Celebrity chef Tony Tobin's 2008 Surrey Life recipes

PUBLISHED: 17:19 14 September 2010 | UPDATED: 15:39 20 February 2013

Tony Tobin attempts to enjoy his birthday in Reigate after a power cut

Tony Tobin attempts to enjoy his birthday in Reigate after a power cut

Join Tony Tobin and get confident in the kitchen, as we take a look back at some of the fantastic recipes our resident celebrity chef has cooked up during 2008...

Join Tony Tobin and get confident in the kitchen, as we take a look back at some of the fantastic recipes our resident celebrity chef has cooked up during 2008...


I use many different stuffings for this loaf. My veggie friends love it and I themed this one around Christmas lunch.


  • 1 x small sour-dough round loaf (Cut off the top, save it and then hollow the middle and turn into breadcrumbs)

  • 2 carrots, one quarter of a small swede, 60g butter (Roughly chop carrots and swede, put in a pan with the butter and simmer, then cover with water. Drain and crush with a masher. Season with salt and pepper)

  • One quarter of a red cabbage shredded, 1 glass red wine, 2 tablespoons blackberry jam, 60g butter (Place all together in a pan and simmer until soft and sticky)

  • 10 sprouts, 6 mushrooms (sliced), 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 teaspoon soy sauce (Shred the sprouts and fry in the sesame oil with the mushrooms. Add soy and season)

  • 3 shallots (finely chopped), 60g butter, a pinch of thyme, a pinch of rosemary, breadcrumbs (Sweat shallots in butter with rosemary and thyme. Add breadcrumbs and mix well)

To assemble

  • Layer the five different fillings inside the bread

  • Place the top back on and wrap in cling film

  • Allow to rest for 30 minutes

  • Remove cling film and roast in oven for 25 minute basting from time to time with 120g butter and 2 tablespoons honey

  • Allow 15 minutes rest before slicing


Real bonfire night food...


  • 6 firm apples l 225g cup of plain flour (maida)

  • 2 tablespoons cornflour l 1 teaspoon of baking powder

  • 300g brown sugar l 4 tablespoons of cooking oil

  • 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds

  • Oil for deep frying


  • Mix the plain flour, cornflour and baking powder in a bowl.

  • Add water and stir into a smooth, thick batter.

  • Peel, core and cut the apples into bite-size pieces.

  • Coat the apple pieces evenly with the batter and deep fry in hot oil until they are golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper.

  • Then put the brown sugar, oil and 1 cup of water into a pan and cook over a high flame until the mixture starts to bubble.

  • Reduce the flame and allow it to caramelise without stirring. If required, shake the pan gently to prevent the sugar from burning around the edges of the pan.

  • When the syrup is light brown in colour, remove it from the flame, add the sesame seeds and mix well.

To put it all together...

Fill a serving bowl with chilled water and keep aside.
Dip the fried apple pieces in the caramel syrup and coat evenly.
Remove and immerse them in the bowl of chilled water
until caramel coating hardens then drain and serve all the pieces in a bowl immediately.



  • 4 large baking potatoes

  • Butter

  • Wholegrain mustard

  • A chunk of mature cheddar

  • Salt


  • Bake your potatoes until the skins are crispy

  • Cut each potato in two and empty out the skins, putting the mash to one side

  • Mix the mash with a tablespoon of butter, a pinch of salt and two tablespoons of good wholegrain mustard

  • Refill the skins with this mixture and grate the mature cheddar over the top of them

  • Pop these into a pre-heated oven at 170 degrees for 20 minutes

  • Serve with a lit sparkler in each!


This is for the chef who is not afraid of taking on a lobster and winning! In fact, if you needed any further proof, I emerged victorious from an episode of Ready Steady Cook with this simple but delicious linguine! Using a simple cooked lobster tail, this fantastic recipe removes a lot of the faffing about you usually get with lobster. The preparation time is less than 30 minutes, and the cooking time less than 10 minutes! Enjoy!


