Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Pulpo con sherry y pimentón

Though we did have our share of new potatos and herring at our Midsummer table we didn't really bother with any traditions. And our take on herring: one with curry dressing and the other with coconut, chilli and coriander-infused tomato dressing probably wouldn't have found any favours in the eyes of the folklore nazis anyway...

And so this turned out to be one of our favourites. I've long been dreaming of octopus carpaccio but have not been able to locate those big, football-size octopi I used for Galician tradition Pulpo a la Gallega. So I've had to make do with these baby ones. This time they found themselves bathed in tomato sauce spiked with some sherry and pimentón. Next time I'll eat the whole batch by myself make twice as much.

Serves 2

500 g baby octopus
1/2 fennel
2 garlic cloves (or 1 massive)
1 red chilli
3 anchovy fillets
1 tsp pimentón
1/2 dl sherry (Olorosa) or really, really dry white wine
1/2 tin (finely) crushed tomatos or passata
(salt) black pepper

to serve: squeeze of fresh lemon juice, fresh parsley

Thaw the octopus and (if needed) clean them. Peel fennel, cut in half, remove the hard core and slice thinly.Thinly slice chilli and garlic too. Heat some oil in a pan, throw in garlic, chilli and anchovies, toss around for a bit and then add pimentón. Then add fennel and sherry. Let come to boil and then add octopi and crushed tomatos. Bring heat down and let simmer, covered, for an hour. (keep checking to make sure there's still some liquid left). Check the taste, season as needed and sprinkle some fresh parsley on top.

Serve with lemon wedges, wine (what do you know - we even have a recommendation for one!) crusty country bread and sights of pleasure.

After finally getting the last shop run out of the way for Midsummer The Boy Next Door (not the social media savviest of people) went ahead and posted a photo of our wine arsenal for the weekend. The haul (impressive as it was) evoked cries of concern as the relatives were fretting over our fate at the hands of the devil that is alcohol. Worry not though: we were merely trying on the lifestyle of European Bon Viveurs and wine atsting our way through the lot.

For this - spurred on by The Boy's lyrical notions - we paired this new acquaintance from Italy, served slightly chilled. Planet Etna Rosso 2012, made from Nerello Mascalese, one of Italy's many native grapes and grown on the foot of Mount Etna had lovely, fruity light acidity echoing those of our favourite rosés with notes of red berries and worked wonderfully - totally kicking the ass of the rosé I had initially paired for this. What do you know. The Boy's actually learning stuff!




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