Chef's Kitchen: Tapa Toro's Mussels Con Chorizo, Coca de Res

By Allison Walker Torres, Entertainment Reporter/Anchor
Last Updated: Wednesday, May 03, 2017, 10:53 AM EDT

If you're craving a sexier, surprising bite, Orlando's Tapa Toro delivers those international flavors.

Chef Wendy Lopez took us into her smokin' hot kitchen inside the I-Drive 360 restaurant. She chose to prepare mussels with a Spanish-style chorizo.

“(It's a) very classic Spanish tapa that I kinda added some contemporariness to it," she said.

Chef says her chorizo of choce is less spicy and drier than Latin-American-style chorizo. She also uses shishito peppers.

“You won't get the spicy 'like you’re going to die' (kick),” she assured us.

Chef also showed off Coca de Res. It's a flatbread, of sorts, with aioli, onions, blue cheese crumbles and roast beef.

"We sous-vide (the beef)," she said, "which means that we cook it slowly, under pressure."

Let's cook!

Coca de Res

Ingredients:

• 1 baguette or rustic bread
• 3 oz roast beef, thinly sliced
• 2 tsp garlic aioli
• 1 small white onion, thinly sliced
• ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese

Instructions:

In a wide and shallow sauté pan, caramelize the onions with a teaspoon of vegetable oil. Cook until the onions are soft and golden brown.

While the onions are caramelizing, slice the bread long ways with a serrated knife. Toast the bread until lightly browned. Top the open-faced bread with garlic aioli.

Shingle the roast beef slices on top of the bread. Top the roast beef with caramelized onions and blue cheese.

Bake in a 350°F oven for 6 — 8 minutes.

Slice into bite-sized pieces. Top with arugula, sautéed mushrooms or balsamic glaze to taste.

Mejillones con Chorizo

Ingredients:

• 15 mussels, washed and beards removed
• ½ cup Spanish dry chorizo, diced
• 1 tbsp garlic, minced
• 6 oz shishito peppers
• 2 oz butter, small cubes
• 3 oz dry white wine or dry vermouth
• ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
• 1 tsp parsley, finely chopped

Instructions:

Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add chorizo, garlic and mussels to pan. Cook over high heat until the garlic is golden brown and the oils from the chorizo start to render, then bring stove to low-medium heat.

Add shishto peppers, peppers flakes, white wine and salt and pepper to taste. Cover pan with a lid until the mussels open.

Add parsley and butter. Swirl butter in pan until it melts and forms a butter sauce.

Valencian Arnold Palmer

Ingredients:

• 1 oz Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka
• ¾ oz Licor 43
• ¾ oz brandy
• 1 oz simple syrup
• Splash soda water
• Fresh lemon and orange

Instructions:
In a cocktail shaker, muddle citrus and combine wet ingredients. Shake and strain into a Collins glass with ice. Garnish with lemon wheel.