  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 1 green chilli, chopped

  • 200g/7oz baby plum tomatoes, halved

  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh flatleaf parsley

  • 100ml/3fl oz white wine

  • 1 cooked lobster tail, chopped

  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh chives

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 250g/9oz linguine, cooked according to packet instructions and drained


  • Heat the olive oil in a large pan, add the garlic and chilli and fry over a low heat for one to two minutes.

  • Add the tomatoes, parsley and wine and simmer for three to four minutes. Add the lobster and cook for two minutes.

  • Stir in the chives and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  • Add the cooked linguine to the pan and stir to coat.

  • Serve garnished with lime wedges and fresh basil leaves.


This recipe makes a lot of tomato kasundi so feel free to just use a quarter of the ingredients below, unless you fancy eating it daily until Christmas!


  • 4-5kg tomatoes

  • 150g salt

  • 200g cumin seeds

  • 200g coriander seeds

  • 250ml peanut oil

  • 200g yellow mustard seeds

  • 100g black mustard seeds

  • 100g fresh turmeric or 2 tablespoons turmeric powder

  • chilli to taste

  • 300-450g root ginger (grated)

  • 4 cloves garlic (grated)

  • 20 stems fresh curry leaves

  • 800g sugar

  • 1.5 litres white wine vinegar


  • Chop the tomatoes coarsely and put in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt, cover and set aside overnight.

  • Roast and grind the cumin and coriander seeds. Keep them on one side.

  • Place some of the oil in a hot pan and cook all the mustard seeds gently until they pop.

  • In another large pan heat cup of oil and cook the cumin and coriander seeds until fragrant. Add the popped mustard seeds and gently blend through.

  • Drain off the tomatoes and discard the juice (and any of the salt that is still obvious).

  • Place in a large stock pot, with the mustard seed mix and add the remaining ingredients. Simmer gently, uncovered stirring frequently for one and a half hours.

  • Set aside to cool before pouring into clean, dry, glass jars. Store in your fridge and serve with cheese, pt or sausages.

CORONATION CHICKEN for cheats (serves 4)


  • Two cooked chicken breast, shredded or chopped

  • One tin of Homepride Curry Cook-In-Sauce

  • Three tablespoons of full fat mayo

  • Two cups of basmati rice


So simple! Just put the rice on to cook for 10 minutes and then mix all of the rest of the ingredients together in a bowl using a spoon. Serve the cold coronation mix with the hot basmati rice - the combination of hot and cold is perfect. Easy peasy!


This is a dessert that will raise a few eyebrows. Hot strawberries? You'll think I'm mad, but done well, this is the most stunning dessert. It is very important that you choose a really good vanilla ice cream to go with this one. If you're entertaining outdoors, you can even do this one on a barbecue.

How to make it ...


  • 32 strawberries

  • 2 tbsp caster sugar

  • 1 vanilla pod (seeds only)

  • 2 tbsp raspberry vinegar

  • 1 tbsp really good olive oil

  • High quality vanilla icecream (try Waitrose)


  • Heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan.

  • Add the strawberries and the sugar and fry for one minute, keeping the strawberries moving.

  • Remove the berries from the pan and add in the vinegar and vanilla. Bring the juices to boil and remove from the heat.

  • Place the strawberries back into the pan and coat in the lovely juices, basting them if you need to.

  • Serve eight strawberries per helping laced with the pan juices and a dollop of vanilla ice cream.

Tony's caramelised tart for cheats

Start by going to Waitrose or M&S and buying a lemon tart or Tarte au Citron (they're just the same). Turn it out on to a plate, take a box of icing sugar and sprinkle it all over until there is a fine coating all over the top. To complete the cheat, take a kitchen blowtorch and caramelise the top taking care to singe the pastry case at the edge for extra authenticity. You should aim to do it in small patches, waiting for the sugar to bubble and then brown. This will take a while but it will be only a fraction of the time it takes to make one yourself! By the time you've finished, the top should be golden and crispy but most importantly, it will look like you've made it yourself!


This is a recipe for an amazing marinade I use that features - believe it or not - apricot jam! It is absolutely delicious and can be used with chicken, pork, lamb and even fish. My only warning to you when barbecuing is to cook until you are absolutely sure it's cooked all the way through. It's too easy to eat sausages that look blackened on the outside but are near enough raw on the inside to poison you. Better to enjoy your summer with a little bit of carbon between your teeth than spend a week in bed!

