Isabelle O'Carroll
Writer and content creator, London

Recipes

A record of some of things I like to cook.

Recipe: deadline dinner, haddock, chorizo and spiralised courgette

Last week under the pressure of deadlines, I made my current favourite Deadline Dinner. Sad food choices make me feel sad, so even when I’m mega busy I want something nice to eat. Oven-baked fish with chorizo, courgette and carrots is good enough to power even the most strenuous of tasks. This was a rush…

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Recipe: root vegetable gratin

Every Christmas there’s always a winning dish, it’s usually something unassuming that didn’t seem like it would take centre stage. Last year it was the super easy red wine braised lentils that blew everyone away and this year I’m happy to say it was once again a vegetable dish that trumped the meat fest. This…

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Recipe: four greens risotto

I’ve just been having a discussion this morning about heating, when you’re freelance and in the house all day do you put the heating on? I usually don’t and bravely suffer the cold until the evening when I need something super hot and cosy to warm me up. This four greens risotto is the perfect…

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Recipe: Tuscan ribollita soup

Don’t get me wrong, I love dirty food with an unashamed passion, – hi embarrassing Chicken Selects addiction – but really, I truly love eating healthy, homecooked food. That feeling of tucking into loads of delicious veg leaves you feeling lovely inside and out, I also get a real kick from cooking. Daks’ designer Sheila…

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Recipe: not my grandmother’s ratatouille

Rowley Leigh talks about the origins of ratatouille in the FT, saying it comes from ‘rata’ which is army slang for food and ‘touiller’ which mearns to stir. When I asked my grandmother how she made ratatouille she scoffed and said: ‘well I get it frozen from Carrefour now!’ After more than 50 years of…

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Recipe: Mexi-Danish brunch

When you wake up with a ravenous hunger, only a Mexican breakfast will do. In Copenhagen, a couple of weekends ago, I made this dish, a kind of mish-mash of chilaquiles and huevos rancheros for my lovely host Fiona. Chilaquiles has a tomato sauce which soaks into freshly-fried pieces of tortilla bread, but here I…

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Recipe: Chorizo and spinach baked eggs

Breakfast is one of my favourite meals, there’s no nicer way to kick off the weekend than inviting some friends over for mid-morning food and an increasingly animated chat as the coffee levs increase. Weekend breakfasts are the best because you can take your time, I usually make something like huevos rancheros or skillet eggs…

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Recipe: Artichoke, ham, mozzarella and comte cheese toastie

Apparently the internet is saying today is Grilled Cheese Day. So I’m doing a recipe for grilled cheese, aka a cheese toastie if you’re from the UK. If the internet told me it was International Jump Off A Cliff Day you’d probs see my Instagrams of the nearing coastline. Cheese toasties are the numero uno…

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Recipe: red wine braised puy lentils

When it’s this cold I immediately turn to lentils, they’re comforting, easy to cook and stupidly cheap. This Christmas I made braised puy lentils and it despite being the cheapest and easiest dish, it was also one of our favourites. The mix of red wine, bones and herbs give it a rich and satisfying flavour,…

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Recipe: Beetroot Gravadlax and Potato Blinis

Gravadlax is one of the few Christmas-appropriate dishes that feels really treaty and momentous but isn’t going to ruin your day by filling you up. It also yields quite a lot so you can eke it out over a few events and parties. I made it up a few days before Christmas and it was…

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Recipe: Super Speedy Fish Tacos

Fish tacos… as a Brit the idea of fish tacos never really appealed until I tried one in New York, fresh but filthy at the same time, lovely chunks of fish with crunchy salad and cold sour cream. I passed out this week in an intense migraine coma and when I woke up started watching…

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Recipe: BBQ Slow-Cooked Pork Ribs and Shoulder

After a few action-packed weekends I concocted a plan with a friend: meat, beer, newspapers. A delicious day of doing pretty much nothing but sipping on a variety of different beers and checking on barbecued meats while sunning ourselves in the garden. We kicked off our plan by meeting at 4.30am in Smithfield market, waking…

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Recipe: Chicken Heart Paté

Don’t you hate it when you have a bag of chicken hearts in the fridge and you just don’t know what to do with them? After a bit of a BBQ Bonanaza (post on this to follow) one weekend I was left with a hefty sack of chicken hearts. They make a great pre-BBQ appetizer,…

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Recipe: Dunjacks, the Dunwich Dynamo savoury flapjack

