12 Apr2009

octopus3

So I had the 1-1.5 kilo octopus in the cooler. And no recipe books to help me proceed. I did recall seeing octopus hanging out to dry in a Greek cookbook I browsed through once, so I assumed drying it was a useful step and I did that for an hour. Then I recall a show on Food TV that distinctly stated the octopus had to be beaten rather violently to let the muscles or fibers in its tentacles relax and result in a more tender texture. But this octopus seemed so small and I didn’t want to beat it, (though i realize now from Sha’s comment in the previous post that I could have whacked it against the rocks by the sea) so I opted to boil it in water for about an hour instead. It seemed tender enough when it emerged, then I dried it off, peeled off any bits of skin that weren’t clinging stubbornly to the tentacles, and fired up the grill. Ugh, a note on cleaning it, though… a fairly messy process, I assure you.

octopus1

I tossed the boiled and dried octopus in some very good olive oil, generous amouns of sea salt and some freshly cracked black pepper and grilled it over hot coals for just a minute or two on each side. This dried off the outer portion of the skin, provided a very slight charring and crisped up the ends of the tentacles. Next I sliced the octopus into 1/3 to 1/2 inch pieces, added an equal amount of peeled shrimp, added more superb olive oil and a pinch more of salt and pepper and some sliced thai chillies for color and a bit of spice. Transfer this to a serving platter and add a few slices of lemon and it’s ready for the table…

octopus4

It was pretty good for a first ever attempt. The octopus were indeed a touch chewy because I didn’t beat the muscles out of it, but it was a pleasant chewy, with just a hint of resistance, not old chewing gum chewy. It paired well with the shrimp and this entire platter of salad was gone in minutes. Several guests were skeptical about MM’s octopus experiment, but once they tasted it, they were back for seconds and I wish I had purchased two octopus instead. Well, now I know. Easy to do, very economical, a bit exotic, and a terrific starter for a beach side lunch. Next time throw in some grilled mussels, scallops, etc. and it will be a full-fledged grilled seafood salad!

octopus2

Top photo by MM. All other photos taken by the Teen.

 

COMMENTS:

  1. MrsKookie says:

    Wow… Definitely looks good! Great shots from the Teen :) Happy Easter to you and the family!

    Apr 12, 2009 | 7:39 am

     
  2. Apicio says:

    This reminds me of the farmer who was ordering mongoose but did not know its plural so he just ordered one and casually added, as a matter of fact, make that two. Clever critters these octopodes.

    Apr 12, 2009 | 7:51 am

     
  3. sanojmd says:

    Hmmm.. nice shots by the teen. this is certaiinly becoming a family blog..hehehe. with photography bythe Teen..

    Apr 12, 2009 | 7:57 am

     
  4. bearhug0127 says:

    Everything looks delicious. Of course, must taste good too.Yummy…Did you have any sinamak with you to go with these?

    Apr 12, 2009 | 7:57 am

     
  5. Marketman says:

    Apicio, hahaha, you nailed it on the head, I had no idea if plural was octopi, octopuses (pretty sure it wasn’t that) or whatever… and was too lazy to look it up. :) bearhug, we did have sinamak, which we tried with plain grilled octopus and it was good… but I wouldn’t add sinamak to the dish in the photo and waste all the good olive oil…

    Apr 12, 2009 | 8:03 am

     
  6. Marketman says:

    Apicio, duh, I should have gone with instinct, after now googling it, there are three acceptable forms of the plural of octopus… octopi, octopuses and octopodes. Okay, learned something early today, can vege the rest of this Easter Sunday. And yes, HAPPY EASTER to all of you out there!!!

    Apr 12, 2009 | 8:06 am

     
  7. bearhug0127 says:

    MM, you are right. Wouldn’t want to waste good olive oil, but sinamak is pretty good on plain inihaw with lots of tomatoes and onions. Thanks, I learned the plural of octopus today. Never looked it up.