How to make it ...


  • 3 cloves garlic (crushed)

  • 1 bayleaf

  • 1 tsp fresh thyme

  • 1 whole red chilli

  • 1 tsp turmeric

  • 1 tbsp paprika

  • 1 tsp cayenne

  • 2 tsp ground cumin

  • 2 tsp ground coriander

  • 2 large tbsps apricot jam

  • 6 dried apricots

  • Juice of 3 lemons

  • Salt and pepper


  • Probably the simplest method that has ever appeared here!

  • Just place all ingredients for the marinade into a food processor and whizz on full speed until smooth.

  • Then plaster your raw meat with it and leave it in the fridge, preferably at least overnight, to let the flavour soak in.

  • Make sure the meat you are using is not too thick - lots of surface area is important to anything being marinated.


One of the best and easiest ways of providing two or three nights of healthy eating when you haven't got much time is to base your cooking on couscous. It is available from every supermarket and my friend, Ainsley Harriott, even has his own flavoured range. It takes just a few minutes to prepare using only a kettle of boiling water and, if you make enough, can be stored in the fridge for a few days. You can then supplement it with something different each night. Here is the recipe for the base as well as three interesting variations for later in the week.

Couscous base


  • 200g/7oz couscous

  • 400ml/14 fl oz boiling water

  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced

  • 1 lemon, juice only

  • 1 tbsp red pesto or tapenade

  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander

  • 1 tbsp chopped basil

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • Salt and pepper


  • Boil together the water, chilli, lemon juice and red pesto or tapenade

  • Pour this over the couscous and allow to stand for five minutes

  • Add the chopped herbs, olive oil and season

  • Refrigerate and use when you need it!

Tuesday night
Add honey roasted salmon flakes from M&S and cooked asparagus tips

Wednesday night
Add chopped cherry tomatoes, feta cheese and cress or rocket

Thursday night
Add tinned tuna flakes with lemon and olive oil


A real favourite of mine, this recipe uses one of the original superfoods, aduki beans. They are bursting with both flavour and protein. This means they're not only good for you but will provide long lasting energy and help you feel full up without needing to eat lots of bread. The seabass is one of the lightest and tastiest fish around and the lime juice ensures it has a good vitamin C kick.


  • 2 sea bass fillets (about 150-200g each)

  • A little vegetable oil

  • 100g of boiled Aduki beans

  • 50g of boiled black-eye beans

  • 1 large shallot chopped very finely

  • 1 large red chilli, deseeded and chopped very finely

  • 3 medium-sized firm tomatoes

  • 1 lime

  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed

  • A pinch of thyme

  • A little olive oil

  • A sprinkling of chopped coriander


  • Chop the shallot and chilli very finely and gently fry them, along with the garlic and thyme, for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

  • If you are boiling the aduki and black-eye beans yourself, drain them and allow them to cool completely. If you're using pre-prepared beans, put them into a large bowl, add in the shallot mix and the coriander and stir together. Leave to stand.

  • Put the tomatoes into a bowl of boiling water for a minute or two then slip off the skins.

  • Quarter them and remove everything but the outer flesh. Chop roughly and add to the mixture. Stir, squeeze the lime over the whole mix and put it in the fridge.

  • 10 minutes before you're ready to serve, brush a little olive oil on the skin side of the seabass and grill it for 5-6 minutes skin side up. Turn it over and seal the other side.

  • Remove the salsa from the fridge, add a tablespoon of virgin olive oil and stir. Make two small mounds on cold plates and top with the fillets of seabass, skin side up.

  • Decorate with a little more coriander.


Ingredients: (Filling)

  • 8 stalks of roughly chopped rhubarb

  • Grated zest of one orange

  • 5 oz good caster sugar

Ingredients: (Crumble)

  • 12 oz plain flour

  • 3 oz demerara sugar

  • 5 oz butter

  • Optional HobNob biscuits (to add richness and crunchiness)


  • Pre-heat the oven to 110C

  • Chop the butter into even cubes and refrigerate until needed. Also, chill your bowl before you start the crumble.

