Tuesday, 24 September 2013


Gruyere Corn Gratin

It’s hard to think of a better side dish that goes with pretty much everything. Fresh crunchy salad, roast potatoes or Yorkshire puddings are all contenders  but they all fall just short of this delicious accompaniment. The rich cheese combined with the sweetness of the corn is perfect already and that’s before you’ve even added a crunchy bread topping and yet more crispy cheese. Rich, hearty and full of flavour with not half as many carbs as the macaroni cheese version.

Serve this up alongside guacamole, salsa, crispy veg and French stick. It's really good as a sharing dish too and of course works alongside any meats.

Gruyere Corn Gratin

Cooking / Preparation Time - 45mins

Feeds 4/6

Ingredients -

3 x Corn on the cobs
100g of Gruyere Cheese (vegetarian versions available online) - Finely grated
1/2 x White Onion - Cubed
2 x Cloves of garlic - Crushed and finely sliced
1 x Handful of coriander - Finley sliced
1 x Handful of crunchy baguette breadcrumbs
60g Butter
50g of Plain flour
1 x Tsp of English mustard
Salt & black pepper

Instructions -

Start by taking a sharp knife and removing the corn kernels from the cob and put to one side.

Melt the butter on a medium heat and add the flour before whisking continuously a thick paste starts to form. Next add the salt and mustard followed with small dashes of milk and continue to stir. As soon as the milk is absorbed into the paste add another dash and continue this process until all the milk absorbed. You will now have a thick, rich sauce. Add in the corn kernels, onions, garlic, coriander and grated gruyere to your sauce (saving a small handful of gruyere to add to the top), stir well then add to a ovenproof dish. Add the roughly cut breadcrumbs and grated gruyere before baking in the oven for 25minutes and serving.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

The Truscott Arms

The Truscott Arms -

Just gonna put it out there straight away... this place is an absolute gem. Part of me doesn't even want to tell anyone else about it and keep it to myself. That would be a shame though, everyone should try the food here, it's worth travelling for. People come here for the meat. Every forkful melted in my mouth  and the produce itself was clearly of the highest quality. The restaurant is a member of SRA, (Sustainable Restaurant Association) which matters due to the veggie boyfriend) so the guilt was minimal. 

Notably this is a beautifully resorted building that is only further complimented by 
South African Michelin Star Chef, Etienne Bruwer and everything that comes out of his kitchen. 

I'm a recent fan of edible flowers and always try to use seasonal produce where possible when cooking my own dishes.  I was happy to see both at The Truscott Arms. Everything looked amazing, was cooked to perfection and I really fell in love with pretty much every dish on the menu. Everything was amazing - From the starters of Fresh Sardines with Heirloom Tomatoes or the Scallops with Cauliflower Puree and Shellfish Reduction through to the main courses of 35 day Dry Aged Ribeye, Girolle Mushrooms, Cocotte Potatoes and Confit Beetroot or the Roasted Gnocchi with Barigoule Artichokes with Kohlrabi and Onion Crumb. Dessert needless to say also didn't disappoint, the Caramel and Vanilla Mousse Cake with English Fruits and Raspberry Sorbet alongside the Orange and Valhrona Chocolate Tart with Lovage Ice Cream meant I wasn't left hungry. 

The wine list shouldn't be left out here either as not only was it over 100 strong but it offered a real interesting mix.  The staff were keen to lend their expertise and we were recommended a bold red from Lebanon which did not disappoint. 

I'm already planning my next trip (I've heard the Sunday roast sharing platters are supposed to be pretty up there!)

This Weeks 'Reluctant Vegetarian' Blog on The Independent Corn Gratin

Wednesday, 11 September 2013



After 10 days holidaying in Italy where the bare minimum consumed was 3 bowls of pasta per day  plus a shed load of booze I was in dire need of a body overall. This seemed like the only option in order to revisit the waistline I had left with.
Last year I completed the protein option which  not as low in calories but super healthy at the same time and not at all carby. This time round I defo needed to be stricter and even healthier still, hence opting for the 800 calorie a day 'Green Menu' with a load of fruit juices, vitamins and antioxidants.

In all honesty I was pretty impressed at how many ways you can do greens, the Broccoli and Bok Choi Broth was one to note. It felt super healthy, tasted really flavoursome and was surprisingly filling as was the Courgette Noodles (a dish I've made before - the spiraliser is the trick with this one). The Kiwi, Broccoli and Lime Juice was also pretty tasty.

The bit that I'm definitely into is the vitamins and the juices (and the fact it's delivered to your house each day!) These make all the difference and set this detox aside from whats possible at home. I'm completely unreliable at sticking to any self imposed detox at home, the juices never get made and I get too easily distracted by anything that looks nice when passing the grocers. 

The Detox kitchen makes it easy enough to stick too (although I might have had a few very small additions) and after 3 days of everything green you can't help but feel and look better. 

Order your detox here-


Really Fit Simple Lemon Drizzle Cake

175g x Butter - softened
175g x Caster sugar
2 x Lemons
3x Free range eggs
100g x Self-raising flour
75g x Ground almonds
1 x Tbsp of milk
100g x Demerara sugar


Pre Heat to oven to 180 degrees.
Combine the sugar and butter together until it turns soft and fluffy and add the entire zest of one lemon.
Then combine all three eggs and a pinch of salt. 
Sift over the flour and fold in, then add in the almonds then add a tbsp of milk.
Add the mixture to your loaf tin - make sure you add grease proof paper first.
Cook for 50 to 55 minutes, check it's cooked by prodding with a skewer - none of the mixture should come out on the skewer if it's cooked through. 

For the lemon drizzle bit combine the juice of both lemons, the zest of one lemon and the demerara sugar then poke around 10 holes in the cake and pour over the drizzle mixture. Do this while the cake is still warm so the sugar melts. 
Let the cake cool and serve.