With Celebrity Masterchef hitting our screens next week, we have three lovely tapas recipes from Masterchef 2021 quarter finalist Michele Rodriquez-Wise.
Michele is a creative and innovative designer by trade whose passion for food, family and design all stem from her warm Spanish heritage. Having grown up with creative parents, Michele has experienced different cultures and worlds and applied all of those to her exquisite repertoire of dishes.
Michele’s passion for food, wine, hotels and restaurants is something she grew up with. Her parents came from the hotel and restaurant industry, running their own restaurant for over 30 years in Valencia, Spain where her elderly mother still lives today! More recently, Michele appeared on Series 17 of MasterChef where she battled the competition to make it to the quarter finals. Her dishes were loved by many, with TV personality, Greg Wallace stating “It’s a very brave thing to do, and in that I’m quite impressed” following Michele’s first ever attempt at a Thai curry without using curry paste.
Having five daughters and two dogs, Michele understands and appreciates how a home needs to function and integrate in order to satisfy the needs of the individual and the broader family.
Montadito of Pork Fillet with Grilled Manchego Cheese and Padron Pepper
• 1 Whole pork fillet, 1 cm slices
• 2 tbs olive oil
• 1 Large French Baguette
• 12 Padron Peppers
• 2 Cloves of garlic crushed
• 300 gms Manchego Cheese or Mature Cheddar (grated or thinly sliced)
• Salt & Pepper
• Pimenton Dulce (Spanish Sweet Paprika) for Garnish
1. Take off any white sinue from fillet and slice into 1 cm slices. Sprinkle sliced pork with salt and little black pepper. 2. In a medium non-stick frying pan, heat oil to medium to high heat. Add pork slices, you may need to do this in two batches. 3. Fry pork on medium heat until browned nicely, turning frequently for approximately 3 – 4mins.
4. Turn heat down and add garlic and stir until light golden brown. Leave pork to rest in pan.
5. Add tablespoon of oil to a separate frying pan bring to medium to high heat and add patron peppers, fry for approximately 2 mins turning constantly. The skin will turn opaque/ brown this shows they are ready. Remove from pan with slotted spoon onto piece of kitchen roll.
6. Slice Baguette into 1/2cm slices. Gently toast either on griddle or grill until lightly golden. 7. Bring grill up to medium heat, arrange toasted bread onto grill or oven tray. On top of the toasted bread add slice of pork fillet, then cheese on top of pork. Pop under grill until cheese has melted / gently bubbling. 8. Quickly remove from grill pan and arrange on long serving dish or large round dish. Add one patron pepper on top and secure with cocktail stick.
9. Lightly sprinkle Pimenton over Montaditos and dish.
Clams with White Rioja Wine and Serrano Ham
• 1 kilo of clams (preferably fresh) if not frozen (thaw before cooking)
• 100 ml of Olive Oil
• Small white Spanish onion or Shallot finely chopped
• 4 large garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
• 150 ml of white Rioja wine (or dry white wine)
• 6 Slices of Serrano ham (one small packet)
• 1/2 tsp of hot pimenton (Spanish spice normally in small tin) or paprika
• 1/2 tsp of sweet pimenton
• 1 tsp of plain flour
• Salt & pepper to Taste
• Garnish with small handful of chopped flat leaf parsley
1. If you are lucky enough to get fresh clams (these can be purchased from supermarket or fishmonger and now online) Soak fresh clams in a large bowl for approximately 20 mins in cold water so that all the grit can be released. Rinse thoroughly in cold water. Please discard any that don’t close after tapping firmly with a metal spoon or and that are broken.
2. In a large deep-frying pan with lid, heat oil on a medium heat and fry the finely chopped onion, garlic for approx 5 mins. Please ensure they are not over cooked and brown; onions should be transparent. When cooked add chopped ham. Approx 6 mins.
3. Keeping it at a medium heat add your pimenton spices and the flour and stir constantly for approximately 30 seconds. Now add your white wine ensuring you are stirring all the time. The wine will fizz keep stirring until all ingredients come together.
4. Drain clams and add, turn up your heat and stir or shake the clams vigorously making sure they have been mixed in well. Season to taste with salt and black pepper, don’t add to much as your clams are naturally salted and the salt from the ham adds an amazing flavour. The clams will release beautiful juices which will add to the sauce. 5. Add your chopped parsley to the pan and then place tight fitting lid and cook on medium heat for approximately 3 minutes or until all your clams have opened. If using frozen clams may only need 2 mins. (If you see any clams that have not opened, please throw away)!
6. Give it a last stir and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve into small bowls or individual dishes with some lovely crusty fresh bread and a fresh glass of chilled white wine.
Potatoes with Spicy Chorizo, Red Pepper & Tomato, Garnished with a Fried Egg
• 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) olive oil, or as needed
• 4 Medium, potatoes, or equivalent in New Potatoes. Approx 2 lb. (1 kg) total weight, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices. If using large potatoes cut into quarters.
• 8 oz. (250 g) Spanish chorizo sausage sliced approx I/2 cm slices
• 1 white onion, chopped
• 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped into strips or roasted red peppers in jar, sliced into strips
• 3 cloves of garlic cloves, minced
• 1 tsp. Pimentón dulce (sweet Spanish smoked pepper) (Paprika)
• 1/2 tsp of dried chillies
• 120 ml or 4 fl.oz tomato passata or chopped tomato
• Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
• 4 eggs, 1 fried egg per person if serving in large dish, alternatively 1 quail egg for small tapas dish
• 2 tbs / handful of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
• In a large frying pan heat olive oil for minute or two Add the sliced potatoes and sauté, stirring often, until pale gold, 10 to 15 minutes. Should be soft in middle. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a dish.
• Add the chorizo to the pan and fry on medium heat stirring and turning often, until crisp and brown, about 3 / 4 minutes, if the mixtures is a little dry add a little more oil. Using slotted spoon or tongs, transfer to a dish.
• Add the chopped onion to the pan and sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 15 mins, garlic, pimentos, dried chilli and sauté until the onion has absorbed all the spices, then add tomatoes and simmer for approximately about 8 minutes.
• Return the potato and chorizo to the pan and bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, cover tightly and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 10 -15 minutes.
• Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large serving dish or individual dishes.
• Fry eggs leaving yolk runny. Serve one per person or portion.
• Sprinkle with the parsley and serve warm. Serves 8