  • Place the rhubarb and orange zest into a roasting tray, sprinkle the caster sugar over it. Cover with greaseproof paper and cook in an oven at 110C for about an hour-and-a-half to confit it.

  • With 20 minutes to go, take the bowl out of the fridge, wiping it to remove any moisture.

  • Sift the flour into the bowl and add the butter.

  • Rub the mix with your fingertips until it looks like fine breadcrumbs.

  • Add the sugar and stir through with a knife or spoon.

  • At this point crumble two or three HobNob biscuits into the mixture if you wish.

  • When an hour-and-a-half is up, take the roasting tray out of the oven, pour the contents into a separate serving dish without mushing it up, then evenly spread the crumble on top.

  • Turn the oven up to 185C and when it's at temperature, pop the dish in for 10-15 minutes.

  • Serve with tinned custard and watch their faces!

Serves four (so keep some for the following day!)


  • 4oz dark chocolate

  • 4oz butter

  • 1 egg

  • 1oz caster sugar

  • 1oz dark brown sugar

  • 2oz plain flour

  • A large tablespoon of good cocoa powder


  • Melt the chocolate and add in the butter.

  • Stir till smooth and allow to cool.

  • Beat the egg and slowly add in the sugars while still beating. Continue to beat until it resembles meringue, then fold it through the chocolate gently to preserve the air in the mixture.

  • Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the chocolate mixture and very gently fold through.

  • Pipe or spoon the mixture into ramekins that have been very lightly sprayed with cooking oil.

  • Cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least three hours.

  • Remove the cling film and place into an oven preheated to 180C for 14 minutes.

  • Put the ramekin on a plate decorated with thin-piped chocolate or raspberry coulis and shake icing sugar over the whole lot. Serve with a flourish!



  • 1 Beef fillet cut from the centre (weighing 750-800g)


  • 1 Bottle of Bull's Blood Red Wine

  • 1 Tablespoon of dried Herbs de Provence

  • 2 Shallots finely chopped

  • Clove of garlic, crushed

  • Tablespoon of caster sugar


  • 2 Pints of water

  • 200g Quick cook polenta

  • 60g Parmesan cheese grated

  • 100g Gorgonzola cheese, diced tomatoes

  • 6 Ripe plum tomatoes

  • Sea salt

  • Caster sugar

  • 1 Teaspoon of fresh soft thyme leaves

  • 1 Tablespoon of good balsamic vinegar

  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil


For the marinade...
Place all ingredients into a pan, bring to the boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the quantity of liquid has reduced by two thirds. Allow to cool completely.

For the beef...
Trim the beef of any excess fat and sinew. Using a pastry brush, brush the beef liberally with the marinade. Wrap in cling film to form a large sausage shape.

For the polenta...
Bring the water to the boil. Add the polenta and stir with a wooden spoon until it thickens and leaves the side of the pan. Remove from the heat and add the parmesan and gorgonzola, spoon into a tray and spread out until 2inches thick. Allow to cool completely.

For the tomatoes...
Set the oven to 100C. Cut the tomatoes in half and place them cut side up onto a roasting tray. Sprinkle with the salt, sugar and thyme leaves and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Place into the oven for 3-4 hours until semi-dried. Allow them to cool completely before attempting to move them. Once cool transfer to an earthenware dish ready for reheating

Putting it all together...
Keep the oven at 100C. Cut the polenta into 4inch circles using a cutter and fry in a little oil until golden brown on both sides. Keep it warm. Place the tomatoes into the warm oven to heat through.

Slice the beef into four steaks, heat a griddle pan until smoking, brush the steaks with a little oil and cook on the griddle to your preferred degree. Then allow them to rest in the oven for at least 20 minutes.

Serve on warmed dinner plates placing the polenta into the centre, beef on top and tomatoes around. Drizzle some of the juice from the tomatoes over and around the beef.

  • Tony Tobin has been a regular on the BBC's Ready Steady Cook for over a decade and is head chef at The Dining Room in Reigate.

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