This evening I’ll be setting off with another few thousand or so cyclists heading to the Suffolk coast on the Dunwich Dynamo. It’s a pretty daunting 120 miles, so packing enough food to keep you going for the nine or so hours of cycling is a big deal. I’ve got some 9 Bars, Gail’s granola…

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Recipe: Spinach Two-Way

Spinach seems to be in abundance at the moment, all those big bunches of shiny green leaves, three for a pound in the market. I’m not normally a spinach-lover, it’s on my list of foods I don’t really love eating but I’ll eat anyway, which is about as far as I’ll go in regards to…

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Recipe: Rhubarb & Apple Crumble

Personality-defining beliefs are made to be broken, I love it when you have a strongly held opinion that you think defines you and then all of a sudden you change your mind. I was a bit like that about crumble, who wants to eat jam and mashed up biscuits? I had obviously only ever had…

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Recipe: Huevos Rancheros

I went to bed on Friday dreaming of a breakfast of eggs poached in tomatoes and dripping with yoghurt and readers, that is what I got. Wandering downstairs I found my flatmate frying off onions and peppers, she turned to me and said: “do you fancy huevos rancheros?” Do I?! Like with my chicken liver…

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Recipe: Chicken Liver Chilli

When I get a bit stressed out I start to make big batches of food to freeze. Cooking itself really relaxes me, all that chopping is pretty meditative and I love messing about in the spice cupboard. I don’t know if in a past life I was brought up when there was a war on…

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Recipe: Vietnamese Meatballs

I love Vietnamese food, especially when sick and after a bit of a cold I started getting a big craving. I had some pork and beef mince in the freezer, so Vietnamese meatballs seemed perfect. They’re kind of like your everyday meatball but packed with loads of delicious ingredients like coriander, ginger, chilli and lime….

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Recipe: A French Meal for Papi

This time last year, my French grandfather passed away quite suddenly. I’d been thinking for a while the best way to commemorate the day, my grandmother will be holding prayers tomorrow in France but as we can’t be with her I wanted to do something. My grandfather Emile, far right, with my grandmother, his children…

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Recipe: Spicy Rice and Grated Salad

This recipe comes to you by slightly popular demand from Wolf Whistle, it’s not so much a recipe as ‘wtf can I make for dinner?’ The rice is a variation on the spiced rice I have made before and the grated salad is a brilliant side veg for summer which goes with anything from summer…

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Recipe: Granny’s Soda Bread

After a phone call from my gran my dad had a word in my ear about my blog. I often mention my French roots but my Irish side, which is a whole half, gets a bit looked over. So to celebrate St Patrick’s Day I thought I’d post my granny’s (prize-winning!) recipe for soda bread….

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Recipe: Paella for 40

February is fashion month, but it also seems to be a bit of a birthday bonanza in my circle of friends. We celebrated with ale trains, fancy pub canapés, breton buffets and the climax of it all was a surprise birthday paella for one of my friends held at ours. It was a lovely day…

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Recipe: US Style Skillet Eggs

I woke up with a real craving for a US-style breakfast on Friday, I was specifically craving Ella’s skillet eggs. I don’t think I will ever forget them, not least because I was out of my mind on jet lag when I ate them, but also because the hearty combo of eggs, potato, peppers and…

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Escape to Pett Level

A little before Christmas I went on a country escape with some friends. Pett Level is tucked between Hastings and Rye, south coast beach towns rule my world. Getting away for a bit is highly recommended, even if it’s just a country walk. We spent the weekend charity shopping, walking along beaches, drinking ales, listening…

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New York Eats pt1

This is the first installment of my New York Eats, it’s not really a guide, more Everything I Ate In New York. I really enjoyed getting my food on, from the grossest fast food like Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits to the sublime, definitely Maison Premiere oysters. Erm, so a minute before this picture I was…

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I love chicken hearts

I first tried chicken hearts at Yoisho on Goodge St, a izakaya-style restaurant that feels like really being in Japan. They were surprisingly delicious, kind of like a cross between lamb and liver, if you like liver definitely give these a go. Chicken hearts are really cheap, we paid a few quid in our local…

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Food recipes for post-wisdom teeth extraction

Recently I had some teeth out, three pesky wisdoms to be precise, still horrified from the dentist dropping one of my teeth down my throat and nearly choking me to death – seriously – I was looking for some comfort food. The list of foods I could eat in my de-wisdomed state was pretty depressing,…

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