    Apr 12, 2009 | 8:40 am

     
  8. Connie C says:

    So Apicio: mongoose, mongooses, mongeese or mongi? Just trying to be facetious.

    Apr 12, 2009 | 9:54 am

     
  9. millet says:

    hahaha..nice, MM, and nice, too, Apicio…you’re in fine form! nice way to start Easter! happy easter, everyone!

    Apr 12, 2009 | 10:17 am

     
  10. zena says:

    Arresting opening photo! Really got my attention with the long curly tentacles. And yes, the rest of the shots were good. Makes you wanna pierce the screen with a fork. Congratulations on the first (successful) attempt at octopus, MM. How indeed could this dish be considered sacrifice?

    Apr 12, 2009 | 11:23 am

     
  11. mrs lavendula says:

    kudos to the Teen! nice shots! im sure the dish was delectable as well!

    Apr 12, 2009 | 2:31 pm

     
  12. Mila says:

    I was expecting someone to mention the Bond movie that might have been the answer to plurality of the sea critter, but I guess octopussies would have been too much to expect heehee.
    My vote’s for “mongeese” lol!
    Happy Easter MM and family!

    Apr 12, 2009 | 3:55 pm

     
  13. ragamuffin girl says:

    mongooses, or rarely, mongeese (accdg to wikipedia haha)

    Apr 12, 2009 | 4:37 pm

     
  14. Roberto Vicencio says:

    Back in 99 or 2000, we were at Darwin in the Northern Territories of Australia, and we stumbled upon a Greek restaurant at the quay (what a pier is called in Australia) and grilled octopus tentacles became our favorite. Simply done yet very satisfying. Grilled over charcoal, drizzled with lemon and olive oil, it was one of the best dishes I have had.

    Apr 12, 2009 | 8:38 pm

     
  15. shalimar says:

    some chef’s secret, put that octapodi (thats what the greeks call it) in the kitchen aid use the wide paddle to soften it… it worked for one yacht I was on…

    When you boil the octapodi, add bay leaves, onions… to add flavour. My sis has promised to send me her Greek Ma in law recipe.

    She would keep the octapodia (plural of octapodi) for weeks marinated in a brine.
    So soft… then my part is to transport those jars to London… ;-)

    Apr 12, 2009 | 10:16 pm

     
  16. angbukaw says:

    Hellooo, octolegsomes! Meet mah belleh. Get into mah belleh.

    Apr 13, 2009 | 5:16 am

     
  17. Marketfan says:

    Does anybody have a good Pasta Negra recipe?

    Apr 13, 2009 | 4:39 pm

     
  18. Franky says:

    @Mila: Octupus – octopi?

    “We haff ways of making you talk”. Or is it from Goldfinger?

    Apr 13, 2009 | 5:04 pm

     
  19. Katrina says:

    While going through the post, I immediately noticed the last three photos as being different from your usual, and was planning to leave a comment about them. So I was pleased to discover they were taken by The Teen! I like how they’re a bit off-kilter and use lines in a dynamic manner. :-)

    Apr 13, 2009 | 5:43 pm

     
  20. evel says:

    nice photos by the teen!

    Apr 13, 2009 | 8:19 pm

     
  21. Edwin D. says:

    Happy Easter to all. That grilled octopus sure looks good. Thanks for the photos MM.

    Apr 14, 2009 | 3:16 am

     
  22. isi kesner says:

    yummy! i want this!

    Apr 14, 2009 | 7:06 am

     
  23. marissewalangkaparis says:

    Yummy…looks so good! Really good first attempt MM. The TEEN is developing her own style…GREAT!! Happy Easter everyone!!

    Apr 14, 2009 | 9:09 am

     
  24. reel & grill says:

    wow, that’s really yummy for a first attempt….

    Apr 14, 2009 | 10:53 am

     
  25. lee says:

    less than ten: octofew

    Apr 14, 2009 | 11:31 am

     
  26. fmed says:

    I’m thinking a pressure cooker is just the ticket to tenderize octopus.

    Apr 16, 2009 | 1:16 pm

     
 

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