Friday, 25 July 2014

Marinated octopus

The heatwave that is currently sweeping across Finland has totally messed my geographical clock up. As I'm so used to being somewhere else this time of the year, soaking the Mediterranean sunshine, I actually have to remind myself every now and then where it is that I actually am.

My culinary clock has picked up on it too and I'm plagued with ridiculous craving for anything octopussy. A craving the satisfying of is a bit of a challenge at these latitudes (and with these prices...). For a while now I've been on the lookout for one of those big octopi, but so far to no avail. Again I only managed to find smaller tentacles. Then I did my head in fretting over how they refused to curl up just right for the photo. Perhaps that 3-step-shocking-method would have worked with these too?

With any member of the octopus family you have two options. Either you do it really quickly or really slowly. Anything in between and you're left with something with the charm and texture of a used tyre. Eventually I decided to cook these as I would have cooked one of those big ones, too: slowly, that is. I simmered these for an hour after which I poured the marinade over them and let that do its job until the next day.

In Mediterranean countries these are often quickly grilled over hot charcoal grill for before serving!

As a tapas this feeds 3-4

1 kg small octopus tentacles (or a 1 kg- big octopus if you can find)

The cooking liquid:

2 l water
2 bay leaves
10 allspice peppercorns (or black ones)
1 onion
1 carrot
1 stalk celery
1,5 tbsp salt

Roughly chop the onion, celery and carrot into chunks. Place all the ingredients into a pot and bring to boil. Then add octopi, wait until the water comes back to boil again and then lower the heat to simmer. Let cook, covered for an hour (you can test the doneness sooner, say, after 30 minutes with the tip of a knife. They should be tender but still al dente). Remove from heat, let cool and drain. Cut the bigger ones in half. Combine the ingredients for the marinade , pour over the octopus and let marinate at least for a couple of hours, preferably overnight in the fridge.


1 dl vinegar (red or white)
2 dl (rosemary) olive oil (recipe? Here!)
1/2 red onion

Peel and slice the red onion finely. Combine with rest of the ingredients and pour over the octopi. Before serving lift the octopi from the marinade (which by  now, if it's been in the fridge, will be a bit gelatinous), drizzle some good olive oil, salt and pepper on top of it and serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon.

Serve as is, or in a salad the way we did - more on that tomorrow!




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