Our MKR Instant Restaurant recipes!

Our MKR Instant Restaurant recipes!

Sophie and Katherine’s Instant Restaurant on MKR 2022 was ‘Hearth’ – because the hearth is the heart of the home and the place everyone gathers to feel welcome and connected. Manu took one look at their show-stopping menu of world flavours and ‘wanted to eat all of it’. He did – and then gave them a great score too! Here’s how to make all three dishes at home.

Twice-cooked octopus with green romesco, slow-roast tomatoes and jamon crumb 

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 2 hours

Serves: 12


4 kg large (600g-Ikg each) octopus, cleaned

8 bay leaves

4 garlic cloves, smashed

4 shallots, peeled and halved

4 tbs cooking salt

8 tbs extra virgin olive oil

 For the green romesco

6 bunches parsley, stalks removed

2 jalapeno chillies

4 cloves garlic, peeled

160g hazelnuts, toasted and skins removed

2 tsp Spanish smoked paprika

4 tsp sea salt

4tbs white wine vinegar

400ml extra virgin olive oil

 For the slow roast tomatoes

1.2kg ripe medium-small tomatoes (Sampari)

Extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt flakes

 For the jamon crumb:

50g fatty jamon, finely diced

200 ml olive oil

200g fresh breadcrumbs

To serve: micro herbs/parsley leaves, extra virgin olive oil



  1. Place octopus in a pressure cooker, along with the garlic, shallot, bay leaves, salt and enough water to cover.
  2. Bring up to pressure then turn heat down and pressure cook for 12 - 15 minutes. (The cooking time depends very much on the size of the octopus: 12 minutes if they are 600g, and 15 minutes if they are Ikg each). When done, de-pressure, remove and cool.
  3. Cut tentacles off legs and toss gently in olive oil.
  4. Preheat a barbecue to high and cook tentacles till nicely charred on each side.

For the green romesco sauce

  1. In a food processor, pulse chop the hazelnuts. Remove.
  2. Pulse chop the parsley, jalapeno and garlic. Add the chopped hazelnuts, paprika, salt, vinegar and oil and process till a thick, chunky sauce.

For the tomatoes

  1. Preheat the oven to 150C. Halve the tomatoes, place on a baking paper lined tray, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt.
  2. Roast for 1-2 hours or until starting to dry out and brown but still juicy. 

For the jamon

  1. Heat oil and cook diced jamon till the fat has rendered and the jamon is crisp. Remove.
  2. In the same oil, fry breadcrumbs till crunchy and golden. Stir through the jamon and reserve. 

To serve

On each plate, spoon an 8cm diameter circle of green romesco. Place 5 overlapping tomato halves in the centre of the sauce and top with an octopus tentacle. Place a line of jamon crumb down the centre of the plate, drizzle olive oil around and garnish with a few small parsley leaves or microherbs.


Roast spatchcock with nduja, fresh corn polenta and grilled radicchio

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 1 hour

Serves: 12


6 free-range spatchcocks, 600g each, butterflied and halved, backbones and wing tips reserved

2 tbs fennel seeds, toasted and ground

3.5 tsp seasalt

4 tbs olive oil

300 g nduja, brought to room temperature to soften

200g mascarpone

Zest of 1 lemon

2 tsp thyme leaves, chopped

For the sauce

60ml olive oil

4 shallots, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

Reserved backbones and wing tips, chopped

4 sprigs thyme

2 l chicken stock

8 tbs vinocotto

2 tbs red wine vinegar

4 tbs unsalted butter

For the corn polenta:

1.5kg fresh corn kernels

120g unsalted butter

500g Greek yoghurt

150g Parmesan, grated

1.8 l water

400g instant polenta

For the radicchio:

4 head of radicchio, sliced into 6 wedges

Olive oil

Sea salt

50ml vinocotto


Zest of 2 lemons

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 bunches parsley, leaves only, chopped 



  1. In a small bowl, mix softened nduja with mascarpone, 1 tbsp of the ground fennel, the lemon zest and thyme.
  2. Gently separate the skin from the spatchcocks and slip half a tablespoonful of nduja mixture under the skin of each breast and thigh.
  3. Mix remaining fennel, salt and oil and rub all over the spatchcocks.
  4. Preheat an oven to 200 and place spatchcocks on baking paper lined trays.
  5. Roast for 30 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
  6. Rest, then cut in halves.

For the sauce

  1. In a non-stick frying pan, heat oil and brown spatchcock trimmings.
  2. Add shallot and garlic, cover with stock, add thyme and simmer for 45 minutes
  3. Strain, reduce by half, add vinocotto and season. 

For the corn polenta:

  1. In a food process, blitz the corn to a paste.
  2. Pour into a large saucepan, with the butter, yoghurt, parmesan, salt and water.
  3. Bring up to heat, simmer for 10 minutes then lower the temperature and add the polenta, stirring for 5 minutes or until cooked.

For the radicchio:

  1. Oil and season each wedge of radicchio and chargrill on a hot barbecue or in a frying pan till browned and becoming tender. Drizzle with vinocotto. 

For the gremolata:

  1. Mix all ingredients.

To serve

  1. On each plate, place a spoonful of polenta, a spatchcock half, and grilled radicchio on the side. Drizzle all round with the vinocotto sauce. Sprinkle with gremolata

Fig leaf semi-freddo with grilled figs and Pedro Ximenez syrup

Prep time: 4 hours   

Cook time: 10 minutes             

Serves: 12-14


750mls pure cream

6 eggs, separated

110g caster sugar

Pinch salt

37g honey

6 large fig leaves

150g pistachio kernels, crushed.

For the figs:

6 large figs (7 for 14)

40g caster sugar

For the syrup:

375mls Pedro Ximenez sherry



  1. Toast pistachio nuts, cool, and crush lightly.
  2. For the Semi-freddo: warm cream till barely simmering and add crushed fig leaves. Add a pinch of salt and set aside to infuse, then refrigerate till cold (otherwise it won’t whisk – this is important!). Whisk egg yolks with 75g of the sugar, and all of the honey, till pale and thick, at least 5 minutes. Whip egg whites to soft peak stage. Strain cream, whisk, and carefully fold through the egg yolk/sugar mixture, nuts and egg whites.  Pour into one, or two smaller, tins to freeze for at least four hours.  We use two tins with the dimensions: 7cmH x 10cmD x 25cmL
  3. For the figs: halve figs, press cut side into caster sugar, grill on a BBQ flat plate, set aside to cool. Boil the Pedro Ximinez till syrupy, then cool.
  4. To serve: remove the semi-freddo from the freezer to soften for 20minutes before serving, then serve in slices with the grilled figs and syrup. You can also slice the semi-freddo completely frozen, in which case leave it for 10 minutes before serving.

Want to try these recipes but don't have much time on your hands? Looking for something just as delicious? Click here to fill your freezer with fabulous Dinner Ladies dishes today!

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