Critique Large octopus

Joined
Sep 13, 2007
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Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
This octopus weighs 4 pounds. If I remember correctly, each tentacle is a serving. (EDIT: That's now confirmed.) I'll cook two of them for tonight's supper with my wife.

Setup
The tabletop is a floor tile. Two medium continuous-light lamps, one in the top left area and one in the bottom right area, were pointed upward toward a large white reflector. The scene was lit entirely by indirect light for the purpose of minimizing glare, which can be especially problematic on the animal's shiny surface. (Notice that I didn't eliminate the glare in the tabletop's top left corner.)


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Last edited:
Joined
Sep 13, 2007
Messages
11,482
Location
Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
Thank you to Gary and Nick!

How will it be cooked?
OCTOPUS
Octopus with Paprika and Lemon Juice
Serves 2


For a winter meal, serve over cumin potatoes and carrots with a pinot noir glaze.
For a summer meal, serve over a mixture of spinach and grilled plums or grapes
and sauteed shallots.


1 pound raw octopus (It will reduce to 1/2 pound during cooking.)

Group 1
3/4 bottle dry red wine
large splash of olive oil
2 tspn garlic, pressed
1 cup onions coarsely chopped
1 cup carrots coarsely chopped
3 wine corks

Group 2
2 tspn smoked paprika (you can't use too much)
small splash of olive oil to taste
1 tspn Sriracha sauce (more or less to taste)

lemon juice to taste

Cilantro, torn for garnish (it doesn't need to be chopped)

Initial Preparation

Cut the head off the octopus close to the top of the tentacles. Remove the insides of the head. Insert your finger through the opening in the body at the top of the tentacles to push out the beak on the opposite side. Pull out the mouth in the same area. Discard the beak, mouth and insides of the head.

Chop the onions and carrots. Press the garlic.

Cooking
Add the Group 1 ingredients to a 1 1/2 quart saucepan, mix and bring the liquid to a slight boil. Add the octopus head and tentacles to the saucepan. Cover the pan with a clear top, turn the heat to low and keep the liquid at a slight simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove some octopus using the pasta ladle. Check the octopus by running a piece under cold water and eating it. If it isn't yet done, check about every 15 minutes until it's done.

Using the pasta ladle again, cool the octopus in the sink under running water just enough so that you can hold it. Remove the skin by hand from the tentacles. (Don't bother trying to remove it from the suction cups.) Remove the skin from the inside and outside of the head.

Add the Group 2 ingredients to a mixing bowl large enough to hold the cooked octopus and mix. Add the octopus and mix again.

Heat the cast iron grill pan over the largest burner on high heat until it becomes extremely hot. Add the octopus and cook each side about one minute if it is still hot, about two minutes if it has been cooked early in the day. Optionally place the small glass baking dish on top of the octopus so the extra weight produces a stronger charred flavor.

Serving
Place the octopus on the serving dishes. Finish with the cilantro and lemon juice.

Wine

Red wine: Pinot Noir, Barbera or Shiraz
White wine, especially in summer: Albarino (especially if you used a lot of Sriracha sauce) or Pinot Gris
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
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5,901
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N Idaho
Beautiful shot Mike. Personally never cared much for eating it. I’ve never eaten a car tire, but all the octopus I’ve tried felt like that’s what I was eating. Can you freeze what you don’t eat?
 
Joined
Sep 13, 2007
Messages
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Location
Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
Thanks, Rick!

I’ve never eaten a car tire, but all the octopus I’ve tried felt like that’s what I was eating.
I assume you're referring to it being too tough. My guess is that the meat was not cooked properly; when done correctly, it's tender.

Can you freeze what you don’t eat?
Yes. I've got three bags in the freezer, each containing a piece of the head and a pair of tentacles. The contents of each bag are a serving for two.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 13, 2007
Messages
11,482
Location
Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
Thank you to Terri and Dan!

I don’t think I’d even be brave enough to try it.
Would you believe me if I told you it tastes like chicken? Don't...because it doesn't. :ROFLMAO: Actually, its texture is similar to calamari (squid) but it has a lot more flavor.

Last week I turned about four ounces of fresh octopus into 60 pounds of halibut.
That's what I call a transformation!
 

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