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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Playing with my Octopus

I was so excited to grab a feelski
I love octopus. In Japanese, it's called tako. In Spanish, pulpo. In my mouth, yummo. Sorry Rachel Ray.

While  perusing the DC Fish Wharf last Saturday, I spotted a small selection of whole octopus. I'd never cooked one - but have wanted to try. The price was only $4.99 a lb. making my two point five pound cephalopod irresistable.

Safe in a plastic bag and set on ice, I embarked on the journey home. While my husband drove; I googled. There were several recipes that mentioned strange things like adding a wine cork to the boiling liquid, a nickel or a penny, or beating the crap out of the eight-legged squish monkey to tenderize it before cooking.

I settled on a post in the NY Times that discounted the crazy methods and laid out a few simple techniques. First, blanche it for thirty seconds. Second, dry-roast the octopus in a 200F oven for four-five hours, allowing it to simmer in its own luscious brine. He swears it's worked everytime, and since he writes for the NYT, I'm inclined to believe him.

He briefly mentioned the notion of freezing. He claims some of the sweet, scallop and shrimp like flavor was lost with freezing, but also lost after sitting in the fridge for a day. Fresh is best, but his fresh means still suctioning, and unfortunately my fish monger doesn't have access to still attacking talons.

So, I'm doing my own thing. Kind of. I froze the semi-fresh blob for a day and then thawed it in my fridge for another two days. I'm about to blanche it in boiling, salted water for thirty seconds, and then dry roast it for a few hours.

This post is part one of what I hope will be a glorious celebration of strange sea creature-eating. To be continued...

defrosted tentacled blob of deliciousness

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