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Octopus

I’m always hunting around in the supermarket for something new and today I saw some octopus on the fresh fish counter. I enjoy octopus when I have it but I have never cooked it before.

The fishmonger took out the ink sacs for me so I bought two. I know a fantastic Greek recipe which I had in Rhodes a few years ago - octopus with feta cheese in chopped tomato with black olives and garlic. Very good. Has anyone another suggestion they might share with me? Not all my friends would enjoy octopus I think so I must choose my company carefully. My pressure cooker might come in here as I remember octopus can be chewy.

Mark

We always have octopus for Christmas dinner - bashed with a steak hammer after discarding the head / body, then boiled, then cooked as usual with a shipload of garlic, onions, chilli & potatoes. Exact recipe is OH’s secret :slight_smile:

Mark,

Pressure cooker could be the answer - as lovely as Octopus is - it does - if l can remember take a long slow cooking time.Lots of onions/garlic/toms. The last one l had was in Portugal - 29yrs ago -Husband caught it when out diving. The local fisherman showed him how you have to bash it against the rocks to tenderise it. Of course they might have been taking the mickey!!!

Squid is another that is best cooked very briefly or for a long slow simmer. Last night we had Sea Bream - out of the freezer - but one of many that my OH caught on a fishing trip to Weymouth last october. Tonight, we had fresh Trout - and yes the same hunter gatherer caught it to-day!! Now actually thats a lie - he went fishing with a friend - the friend caught 3 - OH Nil - but friends wife will not let him bring ‘real fish’ into his house so we got them. Cooked one tonight - butter/lemon/almonds in the oven. By real fish - l mean she will only cook ‘fillets’. No fish with heads/tails/guts/eyes etc.

Tomorrrow Mark -as it is my daughters birthday - she has booked [six months in advance] for us to go to The Hand &Flowers at Marlow. lt is the only pub with 2 Michelin stars run by Tom Kerridge. lt will take us about 2hrs to get there. Guess who will be driving back home? l shall have to have a couple of strong expressos. l will let you know what we had to eat on friday. You can look at the menu on-line. ln fact l think l might decide beforehand what to have - as l can be so indecisive when out. We are bound to have something different so that we can compare/share.

Bon appetite!

Fx

No it’s quite true and I have seen Greek fisherman doing exactly the same thing, although they might turn the poor creature inside out first. Still, it tasted good fresh from the barbecue, so didn’t die in vain.

I left out the Korean preference for eating it alive.

Cooking Octopus**:**

Cooking and Preparing Octopus:

Octopuses have an enjoyable mild flavour, with a texture similar to that of squids, though more dense.

Prepare the fresh octopus for cooking. Cut off the eyes and beak. Use the opening to turn the head inside out and remove the ink sac and intestines. Rinse the entire octopus under warm running water for one minute.

Cook octopus quickly over a high heat or simmer slowly. Marinating will help to tenderise the flesh and strengthen the flavour for enhanced results when cooking quickly.

Octopus is tough at the best of times. Among octopus-cooking cultures, there are all sorts of recommendations for tenderizing it.

Greek Style is to beat it against a smooth rock or throw it onto a cement path 100 times, then rub it on the rock in a circular movement sprinkling it with seawater until the tentacles become curly or the membrane between them can be easily torn. Many Octopus that you buy prepared have been placed in a cement mixer with rocks for several hours!

Spanish Style is to dip it into boiling water three times, then cook it in a copper pot.

Italian cooks boil it with a cork (it is believed that enzymes in the cork tenderise the octopus)

The Japanese beat it with mallets.

Think OH must be Japanese - he has a special Octopus hammer :slight_smile: and I forgot to add lots and lots of red wine in the recipe xxx

Cheers m’dears.

we used to buy small octopi and put them in a jar of water for the children in our nursery to look at.

not many mums liked it but the kids were fascinated

carole x

If you freeze it, then it become tender. I’ve eaten it raw(ish) and it’s nice, but you have to love Japanese food to appreciate its subtlety. Jellyfish is much more interesting.

The way that octopus cooked here is as whammel describes above, it’s spooky, it’s almost as though he’s been here and eaten it…

I hope you enjoy it - I can quite fancy that cement mixer recipe!

xxx