • 1/2 lemon, juice only
  • 1 tsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar


  1. Heat the butter in a large pan, add the onion and fry gently for five minutes.
  2. Brush each side of the salmon with olive oil. Heat a non-stick frying pan, when hot add the salmon and leave to seal in the pan. Turn over hallway through cooking. Four minutes each side depending upon thickness.
  3. Add the shredded cabbage to the bacon and onions and stir. Cover with a tight fitting lid and continue to cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. This will ensure the cabbage will absorb the butter and retain moisture.
  4. Combine all the dressing ingredients together in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake to combine thoroughly. (You can also do this in a bowl with a fork.) At the end of cooking, season, then serve in a large bowl placing the salmon on top. Spoon the dressing around the edge.
John Keegan

Rum & Raisin Rice Pudding

Chilled Rum & Raisin Rice Pudding


  • 600ml whole milk
  • 200ml double cream
  • 100g pudding rice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 85g caster sugar
  • zest 1 lemon, pared with a vegetable peeler
  • single cream, to serve
  • For the rum & raisin syrup
  • 100g raisin
  • 100g light brown muscovado sugar
  • 100ml dark rum
  • 25g butter


  1. Combine the milk, cream, rice, vanilla, sugar and lemon zest in a heavy-based saucepan. Bring gently to a boil, stirring continuously. Once bubbling, turn the heat to low and gently simmer for about 45 mins, stirring frequently to stop it sticking, until the rice is just tender. Lay a sheet of cling film directly on the surface of the rice, cool to room temperature, then chill until cold.
  2. To serve, combine the syrup ingredients in a small pan. Melt together, and then bubble until syrupy for 4-5 mins. Cool for a few mins while you loosen the chilled rice pudding with some single cream (it will have become more solid) – just gently stir in a splash at a time until it’s spoonable. Divide between serving bowls and top with some warm rum & raisin syrup.